The Difference between Christianity and Religion
by Stephen May
Tim Keller writes, ‘In religion you obey God because God is useful. In Christianity, you obey God because God is beautiful’
When people discover you are Christian they often defend themselves by saying that they are not religious. The problem with this comment is that Christianity is not about being religious. To be religious means to adhere to a set of rules and practices, by which one can gain acceptance with the deity one is believing in. This leads to people seeing their God as ready to perform at their every whim provided they fulfill their religious duty.
Sometimes the practice of Christianity can fall into religiosity. We can become a works based, and rules based community. However at it’s heart Christianity is the human response to the God who has revealed himself to us through Jesus Christ. As we hear the story of how God deals with the human problem of sin and rebellion, we are confronted with the person of Jesus.
In the end we see the beauty of God in Christ. We see His awesome, sacrificial love. We see His mighty power as it is used for good. We see His ability to treat all people equally, thus raising the poor and and yet still loving the rich and powerful with tough love.
Such beauty, is then experienced as Christ moves in our lives, and changes and heals us. It is this beauty which leads us to respond to Christ with love for Him and for others.