Religion Vs. Religiosity


When it comes to words, the word “religion” is a very divisive one, especially when it comes to Christianity and much of its effort to communicate why “religion” is not necessarily a good thing. So when I was thinking about where the barrier is I figured out that Christians are somewhat at fault when it comes to spelling out what exactly their views on religion are.

There are many way’s that people misuse the word within Christianity. I will now give the classic example and then proceed to use it that way in the following paragraph. The best example is, religion won’t save you.

Within Christianity there are people, myself included, that have come to the conclusion that religion will do nothing to get you anywhere, it will not make God love you anymore than He already does, it will not get you a better seat in heaven, and will not up the odds of you getting into heaven. But in making that statement I have to find a better word to replace “religion”. Because if I talk to another Christian they automatically understand what I mean, whereas if I am not talking to a Christian it will go straight over their head.

Religion – people’s beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of a deity or deities, and divine involvement in the universe and human life.

After reading that I have to say that my religion is Christianity. I believe in God, the Trinity, and everything that goes along with the Religion of Christianity. And to a degree, to be completely straight forward, within Christianity there are some slight steps that you have take, however small they are, even if it is just believing, that is a step and you have to take it, so that qualifies it as a religion. Christianity has beliefs and opinions on all of the things listed in the above definition, so that too qualifies it as a religion. So now that we have established that Christianity is a religion, why has it caused so much division among Christians and generally people outside of Christianity?

That comes down to how we as Christians use the word. For the most part the word religion is only there to allow one to state, in a broad way, what particular faith one follows without going into great detail about a particular denomination. For example one might say there religion is Judaism, Islam, Hinduism or Christianity. That way they do not have to say I am an Orthodox Jew or a Baptist Christian. It is just a simple way to show where you stand.

I’ve heard many words that accurately replace “religion” in this debate, those being, words like works and acts. But those are still words that are to broad and often heard totally different from the Christian ear than they are in the secular or non-Christian ear. I’ve decided on Religiosity.

Religiosity – excessively or sentimentally religious: excessively, sentimentally, or affectedly pious.

To put it loosely, going through the motions of the ocean. Just kind of doing what you need to do and not paying attention to what you are really doing. Trying to attain something while not moving forward at all. Just blindly making your way through life and being there. If you were to take this person to an extreme they would be classified as your classic hypocrite. This is the person that thinks because they do a certain thing that it will matter to God. This is the person that is so pious that they are not looking out for their religion or the people around them,, they are looking out for themselves. And that’s what it comes down to, they are serving themselves and no one else. The no body but me mentality is the primary reason that religiosity is a problem. They want glory and do not want to give any of the glory to God. That might make someone a religionist.

Religionist- excessive religious enthusiasm: excessive or affected religious enthusiasm.

First off God loves you, second your works should be something that is a result of your faith not a means to obtain faith, and third there are many people that do great things and accomplish great things in this world, some in Gods name and others not, and frankly some of those people that work in Gods name are not any different inside than the people that don‘t. It matters not what you do it matters how and why you do what you do and who you do what you do for. And in all actuality religion is nothing but a way for you to identify where you belong. Don’t let religiosity get in the way of your faith.

All definitions provided by:
Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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