I used to think that being a believer meant regular church attendance, remembering and reciting Bible verses, and obedience to the Law. I tried my best to do all of those things, and indeed I felt “religious”, I felt like I was part of “the club”, but inside I was still just as empty, just as hurting and just as dead as I was before… only now there was a layer of religiosity covering the vacuum on the inside of me like a bandage.
Since then, there has been a Christian slogan going around that has become rather popular: Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship. You may have heard that slogan before – it is catchy, and it is absolutely true; no question about it. But do we really understand it? I know that I didn’t when I first heard it. Sure, I acknowledged that Christianity was a relationship; it was a clever thing to say, but deep down nothing really changed – I was still completely dominated by traditions, still bound by rules and religion and letting those be a poor substitute for a genuine relationship with God… and I was still just as empty, just as hurt and just as dead as before.