Is there a difference between religion and relationship? I believe so. It seems to me that religion has almost nothing to do with a true relationship with God. I have never really liked the word “religion”. In my opinion, it has a very negative connotation. The first thing religion makes me think of is a set of outdated rules that a group of people put together to control how I should live my life and conduct myself in certain situations. The world of religion segregates itself into all these separate entities based on what rituals I or anyone else might observe over the course of a week, month, year or lifetime. To me, that leaves so much room for prejudice, discord, and lack of unity in all of God’s people. There is enough of that in world and it should not seep into my faith. I think we were all created by one supreme and all-knowing God and I don’t believe He meant for His people to divide themselves like that. The practice of “religion” really saddens me. I feel like it keeps me from experiencing the full measure of a deep relationship with God Almighty. Religion makes feel that if I screw up the process of a ceremony or miss some planned assembly that I am shunned by all those involved. When I attend any given church service, I want to be built up in the Lord, fellowship with other believers, or reinforce truths I’ve already learned. Having to participate in religion is counterproductive to that whole experience for me. If there was a way to get the “religious” people to understand that all that structured behavior is not necessary, I know that the Church would start increasing by leaps and bounds. Instead, it seems to be dying at an alarming rate. When I get with a group of people that have a relationship with God, I want to feel that the gathering is being led by Him and not conducive to a set schedule. So what if the praise and worship time runs long or the message wasn’t heard for exactly thirty minutes. Everything moves at God’s pace. I think religion tries to put God’s will over scheduling in a box. No one wants to be put in a box; least of all the God of the Universe. So in conclusion, why not throw out all this religion, focus on the actual relationship and be comfortable in the flow of God’s will? I know that as a person with a relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ, I would enjoy the experience more.
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