What is Christianity? What is Religion? Do you believe there is a difference between the two? If so, how are they different? How are they similar?
These are some of the questions I want to explore and hopefully answer in this post.
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What is Christianity vs Religion
In order for me to explore and try to answer these questions, I think the best place to start is with actual definitions of the two basic words, Christianity and Religion.
The following definitions are according to dictionary.com:
- relating to or professing Christianity or its teachings. “the Christian Church”
- a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Christianity.
- the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices.
- Christian quality or character. “his Christianity sustained him”
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.
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
Now we have basic definitions and understandings of what the words Christianity and Religion mean.
Religion is basically a practice of religious beliefs. The ritual observance of faith, something one believes in and follows devotedly. It can also be a group of believers gathering together to worship and practice these ritual observances.
Christianity is also an observance of faith, something one believes in and follows devotedly, BUT only based on the teachings and the faith in Jesus Christ. That is the one solid fact that distinguishes the differences between Christianity and Religion.
Please don’t be confused by the many different Christian Denominations. There are things that can be considered a Religion but can be idol worship; a type of worship of a lesser god and not that of the Christian faith and beliefs.
However, within the Christian faith, there are many different denominations. These different denominations all believe in, and worship Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Holy Bible. Although they may each have different ways of conducting their worship services.
The list of different denominations is vast and you can see a full list at ProCon.org but here is a partial list of some commonly known ones:
- Church of Christ
What is a Christian?
The remainder of this post is based mainly on my personal beliefs and my understanding of the Holy Bible. My personal beliefs are formed from the ways I was raised in a Christian home and being raised with the teachings of a Southern Baptist church and family.
I am in NO way trying to impose my beliefs onto anyone else! I am simply explaining my beliefs and putting a voice as to why I believe and how I believe what I do.
Aside from my Christian and/or religious beliefs, I also strongly believe in free will and the fact that every person has the right to their own opinion. We do not have to agree in order to be nice or polite to each other. In fact, my son and I rarely agree on political or even some religious views, but we love each other beyond a doubt. We also enjoy some really good debates!
The world would be very boring if everyone always agreed on everything or had the exact same opinions and ideas!
What being a Christian means to me:
Most simply put being a Christian to me personally means I trust that the Bible is the true inspired word of God. I have faith that Jesus Christ is who the Bible teaches that he is and that he died on the cross to save us from our sins.
I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I profess and repent of my sins, on a daily basis. I am not perfect and I do continue to sin, but through God’s grace, I am a forgiven sinner. I work daily on my personal walk with God by reading the Bible and through prayer.
It also includes many other things
So many people seem to think that Christians are all about forcing their beliefs on everyone else. But it’s really not about that! I’ve also heard so many people describe Christians as being judgemental. Again, I’d say it’s not like that! If that’s the type of Christians you have been in contact with I’d question their Christianity. Yes, I certainly would, and I said it! I’ll say it again even louder if I need to!
Christians should be striving to live their lives the way Jesus did while on Earth. We should be loving, accepting, forgiving and compassionate of all those we meet or associate with daily.
We also are called by God to spread His word to all corners of the world! God wants every human being to hear His word. Ultimately God wants everyone to experience, know and accept His love and salvation. But God also gives us free will. So God, as well as His followers do not force Christianity on others. We do, however, want everyone to know the love and grace of our amazing God. Then you can make a knowledgable and informed decision.
Please Excuse my Enthusiasm
Sorry, not sorry. I honestly can’t apologize for getting excited about my God and what He does for me. So when given the opportunity to tell someone about God I tend to get a little enthusiastic.
My God is a mighty God! He is loving, faithful, kind and giving. He is a God of miracles. Yes, I’ve heard all the remarks and questions. Such as if God is so kind, loving and can work so many miracles then why does He allow people to suffer from illness and die from cancer?
Remember, this is simply just my opinion but I think a lot of diseases and illnesses may very well be results of man-made carcinogens and germs. I honestly believe the bad, the evil and the sickness of this world have come from man, not God. Also, remember God gives us free will to make our own choices. Not choices to be sick, especially not for our children to be sick! But man has made choices to create a lot of things in the name of science and inadvertently people get sick.
God is a healing God
Yes! I believe God is a healing God! Remember, this is my belief and my opinion, but it’s also my understanding of what I’ve read and been taught through the Bible.
Of course, I’ve heard the main question about this statement many times! “So why does God heal some and not others?”
My first answer to that question is that I believe God heals in two ways. The first way is He can heal a person here on earth. The second way is the ultimate healing by taking the person to Heaven where there is no more pain, suffering or sickness.
Next, my second answer to that question is God is always at work in all situations. Whatever the outcome in a situation a person is praying about (in this case we are talking about illness) God will use it to help someone.
Finally, my last answer to that question is simply that perhaps the person’s faith is not strong, or they don’t believe in God or the power of prayer. We do not know each person’s heart or true personal beliefs. At least not as well as we sometimes like to think that we do.
God can turn a mess into a message
God can use anything in our lives, no matter how bad it may seem and turn it into a message to help someone else if we share it! That’s why as Christians we talk about God so much. It’s the one thing that God expects us to do the most! God instructs us to share His word with everyone!
Actually there other things that God instructs us to do but basically He just wants us to trust Him. God wants us to believe in Him and accept Him. Love each other and practice kindness. The best explanation of the expectations of a Christian I’ve read so far can be read by clicking here.
My mess this past week
For almost a year now, I’ve been experiencing some health issues. I have iron-deficient anemia. My body is not absorbing iron at all, therefore I’m not producing red blood cells. I am having to receive iron supplements via IV infusions once a week.
Also, I have some digestive issues and I’ve lost a lot of weight in the last few months without dieting. My mom died of colon cancer, so with all my symptoms and the family history, the doctors were concerned and started doing tests. By the first of October, I had several tests with abnormal results. A small bowel series and a pill cam both showed what appeared to be a tumor in my small intestines. I was referred to a specialist in Dallas, TX.
At this point, I went to the prayer ladies that I have mentioned in several of my previous posts. My childhood friends that I go to for everything! We started praying for God to heal this tumor if it is His will.
On Oct. 29, 2019, I go into Dallas for the pre-op evaluation and met with the doctor. He showed me the scans and discussed everything with me. He agreed and said that yes it was a tumor and on the next morning he was going in to assess it, biopsy it and possibly remove it.
The next morning I wake up from the procedure for the doctor to tell me that he could not find the tumor. The area where the scan showed the tumor to be was just a flattened area now that had started to atrophy (harden). He tattooed it so that he can monitor it in future colonoscopies and he also biopsied the area. We are waiting on biopsy reports.
My message from this mess
What I believe my message was from all of this mess is for me to keep my faith. I believe that God was showing me and all the ladies praying for me that we need to keep praying together and believe in the power of our prayers.
Was there really a tumor there to begin with? I don’t know. I do know that the doctors and I all saw what did appear to be a tumor on the scans. Did God remove the tumor if it was there? My personal faith tells me that yes! My God definitely has the power to do that if that was His will to do so! Are there other logical explanations? Yes, of course, there could be. But I will never take away the praise that I feel belongs to God!
In conclusion, something extraordinary happened to me this week! I know in my heart that it happened because of my faith in God! And God lead me to share it on my blog!
I hope that sharing this message on my blog may touch someone or help someone that reads this. If you enjoyed reading this please leave me a comment!!
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until next time,