Religion or Relationship?Evangelical Christians (ie: those Christians that are NOT Catholics) will often allege that they are not part of a “religion” and thereby, you cannot compare many of their offensive stances, viewpoints, prejudices, hatred and discriminatory behavior with every other religion. I’m not a Catholic, but I presume they realize they are indeed a religion, and are not denying they are the major world religion in every way, and always have been. Evangelical Christians on the other hand, will agree with you all day long on many criticisms you have against other religions, such as Islam, for example, because Islam is merely “a religion” in their view and they can clearly see how harmful religion is and can be when forced on others who don’t happen to agree with their exclusive teachings. Being “religious” used to be a compliment. Now, even Christians realize that calling them “religious” has negative connotations. So they deny it. And many will cutely repeat what they have heard their pastor say, which is this: “Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship.” What they mean is, all that matters to the “true” Christian, and the key to salvation, is your “personal relationship” with Jesus Christ. Not any religious system, or logically, any adherence to religious requirements outside of trusting in Jesus alone for your salvation. But my experience is that they are hypocrites when it comes to this point. Let me ask you, committed Christian man or woman: Can a man have faith in Christ while rejecting some of the religious nonsense contained in your holy book? Or some of the nonsense preached by “god’s man”, your pastor? Or disagree or question even one single passage or teaching of your religion? If so, what you preach is a religion, NOT a relationship!
Again, Catholics understand the need for a “right relationship’ with “the Church” and with the dogmatic teachings of that church, in order to be saved. But evangelicals, who claim not to be religious, ironically, question a man’s salvation if he trusts in Christ for his salvation, but merely doesn’t believe all the religious nonsense that their paid, professional clergyman doles out to them for a fee each week.Let me ask you a personal question, Christian man or woman, does your Bible’s plan of salvation include any requirements that a lost person truly believe ALL or none of the ancient texts? Do you share with them not only that man is a sinner, he cannot save himself, that Christ died for his sins, and by grace through faith, he can be saved? Or do you also tell this lost person that he must tithe, that he must serve the Lord by serving in the church, and most importantly, do you tell him that what he believes ABOUT the Bible will determine his ultimate fate. In other words, are you honest with him and tell him up front that unless he puts his faith in the Bible itself (that every jot and tittle is the infallible, inerrant, and perfectly recorded inspired word of God ), then his trust and faith in Jesus is worthless and he is not a Christian, can’t be a child of God, and ultimately, will burn in hell forever and forever without being consumed? If so, that is not “Good News”, that is horrible news.
So my dear Bible believing evangelical friend, either proclaim unashamedly your trust and faith in the Bible itself (not Jesus and his work) and all of its religious teachings and practices, or stop telling people they must believe it all or none of it. You are being intellectually dishonest, you are not telling them the “whole gospel” and you are lying to them about Jesus and what he did. I challenge you to find anywhere in your trusted, sacred, scriptures where Jesus told a man “you must believe the Bible to come to me.” Or “whosoever believeth it all, will be saved.” Or, “either all of the bible is true or it’s all false.” No. You know it’s not there. So please quit being a hypocrite and demanding that others believe it lest they be cast into hell. Shame on you. Your pastor is paid to preach this line of nonsense. Their livelihood depends on gullible supporters who look up to them as God’s representative and as wise holy men. If they start preaching other nonsense that you must do to be saved, run from that church. Love Jesus enough and care about God enough and love your family enough to take the time to explain to your children and your wife that the man is lying about God. Tell them that God loves them. Jesus died for their sins. That they can have peace in their trust and faith in Jesus. Warn them about the dangers of religions. Warn them about the dangers of blind fanatical adherence to an ancient holy book. If your family and your wife love and respect you, they will listen to you over the lying holy man of God. Good luck. If your wife, children, parents and friends are religious fanatics, or members of a cult, they will end up shunning you, have disdain for you, and you will feel worse about yourself then you did before you called upon the name of the Lord when you were lost. Oh, religion can be so hurtful and divisive. We know it can lead to centuries of war between nations and peoples. But we also see how, if not put in the proper place in a believer’s life, it can destroy families.
John 14:6: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”John 3:15 and 16: “…that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”