What sets Christianity apart from all other religions? Is Christianity a religion? What is the truth about religion and Christianity? These are questions that very few people actually know the answer to. Let’s take a look and see what the truth is.
Definition of religion
Here are some typical definitions of religion as it is stated in dictionaries:
- a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
- archaic : scrupulous conformity : CONSCIENTIOUSNESS
- a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
Sometimes the word “faith” is used to denote a religion but the above tend to be a general understanding of what religion means to the 21st century person.
But, if we look a little deeper into the actual practice of religion, we find that it is more than just a definition. It is actually a lifestyle. It is a life conformity that governs every area of living for the individual.
There are more and more today who say that they are not religious but that they are secular humanists. They seem to think that this will separate them from the greater majority which claim to honor a greater deity of one form or another. The truth is that secularists are just as religious, if not more so, than those who claim to be religious.
Among those who claim to be religious, religion may be defined as a desire to seek and follow after a presumed deity who can shape their life and provide for their lively hood and existence and then take them to an eternal situation whether it is nirvana or some other form of heaven.
For all of these “religions” the main theme is human beings seeking to discover how to please and then conform to the rules and regulations by which they may please the deity that they worship. The secularist will say that he or she does not worship a deity. Oh, but they do! The deity that they worship is “self”. They have exalted themselves to the position of being “god” of their own lives. Even the Supreme Court of the United States has recognized atheism as a religion.
So, the focus and definition of human religion may be defined as, “human beings seeking for their god and then doing what they believe will cause them to be pleasing to that god.” Religion is human centered.
What sets Christianity apart?
You may ask, “What sets Christianity apart from other religions?” Well, first of all, Christianity is not human-centered as concerning the beginning focus. Christianity begins with the idea that human beings by nature do not want to seek after their Creator. At heart, all human beings want to be their own god as the secular humanists desire. In the book of Romans in the New Testament we read in chapter 3 that “there is none righteous, no not one.” In essence, we do not really seek after the real Creator. None in their natural mind really want to follow God.
So, how is Christianity different? Christianity is different in that mankind does not seek after their Creator, but mankind’s Creator is seeking after them. It is the exact opposite of human religion. Human religion tries to please a god of their own making. Christianity’s God seeks after mankind and provides a way of making human beings pleasing to Him.
Do you see the difference? Religion sets up man made rules that will supposedly make us pleasing to God and then sets about to try to climb the ladder to get to a point where God will accept us. This approach allows some to think of themselves more highly and to look down on others who have not achieved the same level as they. In the keeping of rules and attaining to higher status they believe that they are more and more pleasing to their Creator.
But Christianity is contrasted to this approach when we read in Galatians 3:15 where it says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.” The reference to “circumcision nor uncircumcision” is a direct reference to the keeping of the law, or the following of rules. It makes clear that by keeping rules and achieving great and higher levels of knowledge will never get you to a point of being pleasing to your Creator. Religion will tell you that you can. Christianity will tell you that “you” cannot.
But Christianity does not leave you hopeless. Christianity tells you that you do not have to measure up. Why? Because Someone has already measured up for you. Christianity takes all the pressure off of you. How can that be?
Your Creator is just.
If your Creator is a just judge, then someone has to pay the price that would get you back in good standing with Him. That is exactly what He has done. Because there was no human being who descended from the original human being that could measure up to the Creator’s standard, the God of all creation sent His only-begotten Son in the form of human flesh, Who was born of a virgin and lived a perfect life and never failed to please His Father in any respect. The Creator, Father, declared Him in perfect standing in every respect. His Son then turned and being infinite, yet human, took the sin of all humanity upon Himself and for that sin paid the price that every human being deserved, eternal separation from their Creator.
Having paid the price for sin by dying on a cross, He was buried and because He was sinless, the Creator raised Him from death, the final enemy, and caused Him to reign forever and ever, Amen!
The Good News
The good news is that you do not have to seek your Creator! He is actively seeking you. That is what Christianity is all about. It is not a religion. Christianity is a people who have experienced the joy of The Savior of mankind coming to live in them and through His righteousness they have fellowship with the Creator of all things. They have found peace with their Creator.
The joy that this brings is so great that they are not able to contain it within themselves. It overflows so much that it affects everyone who comes around them. Christianity is not a religion or a structure. It is a life that exudes the very life of Jesus, Himself, so that everyone who comes in contact with a “Christian” is aware that they are in the presence of the Creator of all the universe.
This Creator is so full of love for you that He has gone to infinite extremes to get this “Good News” out to you. God loves you and desires to spend eternity with you. Will you give up your pride and your striving and receive His free gift of salvation which He has already paid the price for. Let today be the day that you find what real Christianity is.
God bless you!