Religion Vs. a Relationship With God

Often times when people ask me what religion I am, I internally cringe at the word religion because that word simply means tradition to me. Don't get me wrong, some traditions are good like the tradition of celebrating my birthday ;), but when it comes to my living God, tradition refers to actions no feeling.
Sometimes the conversation gets carried further and they go into what I can and "can't do", which is when I interject and say I don't like the word "Can't" because I choose to live how I live.
  • Religion is when you are a different person outside of church than what you are in church. It is also when you do things "just because".
  • A relationship with God is when you want to please him at all times.
Take note that if we don't watch our spiritual life it could slowly shift into a religion.
In the word of God, we see a couple of examples of what Religion could be categorized as.

Idolatry
This is one of the clearest post marks that signal religion, and it is mentioned several times in the bible.
"Turn ye not unto idols nor make to yourselves molted gods: I am the LORD your God"
Leviticus 19:4
"Thou shall have not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath , or that is in water under earth"
Exodus 20:4
And the scriptures go on and on and on...

Respecting the house of God
When the house of the Lord begins to get treated like a regular house, this spells trouble.
In John 2:12-16, Jesus went down to Jerusalem and found that the temple had been turned into a marketplace were Oxen, sheep doves and all kind of stuff was
being sold. Let's just say God was not pleased and drove everybody out of that place. Jesus then said:
"Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchants"
John 2:16
This still happens, there are some temples that look like market places when one drives by them. Aside from a marketplace-like environment, our attire should also be respectful inside AND outside church. If people can't concentrate on the preacher because they are too busy looking at uh, something else. Then something is wrong.
“I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands , without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair or gold, or pearls, or costly array" 1Timothy 2:8-10

Following traditions that a "church" has even though they are not in the bible.
I have to admit there are some religions that I understand why they are confused. Not that they are right, but I can see why they would get confused because they might have overlooked some scriptures or misinterpret scriptures.
The bible says that in the latter times "Some shall depart for the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils"
Religions or "doctrines of devils" that are "Speaking in lies in hypocrisy"
Well what do these religions in the latter times include? Let's see:
"Forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth." 1Timothy 4:1-3

Who are we to accept Christ?
There are some religions that say that you are saved when you "accept" Christ.
"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you" John 15:16

How to know if you are in a religion, or if you have a relationship with God.
If you are in a religion you experience some, if not all of these:
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like: of they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God"
Galatians 5:19-21

If you have a relationship with God you will experience thse:

"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law:
Galatians 3:22-24

Iff you find your self experiencing some of the symptoms in the first category, then my friend, you are in a religion. Don't think that if you have a "mixture" of symptoms you can be in the middle.

"Either make a tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit"
Matthew 12:33

I know this was a long post, but I had noticed I have quite a few friends that read this blog and I'm pretty sure some aren't in church. This had been on my mind for some time now, so I decided to write about it.

Like I said before, even if you are in a one-God-tongue-speaking church, you can still drift away from your relationship with God and find yourself in a place were everything turns into a religion.

Okay Goodnight!

8 comments

  1. Very good point my lady, I share this with my students a church all the time. When you have a relationship with god you are able to go deeper in your faith.

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  2. AWESOME POST! Thank you for the reminder to keep this a relationship and not just a religion.

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  3. Thank you! Bro. Pascual (I think that's his name?) said something along those line on Sunday, I was like "Hey! I blogged about that!" lol

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  4. This is an AWESOME post for an AWESOME day (notice, May 15, my birthday:)But really. I love when someone else writes so beautifully and precisely what crosses my mind in a jumbled way. Amazing Kindred!

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  5. That was an Awesome Post!!
    I really enjoyed reading about it!!

    Thank you!!

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  6. Great Post! I'm late but yeah.

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