Today, over breakfast, my eldest said something really interesting.
“Mum, I don’t like being called religious!”
At first I was like.. “wait… what??” I mean, we are a Christian family. We go to church, we pray, we believe in Jesus so what was she talking about??
She explained. I listened. We discussed. And 40 minutes later I’m here blogging. I’ve abandoned my scheduled writing for today to write down what we discussed and to share why I don’t like being called religious now either.
So my daughter’s number 1 reason was this: Being called religious means I could be practising as a Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Christian or any one of the 4000 odd religions in the world today that believe in a god. Any god.
The word religious lumps us all into one category! Christianity is so very different from any other religion and we don’t want to be lumped.
But of course, while we were talking, we came up with some more reasons why we don’t want to be called religious.
We looked up the word religious and it’s meaning is described as: of or relating to religion : believing in a god or a group of gods and following the rules of a religion.
We don’t believe that Christians simply follow a set of rules. We also do not follow the rules to gain something. Christians go to church, they pray, they tithe, they read the Bible because they want to.
Jesus came to save sinners. It is by His grace that we are saved. Not by our works. If we do not go to church, or pray, or evangelise it does not mean that His grace is withheld from us.
But .. as we grow in faith and love for our God, we want to do these things. We want to know Jesus more, we want to be ambassadors for Him here on this earth and we want to do things to please Him.
We felt that by being called religious it’s implied that we blindly follow the rules set before us to be part of a religion, however, as Christians we love our God and we want to live in relationship with Him. We want to please Him, and that means choosing to live by His rules.
When people call us religious, it’s like they set us apart from those who are not religious, like we are special. The truth is, we’re not any more special than anybody else to God. God loves all of His creation.
Being religious is all about the individual and what he has to do in order for God to love him. However, Christianity teaches that God loves all of us. Religious or not. God didn’t wait for us to get it all together and to first love Him… God came to us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8).
He seeks us! He pursues us. He longs for relationship with us. We only have to respond.
I love my daughters and I love connecting with them in conversation. Sharing life, opinions and experiences with them is something to be treasured, and spontaneous discussion is seriously the best.
So, thanks to my daughter’s insights, I want to be called a Christian. I want to be called a believer. I want to be called a child of God. Hey, call me a Jesus freak if you like. Just don’t call me religious because I want to be known specifically for my belief in Jesus Christ and His saving grace, not just for believing in a god and following a set of rules.