The Word: The difference between religion and Christianity

Published 4:45 pm Friday, March 1, 2024

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I think I blew a man’s mind recently. While meeting his family to bring some peace into a troubled atmosphere, he made a blunt comment that I wasn’t wanted or needed. When asked why not I was informed, he said “because you’re religious”. I actually laughed at this comment and rebutted, “dude, I can promise you, I ain’t religious one bit. In fact I ain’t about religion at all. And you might need to know that Jesus was also against religion. In fact… religious folks were the ones who gave Jesus the hardest time.” Speechless. My guy just blankly stared for a long while before finally saying, “Are you for real?!”. 

Does it baffle your mind to hear that Jesus isn’t religious? Does it shock you to read a preacher say Jesus came to save from religion? There’s a huge difference between religion and what I practice. Jesus was against an established religion where you do things out of force, where you follow out of mandate, where you stand up, sit down, ring a bell, repeat these words with little emotion all because somebody tells too. Jesus, on the other hand, is all about having a personal relationship. Jesus desires we desire Him. For years, folks have been more concerned with the traditions and structure of services than whom worship is about. Folks are more concerned with the acts of worship than whom we worship. 

Jesus loves. Period. We are to follow His example in all we do. In John 13 Jesus says people should recognize us by our love. Folks should know we are followers of Jesus by how we treat everyone, how we talk to people, how we serve. Folks should know we are followers of Jesus by how we strive to make sure every last person comes to a saving grace of Jesus. 

God isn’t concerned with how well you’re dressed on Sunday. God isn’t concerned with you telling folks how much you have done to help out. God isn’t concerned with how many perfect attendance awards you have through the years or how long you’ve been a Sunday School teacher, elder, deacon, minister, etc. God is concerned about how You love. In Luke 10, Jesus says the two greatest commandments are to love God and love others. 

That love has nothing to do with what church label you’re affiliated with. Sunday mornings are the most segregated times and we have made church a contest when we’re all fighting for the same team. Build that relationship. Pay attention to making sure your relationship with Jesus is where it needs to be. Get involved in worship. Shine brighter than ever. Need help in this? I’d love to talk! #bethegoodneeded 

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at