Thursday, August 4, 2011

So, you're religious. Good for you!

Last night after church we had a stop to make. I won’t mention where to protect the guilty. But, upon arriving at our destination, we casually mentioned we had just got out of Bible study and the person to whom we were commenting said, “I’m religious too.”

As we were driving, I asked my husband “I’m religious too? What does that mean?”

I shook my head and continued on to pick up a few groceries.

Fast forward to today. I am reading a comment left by someone reviewing my novel. In her review, she states, “I’m a religious person too.” Here it is again. I had planned on writing something entirely different for today’s post. Plans change. God was clearly leading me to write on a different topic altogether. Being religious.

Religious as a noun means:

1.a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

So, you call yourself religious. Good for you. Now, what exactly does that mean to you?
The definition above says being religious is centered around a set of beliefs, so, what do you believe? Do you worship the sun? The moon? Money? Football? The earth? Trees? Animals? Yourself? Well, what do you worship?

Religious can mean so many different things. It’s such a generic term. There is nothing personal about being religious. A religious person can be a muslim, a hindu, a buddhist, a scientologist, Jewish, or a host of other things. I don’t consider myself religious. I want to be more than just “religious.”

This is religious!

What did Jesus have to say about being religious? The Pharisees and the Sadducees were religious. Let’s take a look at what Jesus said about them. In Matthew 12:34, he called them a brood of vipers and evil. In Luke 11:39, He called them full of greed and wicked. In Matthew 12:39, He called them an evil and adulterous generation.

I don’t know about you, but being religious doesn’t sound too appealing.

To me, being religious is like being lukewarm. You don’t want people to think you aren’t a Christian, yet you aren’t enough of a Christian to want to shout it from the mountaintops. Revelation 3:15-16 states, I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

A little further down in verse 19, this is what is written, As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

If not religious, then what? For starters, determine if you are a follower of Christ. If you have decided to live for Him, then start living like He is worth dying for. If you have called yourself a religious person, and you always thought that meant being a Christian, you now know it does not. Do as verse 19 tells you, and repent. Repent for being lukewarm. Repent for acknowledging God yet not making Him Lord of your life.

Sometimes, not even the term Christian is used properly. As followers of Christ, we are to have an intimate relationship with our Savior and Lord, the one who took every sin, sickness, hurt, pain and tear for us on a cross at Calvary. He gave His life so that we might live.

Stop being religious, stop pretending to be something you are not. Either jump in with both feet, or leave the pool. He wants our everything, he wants us fully devoted to Him.

I always think of the coolest things to say after I leave the conversation. Like “Oh, I’m not religious, I’m a Christian.” What is your reaction when someone tells you they are religious? Do you have something standard that you say back? I’d love to hear about your experiences with this subject.


  1. When people use that term 'religious' I am skeptical about a true relationship with Jesus. However, I try not to get offended because for some people this is the only way they know to express what they see are: (they believe in God, go to church, or subscribe to their churches 'rules') Once you get to know someone better, you can explain the difference. :)

  2. Yep, I'm not religious at all, but I am relational. And there is a difference. Good post!

  3. Tracy and Jessica, thanks for commenting. What scares the heck out of me, is that some think being religious is the same as having a relationship with Christ. While I do not know the status of individual hearts, I do know what the word says about those who are lukewarm...and my heart breaks for them. I would for everyone to know Christ in such a personal way...ugh...that is my heart out for the world to see :)

  4. Very well said, Darlene. I also agree with what Tracy said because some folks just don't know the difference, which is sad. I surely don't want to be known as "religious"....I often think when I hear that said, a person can be religious about washing their hair or many, many other things, but still not know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Great discussion.