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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Does a Person Have to Be Religious to Be a Christian?

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Don Stewart
One of the things that stops people from becoming a Christian is the notion that he or she will have to become religious. For most people this has negative connotations. However, Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with the living God.

Rituals And Rules

Religion consists of rituals and rules, do's and don'ts. However, Christianity, though it has rules to follows, is basically a relationship between humanity and the Creator. When one becomes a Christian He enters into a relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus said:

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent (John 17:3).

Bible Condemns This Behavior

The Bible condemns in the strongest of terms a religion without any substance. Jesus had the following to say concerning the religious leaders of His day:

The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do . . . Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of bones of the dead and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness (Matthew 23:2,3,27,28).

Scripture also informs us what true religion should be:

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world (James 1:27).


Christianity, therefore, is a relationship with a living person, not a dead religion. When a person becomes a Christian they enter into a personal relationship with Christ.

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The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.