Religion and Relationship: what each should produce and how they should work together and not apart.


I came across this tweet on twitter and it raised so many questions and brought on so much confusion at first glance. I decided to post it on my facebook status in order to be able to discuss it further.

I also immediately went to the Word, my guide and source of wisdom. I read the following scripture:

“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:26-27

I posted this scripture as a comment to the status so that there was some biblical reference. The comments immediately began to flow in, but few lacked any insight.

So I continued to meditate on the Word and the concept.

At first thought, one would agree God is not religion. We are to develop a relationship with him, which we do by confessing our sins and allowing God in our lives. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead thou shalt be save.” Romans 10:9

Romans 10:14 goes on to say, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”

I then revisited the scripture in James again. Religion does require action. It requires one to translate their relationship into action by serving others.

I then searched the dictionary for a definition of religion: Something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience.

This definition alone tells me that it takes a devoted or committed person to believe in something or someone. There is no room for lukewarms in a relationship or religion that is believing in God. When we strengthen our relationship with God we will grow and strengthen our religions (service to men).

I then sought clarity and confirmation from my twitter family. To my surprise I saw the same type of statement tweeted again. I asked, “what is the reasoning behind such a vague but bold statement?”

This was the response: “God is not religion. True religion is serving others because of the grace (undeserved favor) shown to us by God”. Thank you @OceanofGrace

“For by grace are ye saved through; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

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