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Difference Between Religion and Christianity

Religion and Christianity have had people debating over their interconnection. Are these two really related. Is Christianity a religion? These issues are truly mind-boggling and emotionally draining since this subject has been one of the taboo topics in the world. In lieu with that, this article aims to lighten the confusion brought about by these two by defining and differentiating them.

What is Religion?

The term religion comes from the Latin word “religio” with the original meaning of having obligations to the gods. But by definition, religion is how humans try their very best to be in touch with the supreme and divine being. Most of the time, this effort exerted by humans involves the effort of humans to be pleasing and acceptable before God and also to signify the essence of life on earth.

Religion was first used in Christianity but through the passage of years, the word has slowly become known to demonstrate the connection of humans to the holy one. To mention a few of the most popular religions in the world are Judaism, Jainism, Hinduism, Islam, Roman Catholicism and more.

People who follow religion/s have been mostly referred to as religionists. These people have already shared their compilation of absolute knowledge and have passed this on to old and new believers. Their religious beliefs are categorized into two namely: organized religion in which their doctrines are ceremoniously documented; and folk religion in which cultural customs have been established.

Leaders of different religions known as religious professionals are present in the organized and folk forms. They are the ones who epitomize the orderly facets of religion. Their leadership also requires them to perform certain rituals and practices in order for them to fully govern the sect.

These beliefs in each religion bring about useful significance on how people should make the best of living. Religions also often consists of explanations on the questions about the existence of humans on earth; devotion to supreme and supernatural beings; rituals and other activities and objects considered sacred; moral conducts and dress codes especially for the leaders of the religion.

 

What is Christianity?

Christianity comes from its root word Christ. It is not the last name or surname of Jesus as many people would think. The origin of the word “Christ” is derived from the Greek term Christos which means “The Anointed One by the Holy Spirit.” Christos is the Greek counterpart of the Hebrew word Mashiach meaning Messiah or Son of God. Mary gave the earthly name Jesus as commanded by the angel Gabriel found in the New Testament book of Luke chapter 1 verse 31.

Paul’s letter to the Church of Corinth recorded in the First book of Corinthians chapter 15 verses 1 through 4 concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ basically summarizes what Christianity is all about. Christianity centers on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is the English translation of the Greek word euangelion or the “good news”. This Gospel is mentioned in the Scripture below.

In the ancient times, God’s people are commanded to offer the blood of the lamb as a willing sacrifice to cleanse them from the sins that they have committed against God. The lamb symbolizes meekness, innocence and purity; and that is what Jesus Christ portrayed in this world. He is a Holy God who became 100% human. He experienced all human emotions without even committing sin.

The Gospel states that Jesus Christ offered His blameless life to save His people (the Christians) from the bondage of sin. He was buried and was resurrected on the third day to fulfill what God has revealed through the Prophet Isaiah. Jesus bore with Him the sins of His people so that they may be righteous in the sight of God and that they may have everlasting life with Him in heaven when He returns.

The death and resurrection of Christ was part of God’s sovereign will for the salvation of His people that he chose to believe in Him before the foundations of the world as stated in the first chapter in the book of Ephesians. This gift of salvation that God has given by grace alone and through faith alone in Jesus Christ is the true spiritual blessing true Christians are talking about.

 

Difference between Religion and Christianity

Christianity is different from all other religions. Therefore, Christianity is not a religion. Their number of differences will be mentioned below. Kindly read thoroughly and take notes if you must.

Basis of Sanctification

Most religions are based on the works done by humans; which means a person following a religious belief is considered holy when he or she has complied the series of actions that must be done to attain holiness. Some religions command their devotees to be good in manners and speech; to be charitable to the needy; to visit the places they call sacred for pilgrimage; and even to perform some rituals.

On the other hand, Christianity, is based on someone’s faith in what Jesus Christ has done 2000 years ago. True Christians acknowledge that they are sinners saved by the grace of God; that nothing about their good works can please the Almighty God. However, because God has called His people (the Christians) from darkness through Jesus Christ, they have also become righteous and holy (see 1 Peter 2:9). Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and men.

Spiritual Leaders

Religious leaders are usually elected for leadership by men through the things that they have done. They learn from seminaries and years of experience and these are usually the bases of their promotion in the religion. Christian leaders, on one hand, are chosen by God himself. As mentioned in the Scriptures, the first spiritual leaders were anointed by God by way of revelation. In the modern times, every Christian can be a leader as long as he or she teaches truth of the Word of God which is the Bible.

Teachings

The groundwork of religious teachings are from the guidance and instructions of their founders. These teachings are passed on from generation to generation and often written in books. Christian teachings are based on the knowledge and wisdom of God revealed to His apostles who wrote those revelations down in Scriptures now called The Holy Bible. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 states that all Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
Destination of Mankind

For some religions, humans are destined to attain enlightenment and more often than not, some religions also believe that humans especially the “highly spiritual ones” can be considered as a god based on deeds. In Christianity, God’s people or the Christians per se, are destined to be with God in heaven when Jesus Christ returns to the world to bring the final judgment to the living and the dead.

The Savior

Religions usually consider their founders as their Savior. These founders are mere men who are now laying in their graves. When these founders were still alive, they taught their followers about rituals that could make them holy. On the other hand, the Savior of the Christians is Jesus Christ the Son of God who lived a human life teaching His disciples about God and performing miracles. No other religious founder can do what Jesus has done: offering His life to save His people from sins and to make them right with God. He died and rose again for the salvation of His people.

Table of Comparison: Religion Vs.Christianity

 


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References :


[0]“What is Christianity and what do Christians believe?”. GotQuestions.Org. 2018 January 25. Web.

[1]Religion vs. Christianity. ChurschOnTheCorner.us. The Church On The Corner. 2018 January 25. Web.

[2]Zimmerman, Kim Ann. “What Is Culture?” LiveScience.com. 2017 July 12. Web.

[3]Image credit: http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Religious-Christianity-Religion-Cross-God-1772560

[4]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Religion_in_SF.png#/media/File:Religion_in_SF.png

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