Is religion a bad word that Christians should not use? The word religion is not used much in the Bible. Here is one place I found it mentioned.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
I did a Kindle Fire word search of an NIV Bible translation to find the quote above in the book of James. I have heard it said that Christians do not have a Religion but they do have a relationship with Christ. This statement implies that religion is somehow bad. Many people associate religion with someone dogmatically trying to force them to follow a set of arbitrary rules. I have sympathy for this opinion.
I am not very good at listening to people and following their arbitrary religious rules. I don’t really agree with most people about any subject so why should religion be any different for me. I have left some Churches and been asked to leave from others because I am a little disagreeable. The Bibles statement about religion in the book of James seems the right way to go for me even if I have not put into perfect practice. I think that the reputation of the word religion would be greatly improved if Christians practiced more of the religion described in James along with having a relationship with Christ.
I have never found a perfect Church and I don’t believe any religion has a perfect interpretation of the Bible. People will always disappoint you and Church is made up of people so it is best to get your facts straight from the Bible. My religion and personal testimony is that I accept the following statements from the Bible for my life.
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.”
“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
“That if you confess† with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,† you will be saved.”
Someone asked me why I accept the words of the Bible as true. The four Gospels are often viciously attacked by atheists because they provide the clearest facts about Jesus. There are many reasons that could be given for accepting these books as historically accurate and any one of which would be sufficient for me. My recommendation is to just read and study them to see if Jesus makes sense to you.