Friday, April 21, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Religion vs Relationship

There is always much ado about religion.  And in Christianity alone, there are many, many denominations.  I call myself a Christian, because I believe in Christ and try to follow Christ.  I have a denomination that teaches doctrine most in line with what I believe, what my heart, head and soul hears when I study God's word.  I am a member of and attend one church in that denomination.  It is a place for me to worship my God, my Savior.  A place for God to speak to me through his servant.  A place to fellowship with other like minded Christians. 

But my religion didn't save me, and it has not changed me.  The denomination I agree with and the church I belong to can give me help, instruction, support....many things, but neither did it save, nor effect any true change in me. 

Only the personal, real relationship that I share with my Lord and Savior can and does that.  Nothing and no one can speak to my heart and soul like God my Creator through His Word and His Spirit. 

If you have looked at denominations or attended churches and felt empty or lost or disillusioned, I recommend getting with the Source, the Author and Finisher of our faith.  Start with the Book of John in the New Testament.  Once you give yourself to Christ, once you start that relationship, then He can guide you to the place where you can be nourished and where you can serve. 

Are your eyes on Christ or on man?  Do you let hypocrites keep you from God? Are you only going through the motions or do you really know Christ?  Is daily Bible study and prayer part of your life?


Barbara


26 comments:

  1. This is a very interesting post, Barbara, especially in light of the fact that we have yet to find a church that fulfills us or even feels like church since we've moved here. It seems we're, for the most part, surrounded by "feel good" doctrine churches, churches that do not reflect how we believe beyond the fact that they believe Jesus is the Son of the living Father.

    Personally, I have never felt like I was in church once I started attending Baptist churches with David. I have nothing against Baptist churches; it is just not the type of church I was brought up in. Going from spirit-filled Church of God and Pentecostal Holiness churches filled with movement and feeling to a church filled with, well, emptiness as far as I was concerned, just didn't feel like going to church at all. I endured it for years and an endurance it was. Finally, I just couldn't do it anymore nor could I subject David to the insulin reactions that being in my preferred churches brought on for him. I think it had something to do with the fight-or-flight response. He just wasn't used to such an active worship service as the Church of God and PH churches offer. :)

    So, we find sermons online. We get devotionals via email, and we interact with other Christians online. We are not forsaking the fellowship, we just do not go to a formal church to get it.

    Have a blessed day. :)

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    1. Very important point you make in closing! The Bible tells is not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. Hebrews 10:25. God wants His children to spend time together to exhort & encourage each other.

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  2. Amen, Barbara! So many people don't understand that there's a difference between religion and relationship. Or if they do, they see that too many have the former and not the latter. Their eyes are on people, not Christ, and people will always disappoint. Christ never will! Unfortunately, in our humanity (we are not perfected until we are physically dead), we either misrepresent Christ or we represent Him inadequately. Also, if you compare today's church to the first church (Acts), you will see a huge difference. Granted, they were closer time-wise to Christ's being on earth in the flesh, but we are unfaithful to our calling when we water down the message or seek to be entertained rather than knowing what God's Word actually says and acting accordingly. Thanks for this.

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    1. All true! Too many think the church is supposed to be full of perfect people, but in truth it is supposed to be full of people who know they need Christ and want to thank Him, worship Him, grow in Him and serve Him.

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  3. Hey Barbara. Christianity is such a complex thing that it handicaps many people due to their perspective. I mean no judgment about that, just an opinion.

    I have the pleasure of taking a four person team from our church to a local NASCAR track on Sunday to join with dozens of others as we embody something named Raceway Ministries. We will perform all manner of tasks, including hospitality, information, handing out New Testaments and providing transportation to the hospital for family members of anyone sick or injured during the many hours of activity surrounding the event.

    It is my hope to be able to share my faith many times with the 100,000 plus individuals that will attend.

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    1. One earmark of a church that is alive is one involved on ministries outside its doors!

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  4. I find it to be a lot more productive to concentrate on God and not on those who populate the various churches. There are a lot of people out there who are "talking the talk, but not walking thew walk."

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    1. Very true, and even those trying to walk the walk stumble, fall down and have to pick themselves up again.

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  5. One must not blindly follow one religious doctrine or other. It is best to think for oneself. And when one finds a personal relationship with the divine, that has the best chance of happening.

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    1. Our God is certainly capable of revealing Himself and His doctrines to any who truly care to seek. He does not seek blind allegiance. He says trust me, try me, prove me. Malachi 3:10

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  6. I agree with what you wrote Barbara, I call it faith over religion, but its basically the same thing as relationship over religion. Found this interesting perspective last night as I had some free time and was searching some blogs participating in A/Z.

    http://andyescaping.blogspot.com/

    betty

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  7. Amen, well said! It is about the relationship. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian anymore than going to the garage makes you a car, it's what you do when you get there, what you learn and share, and how it furthers your relationship with the One who matters!

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    1. You are "preaching to the choir" and all I can say is AMEN. 😊

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  8. Well written, Barbara. You're so right. Religion saves no one. Only Jesus can save. Have a great weekend. I'll be back to follow your blog for the rest of the month. R is Regarding Research as you Build a Better Blog #atozchallenge

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  9. Good post. You have to have faith to have a relationship with Jesus/God.

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  10. Excellent post! I agree whole-heartedly. It's not about a religion or a denomination for me, but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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    1. Thanks! "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." John 15:5

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  11. Hi Barbara. I was born a Hindu and by that token I am one:)
    My heart is my guide of how to live a good human life.
    Ritualistic patterns that many religions preach are not my cup of tea.
    I like to read texts written by wise people who came before us--these make excellent guides.
    R is for Rann of Kutchch

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  12. This gave me quite a bit to think about - thanks! We're Catholic, but I hadn't really thought much about that fact in years until my kids started school. Talking to them about religion and God and what they are learning - and how they interpret what they are learning - has given me quite a few moments of reflection and made me try to explain what I believe to them. And it's less about which church than about what faith can give you, if you let it. - Louise

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  13. I differed to my wife for the denomination, but I like it

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  14. The end of it all is Jesus. That's the One with Whom we have a relationship. I don't know of any other faith or religion that teaches anything like relationship with a Savior, or even the need for one, but there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved, except for Jesus. It's all about Him. :)

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  15. It is a milestone when you realize your beef isn't with God, it is with people. I think God speaks to us in different ways for our purpose in this world.

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  16. I'm with you on this post. Church is nice for the fellowship, teaching, and helping to keep me on focus, but just going to church is not enough. Faith not works!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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