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 Christianity is not a Religion

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The Philosopher

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PostSubject: Christianity is not a Religion   Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:03 am

The World's View of "Religion"

Some of those who call themselves "Christians" have been unable to differentiate between Christianity and religion. As they participate in the counterfeit of "Christian religion," they mistakenly think it is Christianity, and are blinded in the belief that religion is an admirable pursuit.

On the other hand, there are many who are not Christians who view the activities of the "Christian religion," and who likewise fail to differentiate between religion and Christianity. They in turn reject Christianity, believing it to be equivalent to the "Christian religion" they have observed.

Many abominable activities have taken place under the guise of "Christian religion." Man-made religion always seeks power and will revert to militaristic warfare to achieve that power. The history of religion, including "Christian religion," is but a succession of religious wars wherein religionists slaughter one another under the flag of "religion," usually with political overtones. The Crusades of the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries are but one historical example among many.

Religious bigotry has been evident in every century as religious leaders engage in racial, national, sexual, ideological and denominational exclusion, ostracism and persecution. There are always the religious attempts to purge those who disagree, and to punish those who do not conform to legislated morality. The period of the Inquisition is a sad example in the history of "Christian religion."

People of the world observe the big religious organizations with their huge ecclesiastic superstructures. They are often rich, powerful, tax-evading, and political in nature. They observe the religious fanatics who try to justify any activity from bombing an abortion clinic to murdering a doctor who works therein. Any means seems to be justifiable if it achieves their religiously deified end-cause. They observe the seemingly endless and meaningless religious activities of church services, ceremonies and programs which seem to be just "pomp and circumstance."

Is it any wonder that many of the people of the world speak derisively of religion? They have read their history books and have heard of the atrocities perpetrated in the name of "religion." They hear of the vast gold reserves and corporate holdings of religious conglomerates gained through tax-exemptions and unfair advantage. They can see the exploitation of the populace through superstition and fear. They see through the ecclesiastic politicizing and cultural manipulation. They see the people going through their meaningless motions of religious ritual to try to appease God. Often they have come to the conclusion that they do not want anything to do with "religion," and I, for one, do not blame them! The world has a right, even an intellectual obligation, to reject the religious folderol that is so prevalent, and to demand reality.

Was Marx correct in his appraisal that "religion is the opiate of the people"?

Christianity is not "Religion"

Religion emphasizes precepts, propositions, performance, production, programs, promotion, percentages, etc. Christianity emphasizes the Person of Jesus Christ, and His life lived out through the receptive Christian believer.

Religion has to do with form, formalism and formulas; ritual, rules, regulations and rites; legalism, laws and laboring. The "good news" of Christianity is that it is not what we do or perform, but what Jesus has done and is doing in us. Jesus exclaimed from the cross, "It is finished!" (John 19:30). The performance is hereby accomplished! Jesus has done all the doing that needs doing for our regeneration, and continues to do all the doing that God wants to do in us. "God is at work in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).

Some have tried to explain that "Christianity is not religion; it is a relationship." Such a statement is too ambiguous, for it is possible to have a "relationship" with religious peoples and practices. Although Christianity does involve a personal relationship between an individual and the living Lord Jesus, it must be pointed out that this is effected by the ontological presence of the Spirit of Christ dwelling within the spirit of a Christian who has received Him by faith, and the Spirit of Christ functioning through that Christian's behavior. It is not just a casual relationship of acquaintance with the historical Jesus or with the theological formulations of Jesus' work. Perhaps it would be better to indicate that "Christianity is not religion; it is the reality of Jesus Christ as God coming in the form of His Spirit to indwell man in order to restore him to the functional intent of God whereby the character of God is allowed to be manifested in man's behavior to the glory of God.

Christianity is not religion! Christianity is Christ! Christianity is "Christ-in-you-ity." Jesus Christ did not found a religion to remember and reiterate His teaching. Christianity is the personal, spiritual presence of the risen and living Lord Jesus Christ, manifesting His life and character in Christians, i.e. "Christ-ones." Paul explained, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me" (Gal. 2:20).

"He who fights monsters should see to it that in the process, he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you." - Nietzche
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity is not a Religion   Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:20 pm

Thanks :)
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