People like to proclaim they aren’t religious. Like these folks:
Person 1: I’m spiritual, but I’m not religious. This person might like the idea of being spiritual but they don’t want the trappings of religion, all those rules and having to subscribe to a set of beliefs. Unmitigated spirituality is what they crave. What that means is tough to define but they know they want it to be free of religion, whatever religion itself is.
Person 2: I’m not religious, I just try to be a good person. Good luck with that. Not the part about not being religious; that’s a subjective matter that just about everyone else will let you measure your own success on. When it comes to trying to be good, though, the whole world is ready and oh-so-willing to judge your success. There aren’t many people who’ll measure up to that judgment.
Person 3: Christianity’s not a religion, it’s a relationship. These folks usually mean that salvation is not found through religion, but through Jesus himself. I agree. But the Bible never says there is no religion for those who are in a right relationship with Christ. It says quite the opposite, in fact:
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. (James 1:27.)
Religion that is pure and faultless? Yes there is such a thing, and it is part of being a Christian. It actually sounds pretty good to me, too. In this religion we get to help people who need help (like widows and orphans, but I imagine those are merely exemplars for James’ purposes), and we get to stay away from the things that don’t help at all (things that get in the way of our relationship with our heavenly Father).
The great part about religion in Christ is that we don’t do it in order to earn God’s favor, but we get to do it now that God has already given us his favor because of what Jesus has done for us.
So let me ask you: how do you feel now about being religious?