"Christianity is not a religion" by some Protestants

Do you believe it? I don’t agree though.

What does that mean?

Where did you get that?

If you’re asking about the topic, it’s Facebook.

I have never heard this before.

I guess it’s not taught in your religion that’s why I say “some”. I found a topic here that discusses it. forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=706596

The times I’ve heard it used, the gist was that ‘religion’ is seen as something negative – a ‘work’ of man, rather than something given by God – and therefore, the assertion isn’t so much about what Christianity isn’t, but what it is.

The assertion seems like a trivial exercise in semantics to me… :shrug:

That kind of talk is rampant among evangelicals, and it’s horrific. It reduces Christianity to a mere relationship. That’s part of it, but not the whole thing.

What I like to ask people who say this is: Can you define what religion is?

I ask that to try to nail down what exactly it is that they’re rejecting.

What is interesting is that almost always, if not all the time, the people I ask cannot give me a definition of this “religion” they are rejecting. If they can’t define it, how can they reject it?

It’s an old idea. See this old blog post. :wink:
Christianity is a religion


You’re probably right, but I’ve also heard it said that Christianity, rather than a religion, is a way of life. Judaism has been described in this manner as well.

That’s the false dichotomy that is set up, as if religion were contrary to its being a way of life. It’s both a religion and a way of life.

It depends on how one defines religion, and there is considerable debate about that. Under one umbrella definition that would include ritual intended to bridge the divide between man and the divine or spiritual, then Christianity isn’t a religion, simply because Jesus accomplished and fulfilled the ritual and is currently the living bridge. Hence, it is all focused on relationship now, as the building and maintaining of the bridge via ritual has already been accomplished and we relate, not via ritual, but by Jesus Christ, Who is a Person, hence Relationship.

However, if one describes religion as a way of living life and a spiritual belief, morals, and faith, then of course Christianity fits in that umbrella definition. So, my answer is “yes and no.”


Do I believe that Christianity is not a religion? No.

It’s certainly a religion; the question is what kind of religion is Christianity? Usually, this phrase is not heard in isolation but as part of a longer saying: “Christianity is not a religion. It’s a relationship.” The relationship being between the Christian and God. This a relationship driven by perfect love and grace and acceptance and adoption from God the Father toward us.

This relationship instigated by God’s love is something entirely different from the pagan notion of religion, which is driven by the principle of do ut des – “I give that you might give” – that infuses religion with a utilitarian mentality. God is “worshiped” not for who he is but for what he can do for the individual. There is no love relationship here, only a contractual one.

Like others have mentioned, it all depends on how the word ‘religion’ is defined.

Some who say, “Christianity is not a religion” may use this logic that I’ve heard before in some evangelical circles that I will try to paraphrase below:

*“The difference between religion and Christianity is that religion is man’s attempt to reach out to God and make himself acceptable through adherence to a rigid standard of dos and don’ts, whereas Christianity is God reaching out to man by sending the Lord Jesus Christ to re-establish the relationship that was broken by man through sin that couldn’t be re-established in any other way”.

In other words, religion is man-initiated but Christianity is God-initiated. *


To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. Men who really believe in the existence of God must, in order to be consistent with themselves and to avoid absurd conclusions, understand that differing modes of divine worship involving dissimilarity and conflict even on most important points cannot all be equally probable, equally good, and equally acceptable to God.

Very good read. You can see some old skeletons coming out of the closet in this day and age.


By definition of the word, Christianity is a Religion.

But words are just words and they change meaning all the time.

Do Catholics worship Mary? Well, some Catholic websites say yes, because worship has had many meanings. Do Catholics adore their cats? Again, it depends what adore means.

Let’s not get hung up on words.

Nope, can’t stand when they do that. Those that do that seem to see everything as individualistic and not what Christianity is, which is corporate

Not at all. In fact, the idea that " Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship" is probably one of the daftest of some pretty crazy ideas that spiraled out of the '80s. For the Christian life to work, corporate fellowship and worship must be involved. Wasn’t there an Orthodox saying that stipulated that " a man can be damned alone, but he can only be saved with others." It’s also easy to replace" Christianity" with any other religion, because as far as I know, the point monotheistic religion is to engage in a relationship with one’s Maker.

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