Some years ago, I heard for the first time that I might rather be known as a "Christ Follower" than a Christian. The difference being that God desires a personal relationship with each and every one of us. It's not by our works we are saved, but through the grace of Jesus Christ (Eph 2:8-10) because he loves us and desires us to love Him back.
So, with this in mind, I have lived the past five or so years trying to be a Christ Follower and not fall into the trap of religion.
Now according to my online dictionary, relgion is a "ritual observance of faith." My boyfriend actually brought this to my attention just a few weeks ago. He said that anything I always, always do depicts religion. For example, I go to church every Sunday. When I don't go, I usually feel guilty. When I don't feel like going, I go anyways out of a sense of obedience to God. Doesn't that make my faith a religion?
I have recently finished reading The Shack. I don't have it in my possession anymore so I cannot quote from it as I might like. But in this book we meet Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit which may have forever changed the way I think about the Trinity. So, one of points it makes is religion versus relationship. I do not have to go to church every Sunday to be a Christian. I have always believed that as Christians, we are commanded to attend church regularly for fellowship with God and other believers. After looking briefly, I have not found anything that says that specifically. However I did find 1 Corinth 12:12-31 talking about the Body of Christ. We Christians make up the body of Christ and we must do our own part. But we can do that through Bible study, church, relationship, servicehood and so on.
So, the main question I am getting at here is:
- Is it truly possible to be a "Christ Follower" and not a religious Christian?
I have come to my own personal conclusion that because I am human, I have to have some amount of religion in order to make my faith work. It is true that the basis of Christianity is a relationship with Christ and in a perfect world, we would not need religios rituals such as church, mass, confession, Biblestudy ect. I need my daily bread, I need my weekly meal, and I need my spiritual snacks in between. lol Catchin my drift?