“It’s Not a Religion, It’s a Relationship”

I recently came across a posting with this thought on friendlyatheist.com. Back in my earlier days I had used this argument as well. I remember sitting on the balcony of a highrise apartment down in Miami watching the boats go by and trying to win a relative to christ.

He made a comment that he wasn’t very into religion, followed by my canned comment of, “Oh, but it’s not a religion, it’s a relationship.” More recently I’ve heard that comment coming from someone close to me as well. At the time I had wondered why that had sounded so familiar, and it’s because I had used the same faulty logic myself.

Avoiding the word religion, for me, had seemed to stem from the desire to separate my beliefs from that of the nonbeliever. I guess it was to show that somehow all those other religions had it wrong because they were about rules and limitations, where Christianity was about a relationship with an invisible zombie named Jesus. How lucid that thought had been.

And how ludicrous it is now. Really, does any religion like to be called a religion? To flatten the playing field and bring one’s beliefs on the same level as other systems certainly takes out some of the punch. Aren’t there pseudo relationships in most religions? Allah with Islam; the Buddha inside yourself; the Tom Cruises in your Scientology. Each brings a sense of belonging to its participants.

The relationship angle is really a bad selling point for the Christians. I can’t fathom why it still bears repeating. I’ve heard it explained that the reality exists in that relationship, and the feeling of being close to god is proof of his existence. Well, the human mind is a complex beast with the ability to come up with all sorts of feelings that are “real”. I’ve had plenty of deep intimate moments with the invisible sky wizard back in the day that I realize were more of a mob mentality in groups, or that get-up-and-go feeling you get when you’re convinced to do something to change your life around. I don’t know whether to call it delusional, that seems pretty harsh. I think of it more as a placebo.


~ by nogodsallowed on September 28, 2007.

5 Responses to ““It’s Not a Religion, It’s a Relationship””

  1. Jesus hates religion. If you read his words you would know that.

    Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

    “The relationship angle is really a bad selling point for the Christians.” That is correct and this will show you why.

    It’s called LAW not Religion and they all fail the law


  2. So I’m confused, formerthings, does your Jesus hate the law of the old testament? The one that he, being god, was said to have created and passed on to moses? The one with all the wacky restrictions about killing your insubordinate children or condemning the *sin* of mensruation?

    Yea, I have read both his words from the old testament and the new testament. I just wonder how you say he hates his own religion from before he was born? Sure, I would hate it too.

    Your argument is really one of semantics. From the outside, every religion looks like a religion full of weird rules and beliefs. Just look at kirk and ray on way of the master and tell me that’s not true. From the inside, no religion wants to be called a religion, because it is somehow special to them.

  3. […] had a brief discussion. On cue, he gave two of the answers we had been trained to give; the “It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship” argument, as well as the old standby of Pascal’s Wager. I tried explaining the utter […]

  4. I just want to know how did you loose your faith? The anger radiates from your words and am curious to what could have caused the pain in your life.

  5. […] —Anonymous post from a former Christian on No Gods Allowed […]

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