8/06/2003 | Share this article:Many "Christians" claim that "Christianity" is not a religion, but a relationship.
A Christian is taught to consider a 'religion' as something that has to do with any spiritual teacher other than Jesus Christ, and/or a set of spiritual beliefs which includes ritualism or tradition with which they are not familiar.
Here is what Dictionary.Com has to say about religion:
Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
Under the heading of "revealed religion" Dictionary.Com further expounds in part:
1. The outward act or form by which men indicate their recognition of the existence of a god or of gods having power over their destiny, to whom obedience, service, and honor are due; the feeling or expression of human love, fear, or awe of some superhuman and overruling power, whether by profession of belief, by observance of rites and ceremonies, or by the conduct of life; a system of faith and worship; a manifestation of piety; as, ethical religions; monotheistic religions; natural religion; revealed religion; the religion of the Jews; the religion of idol worshipers.To the modern Evangelical "Christian" a religion is anything, including what might claim to be "Christianity," that requires nothing more than participation to provide some sort of "spiritual benefit". These things can range from saying words, such as "The Lord's Prayer" to elaborate and arcane rituals practiced by highly trained priests in secret and richly appointed temples to appease some obscure demonic beast. Anything, particularly if it is not related to their particular flavor of "Christianity," can be a religion, even if it is another sect of "Christianity." This is frequently seen in Protestants who believe that Catholics aren't "Christians," or "born-again" believers who proclaim that the less fundamentalist minded Christians are not "real" Christians.
2. Specifically, conformity in faith and life to the precepts inculcated in the Bible, respecting the conduct of life and duty toward God and man; the Christian faith and practice.
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