The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Modern religion

with 14 comments

I suppose one might suggest that the virtue on display is at least that of honesty. What is your religion? We all have one. Only one brings us to God and heaven.

chelsea our religion

HT: Heavenly Worldliness.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Monday 5 September 2011 at 08:23

Posted in Culture and society

Tagged with , ,

14 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. So are you saying that Christianity is a religion?

    richbarcellos

    Tuesday 6 September 2011 at 01:35

  2. forgot to hit the follow-up box

    richbarcellos

    Tuesday 6 September 2011 at 01:36

    • I am saying that Christianity is a religion (whether the word used in the Acts 17.22 passage or the James 1.26 passage, where both Paul and James are happy to make the truth a constrast with and comparison to the false systems around them or a perversion of the true system). It happens to be the one true and saving religion, when embraced in its proper substance and on its own terms. Am I wrong? Should I be using another definition? Has some great thinker now disproved that Christianity is a religion (with the Christ at its heart the only one who can truly give us peace with God)? Am I supposed to call it a worldview now, or something else? Please tell all.

      Jeremy Walker

      Tuesday 6 September 2011 at 08:10

  3. To answer your questions: no, no, no, no. I knew you were inferring that Christianity is a religion – the one true one. I agree with you on this. It seems to me that there are some today who don’t like calling it a religion.

    richbarcellos

    Tuesday 6 September 2011 at 13:59

    • Why do you think that is? I should be interested in your opinion.

      Jeremy Walker

      Tuesday 6 September 2011 at 14:52

  4. Probably a complex of inter-related issues. 1) In the 1980s, I would hear folks say, “Christianity is not a religion; it’s a relationship.” I think this statement is still in use. Religion, so it goes, is do-oriented, performance-based. It is man’s quest for God. Christianity, so it goes, is God’s quest for man. So in this case, probably due to works-oriented versions of “Christianity”, some do not like the term religion used to describe Christianity. As a matter of fact, they think it is wrong. But as you stated above, this does not square with what God thinks. 2) Also, it could be that (and this is related to what I just said), religion is viewed as external rites alone and does not get to the heart. Religion is not existential; it’s empirical. But again, God thinks otherwise, as you stated so well. 3) Some use statements made by others in an uncritical manner. Since so and so said it, it carries weight. But these statements are based on straw-men arguments. The Bible does not give us two options – either Christianity or religion; Christianity, therefore not religion. As you stated above, God thinks otherwise. 4) Because saying Christianity is not a religion gets amens from some folks in the congregation. :-) But, again, God does not give His amen to such statements.

    richbarcellos

    Tuesday 6 September 2011 at 15:51

    • Thanks. I think I am with you. It is all well and good to say that religion doesn’t save, and I entirely agree. However, Christ does save, and he saves us into a pattern of believing, being and doing that consitutes a religion, though set apart from other (false) religions (and, indeed, from a merely formal embrace of itself). I imagine that phrases like “heart religion” or “true religion” probably go some way to making this distinction clear.

      Jeremy Walker

      Tuesday 6 September 2011 at 16:19

  5. I agree with Jeremy. “Heart religion” and “true religion” are appropriate and go some way to making the distinction you state above. However, claiming that Christianity is not a religion goes somewhere the Bible does not go and, thus, is not a faithful or accurate way of defending or presenting Christianity. The contrast is not with religion and relationship; it’s with true religion and false religions, as you stated above.

    richbarcellos

    Tuesday 6 September 2011 at 16:34

  6. […] Football supporters at least acknowledge that other teams exist; but in this religion, there is no alternative.  Logically, isn’t the question of origins the one are in which uncertainty would abound?  We didn’t see it.  We weren’t there.  We can’t repeat it.  Why is this? […]

    Don’t Doubt Dawkins | adaysmarch

    Monday 19 September 2011 at 21:46

  7. […] is (at least it used to be)! Or is it? I think there is some confusion over this issue in our day. Here is a brief discussion that actually references the Bible. Make sure to read the comments. Categories: Current Issues Click here to cancel […]

    Is Christianity a religion? :

    Monday 26 September 2011 at 16:45

  8. The term “religion” for some conjures up the image of working hard and doing all the right things to try and be right with God. The Pharisees were very “religious”. Devout Catholics are very “religious”. Orthodox Jews are very “religious”. If one exercises a lot, he might say he works out “religiously”, which means he does it alot, one a regular basis, to try and obtain a desired result. Of course Christianity is a “religion” when the term is used broadly. But too many people have found comfort in being “religious” rather than finding their comfort in Christ. Those who argue against “religion” are really arguing against works-based religion. They are attempting to expose a very real problem, and to distinguish true Christianity from false and empty works-based faith. To say that Christianity is not a religion and that religion is bad may be an overstatement, but I think we all know what those individuals mean, and their point is well taken.

    Cliff Boswell

    Monday 26 September 2011 at 17:20

    • I appreciate the difficulty in the terms. I wonder if the following might help: mere religiosity, even Christian religiosity, is empty and damning; sincere religion, except the Christian religion, is empty and damning. We have to contend for two things: firstly, for the exclusivity of Christianity, as being the truth about the Lord Jesus, whose name alone saves sinners; secondly, for the manner in which Christ is embraced, requiring a true and adoring heart commitment (and involving an obedience from the heart to that form of doctrine to which we are delivered) which is in an altogether different category to any form of nominalism or formalism. So, no religiosity of any kind saves; and, only one religion – the religion of Christ – saves, when he is rightly and willingly embraced on his own terms.

      Jeremy Walker

      Wednesday 28 September 2011 at 23:02

  9. Cliff, did you read all the comments above? Just wondering. I know what most folks mean when they say Christianity is not a religion; they mean it is not works-based, performance-oriented, merit-mongering, etc. But to say it’s not a religion (or religious) is to say more than the Bible says (see comments above, including your own) and, I think, an unnecessary capitulation to the contemporary mind-set. I do not think it follows that since the term “religious” conjures up a works to be right with God kind of Christianity in the minds of many today we should therefore toss the term or allow it to be understood in an exclusively pejorative manner. Folks believed in works kinds of Christianity prior to the 20th century, yet the term was a commonly used term by Christian theologians, pastors, and people alike (as far as I can tell). This was most likely so because the term and its meaning has roots in the Bible. If the culture twists and distorts a biblical concept, our response should be to inform the culture not cower to it. I say we keep the term, define it biblically, and educate the church and the world accordingly and I have a hunch you’ll agree.

    richbarcellos

    Monday 26 September 2011 at 18:14


By all means, consider chipping in . . .

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: