Must I be religious to be Christian?


(POORNIMA) #1

Hi Team , I believe Jesus is the only Lord & am grateful for the opportunities to know this TRUTH even though am born in Hindu Jesus took care of me am crazily in love with that fact, I was happy to know Jesus was not religious, HE just wanted to win my heart (HE has won it) but when I meet Christians everything boils down to be about religion, even though I try to ignore it & enjoy Jesus as much as I can, Am still unable to figure out , how to help my friends who are in need of the word , HIS love, Truth without making them feel religious, The fact is everybody needs this Good news but people get uncomfortable when it becomes religion rather than life style…My heart agrees with the fact that the work of Jesus in my life is not to change my religion but to reach out to people who are in need HIM and not just to be comfortable with Christians.


(Tim Ramey) #2

@POORNIMA
Others with a more profound outlook will be responding because what I have to say is quite simple. Being a Christian isn’t about religion, it’s about a relationship with Jesus. I think you are absolutely right when you want to communicate a lifestyle. That’s what it is. Of course, what led up to how you discovered the Truth will involve something about your life, not adopting a different religion. When asked why Jesus, it will involve His life, death and resurrection but those are rational actions that enabled you to be free. Don’t convey a religion to them but a lifestyle built on the Truth that the Holy Spirit led you to.


(SeanO) #3

@POORNIMA Do you consider yourself Christian or Hindu? How would you define the word ‘religion’? Do you think a lifestyle of following Jesus involves being part of a Church community?

I appreciate you taking the time to answer. It will help me understand your point better.


(POORNIMA) #4

Thank you for responding to my question…Born in Hindu, choose to follow Jesus, HIS word which is the Truth, Am desperately looking for people in church or anywhere who believe in HIS kingdom life style. I don’t want to loose on the wisdom which I gained after 13 years of knowing Jesus that HE lives in me and my body is the church, HE wants to establish HIS kingdom on earth & am alive because of HIM, Today so many Christian fail to understand the power in the name of Jesus, I want to represent HIM, I want to be part of HIS kingdom, I fear HIM. I will leave to HIM in which community he wants to keep me.


(POORNIMA) #5

Thank you Tim for responding to my question…Yes I will do my best to help my friends with faith that…It’s “True loving life” what Lord who created us wants us to have through Jesus… grateful for your humbleness.


(Anthony Costello ) #6

@POORNIMA

First off, let me just say that your love of Jesus is obviously foundational to the nature of your beliefs about the Christian faith. One can have many true beliefs about Christianity but no love for Christ, and I think everyone here would agree that that sort of cultural Christianity is NOT a saving faith. It is just religion. Therefore, true belief without a love of God, who is Truth and Goodness and Beauty, is a dead faith… or perhaps even something more antagonistic than that (see Jas 2:19)!

That said, however, love of Christ alone is not sufficient, since we could be confused about who Christ is! Thus, God has given us two objects to keep us from straying away from His Truth: one is the revelation found in Holy Scripture, and the second (and this is more to your question), is the community of believers, who are the Church. I think if one loves the real Jesus (i.e. the Jesus who is revealed to us in Scripture and who is present with us in the Church), then one finds oneself securely in covenant with God. This, it seems to me, would be an accurate and historical view of what the true Christian religion is.

The term “religion” has, unfortunately, taken on a bad name these days, either in the way atheists use it, or in the way pluralist try and conflate all religions into one. There is nothing inherently wrong, however, with saying that one is religious, so long as you know what your religious commitments are. In some sense, I think everyone just is religious in that we all in some way carry out or act out our beliefs, and usually we do that in some kind of community and with some basic forms of expression (e.g. music, art, worship, etc.)

In sum, I think that true religion consists of a personal, saving faith in Jesus Christ (which you obviously have) plus the knowledge of Jesus Christ that is given to us through the Holy Scriptures and the active participation in and with the community of believers that is Jesus’ church. That community can take on many forms, shapes and sizes, but I think it is necessary to be in communion with brothers and sisters in Christ for your faith to remain true and your life in Christ to be fulfilled.

