For many people, Christianity and religion are often thought to be one and the same. In fact, it is not uncommon to hear about someone who is a Christian being referred to as a religious person. However, Christianity and religion are two very different things, and a few key points will help you understand the difference.
Christianity is about relationship
While religion can be used to define many faiths, Gods, and higher powers, Christianity is centered on the triune God that consists of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Having a personal relationship with the triune God is first and foremost in the Christian faith. While other religions teach about various higher powers or Gods, Christianity keeps the triune God at the center.
Rules versus love
Many religions teach that you have to earn your way to eternal life by following a rigid list of rules and regulations. In other words, you must please your higher power to earn favor. In the Christian faith, God pursues his people out of love. The Bible states in John 3:16 that God loved the world so much that he sent his only Son to die for the sins of his people.
Christian salvation is a free gift from God, and it cannot be earned by works. This free gift of love is for all people who believe in God and simply ask him to come into their hearts. Religion is more about rules to gain entry into heaven rather than a love relationship.
Human saving versus Christ saving
Religion is all about people striving to save themselves whereas the Christian faith is about believing and trusting in God. God saves, not humans. The Christian who places their trust in God can simply rest in God's promises rather than trying aimlessly to please God.
Religion can cause people to feel weary from struggling to be good enough to gain entry into an eternal paradise. Christianity is freeing because God has already done all that is needed for you to experience his greatest act of love by sending his own son to atone for the sins of all people.
Comparing Christianity to religion is a common misconception among people, but the two are very different. Religion is focused on a system of man-made rules whereas Christianity is a gift of love from God to his people. Learning the differences between Christianity and religion will help you understand them better and will help to clear up any misconceptions you may have.
Contact a spiritual leader near you for more information about Christianity vs religion.
These days, it can be hard for me to watch the news. It can be depressing to hear about so many earthquakes, terrible mass shootings, and awful illnesses. Fortunately, I have gained a lot of strength by working with my local church to participate in church service. Together, we have made hygiene packets for refugees and helped with other large service projects. This participation has helped me in my personal life, and it has strengthened my resolve to be a better person. This website is all about becoming better and staying positive through spirituality, service to others, and focusing on doing good.