—An Article To Show That Christianity Is In Fact A Religion—
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:26 – 27)
The great man Martin Luther the reformer said, “Let us beware of sophistry, which consisteth not only in a double tongue, in doubtful and screwed words, which may be construed any way, but also it blossometh, and flourisheth in all arts and vocations; it will likewise have room and place in religion; it hath usurped and got a fine painted colour, under the name of holy writ.”
In the time of Luther, sophistry may have arisen in this form or the other, but in our time, one of the ways it is arising is to put in doubt the undoubtable with this question, “is Christianity a religion?” Yes, of course Christianity is a religion, but in our time, questioning the obvious seems an intelligent thing to do.
As Luther said, sophistry, such as this, blossoms and flourishes because the average Christian has that good proclivity in delighting in anything that will make him different from people of other religion, so taking advantage of this, the sophists argue that Christianity is not a religion unlike Budhism, Islam, etc. So the doctrine spreads like wildfire unchecked. But the truth is that Christianity has been, remains, and will always be a religion (James 1:26-27), the only true and pure religion, and others being founded on falsehood are not a religion in the first place.
This doctrine is double tongued as it comprises of vain arguments about what is not adequately defined, so you could argue this way or that way and seem right in both cases. You can say yes and say no and no one can really understand what you mean.
When people say Christianity is not a religion, just a simple question would reveal how such people lack understanding of what they talk about. Simply ask; “if you say Christianity is not a religion, then what is it?” They’d mumble this and that and not give an answer. They’d say it is a lifestyle, and the ungodly habit of sagging the pants is also a lifestyle. What lifestyle? Then they’d say it’s a relationship, and every child in this world, the moment he is born is born into several relationships. What relationship? A relationship with Christ? And does that relationship not teach you how to live and how to render service to God. In that relationship do you not learn to deny all ungodliness? If they’d do good justice to the question in trying to define Christianity, they’d have defined what true religion is in is entirety. If in defining Christianity you define a religion, then why is Christianity not a religion.
– The Christian faith tells us the origin of our life. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1).
– The Christian faith tells us both elaborately and concisely what our purpose here on earth is. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
– The Christian faith tells us the mode of worship acceptable to God. “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23 – 24).
– The Christian faith teaches us how to live our lives, though it be ours. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15 – 16).
– The Christian faith teaches us what the fate of man is. Both that of the sinner and the that of the justified. To the sinner, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8). To the justified, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (Revelation 21:7).
– The Christian faith teaches us how to get to Heaven, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
These things constitute religion. Every religion has such claims. But the Christian faith is the only one whose claims are true, thus making it the only true religion, and by extension, the only religion.
Listen to these intelligent words of John Jewel (1522-1571), the one time Bishop of Salisbury, in his book, The Apology of the Church of England, “unity and concord doth best become religion: yet is not unity the sure and certain mark whereby to know the Church of God.” Look at that. The man wrote not against these sophists of our time, for this myth based argument was not in existence then, yet in his brilliance and understanding of what the Christian faith is, he refutes unknowingly these sophists of our own time. How much more would he have routed them in this vain doctrinal stance of theirs.
So brethren, this Christian faith that teaches me service to God in helping the poor, the fatherless, the less privileged of any category, that teaches me to pray for kings and those in authority, that teaches me to love my brother from my heart, that teaches me to deny ungodliness, this Christian faith is my religion. This is your religion too. For this reason, when I fill a form and see a provision for religion, I proudly tick Christianity.
So, listen to these words of Martin Luther again, “Let us beware of sophistry, which consisteth not only in a double tongue, in doubtful and screwed words, which may be construed any way, but also it blossometh, and flourisheth in all arts and vocations; it will likewise have room and place in religion; it hath usurped and got a fine painted colour, under the name of holy writ.” Is not all these true about the claim that Christianity is not a religion?
May God help his church and save her from all vain sophistries of all forms and fashion in Jesus’ name. Amen.