God bless,
Tony


(POORNIMA) #7

Thank you Tony…As adviced will do my best to be part of Christ believers


(SeanO) #8

@POORNIMA Thank you for your response. I think @anthony.costello and @Tim_Ramey did a great job of summarizing the nature of true religion as involving the community of Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and an active faith in and love for Jesus.

Out of curiosity, how often do you meet other Christians and what is it about their behavior that makes you think they boil everything down to religion? I am still a little confused on this point.

Thank you


(POORNIMA) #9

Sean as physical obedience to Jesus…I go to “All peoples church” in Bangalore yes to be blessed through communion along with believers…This is my third church & try going every week, I find it religious when people tell “what to eat, how to dress, whom to marry, doing yoga or pranayam is evil(which is daily workout for me as per my understanding), people also start predicting things for you about health ( through God’s grace my health is good) when you are just trying to have a conversation & mingle, I don’t like it when people preach about denomination ( how/why it’s the best), everybody wants to control you, one pastor told me that witchcraft (result of the practices I have done when I was a Hindu) therefore delay in my blessing, one pastor says to be used by god I need to marry Christian” I am from a land of so many false gods, caste and sub caste…And when am just Coming out of one mess…I don’t want to get into another set of wrong beliefs, Therefore had to change 3 churches…Am happy here with “All peoples Church” where the focus is about Jesus & HIS word. I also shared my testimony of helping mother and daughter experienced after going to church, where the daughter is a believer now through HIS grace (out of temptation of suicide):slight_smile:️, Am also praying for my friend who is need of Jesus very badly, she believes in Jesus & experiencing Jesus working in her life but she was finding religious to read the word from Bible “which was the main reason for my question on RZIM” so that she does not delay in reading the word for her protection, am very grateful for “Tim_Ramey’s” response which I shared with her. And today through God’s will, Am going to buy a Bible for her, Please pray for my friend (bhagyashree who is a professor in Engineering college) who does not want to seek help from NGO or police because of reputation at work & fear of physical harm for herself & family…But she wants to fight through prayers, Through all these experiences I realize the need is not of food or shelter but wisdom of what’s right and wrong given in Bible through Jesus & It can reach people only through HIS love:), please feel free to correct & educate me, Am still learning to know Jesus & HIS word.


(SeanO) #10

@POORNIMA May the Lord provide for bhagyashree in His grace and strength! And may God grant you wisdom by His Spirit to know Him more and to grow and in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I am encouraged by your passion for Jesus and truth!

Regarding what the pastor said about blessings being withheld, 2 Peter 1:1 says - “Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ”

If we know Christ, our faith is of ‘equal standing’ with that of the apostles! We are sons and daughters of God - and our past life will not keep God from blessing us! But God does discipline us as His sons and daughters if we wander back into sinful ways, as it says in Hebrews 12:7-11:

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Here is an article from Focus on the Family concerning choosing a spouse - of course Paul says in I Cor 7 to stay with your spouse even if they are an unbeliever if you are already married and pray for their salvation. But if you are single it is wisest to marry someone who is also serving Jesus.

You may consider reading “Basic Christianity” by John Stott, “Knowing God” by J. I. Packer and “Mere Christianity” by C. S. Lewis.

All of these books offer what I believe is a healthy perspective on what it really means to know and follow Jesus. And of course feel free to ask more questions here on Connect, where there are lots of friendly people willing to help.

The Spirit of Christ be with you!


(Joseph Benny) #11

Hey Poornima, I have been to All Peoples Church in Bangalore too! I know that it can be hard to follow Jesus with a lot of people saying a lot of things. I know how that can be in India but I just wanted to say that you should stand firm in the gospel by which you first believed in and ask God to help you know more of Him!

God bless! :slight_smile:


(POORNIMA) #12

Yes Joseph am happy with All people’s church thank you for the advice…God bless you