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Relationship versus Religion (All)

In this section I constantly see the claim that someone doesn't have a religion but a relationship with a particular God. To me that's nothing more than Orwellian/Spin Doctored speech. Religion is about the beliefs surrounding a God and to have a relationship, one must have beliefs. So what's the purpose in making the declaration of a relationship instead of religion?

I know there are different levels of religious commitment. Priest, preachers, teachers, grues are about the same. Laymen, outer court, novice, congregations is equivalent. Deacons, 2nd degree, Postulant are about equivalent. So is claiming to have a relationship equivalent to a level; indicating a deeper commitment or is it just declaring a solitary status?

If you have a relationship with a God and not religion, where do you get your information about that God? Is it all UPG (unverified personal gnosis) or are you following something, preacher, book?


Asked by isabellalecour at 11:00 AM on Jul. 25, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 26 (26,599 Credits)
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Answers (20)
  • Yeah, I'm sorry I came off so harsh there. I just can't stand it when certain people claim no religion, yet follow nearly ALL of the doctrines of said religion. I have the most experience with Christians doing this, but I'm sure many other people do it.

    Answer by caitxrawks at 12:18 PM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • A relationship with God IS a belief. What you are talking about are religious rituals invented by man and the Church. Following a certain doctrine that expects you to preform certain rituals may make you feel closer to God, but for some of us the "religion" part just feels phony and gets in the way. There are many ways to feel connected to God.

    Answer by FlyMom07 at 11:26 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • Yep, I agree with you completely. It's one of the reasons I reject all religions (or anti-theism, as I put it). I think people who say they don't follow any religion whatsoever, but have a "personal relationship" with a religion's particular deity, are just trying to make themselves look superior to the next religious fanatic. "Ooh, I'm above you because I have a PERSONAL tie to God So and So! *I* have no need for man-made religion! But I read the man-made Bible! Look at me and my arrogant personal relationship! I'm more special than you because I don't NEED religion and YOU do!"


    Answer by caitxrawks at 11:27 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • P.S. choosing not to preform rituals does not necessarily indicate a lack of commitment


    Answer by FlyMom07 at 11:27 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • I would have to argue caitxrawks, that having a "personal god" does not necessarily indicate a tie to a certain religious deity either.

    Answer by FlyMom07 at 11:30 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • A lot of people reject man-made religion and the doctrine/dogma it includes, choosing instead to focus on their personal relationship with God, and their personal beliefs/understanding, which are often different or contrary to the established religion's stance.

    There are a lot of people who don't agree with what their religion is seen as, or associated with, or perceived as.

    Many, many people are foregoing organized religion in the pursuit of personal spirituality.

    I wouldn't necessarily call such unorganized, personalized beliefs a religion, as its not been indoctrinated or established, if that makes sense.

    There is a difference between faith and religion, if you kwim.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 11:36 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • And I wouldn't say that someone who abandons organized religion and focuses on a relationship with God is trying to feel superior to those who follow a religion. Religion is a way that you can have a relationship with God, and if that is how you come to do so, that's fine. Its just that religion doesn't always work for everyone, which is fine, too.

    Its more the establishment that's being rejected, more that they're saying they don't wish to be shut into a box that interferes with their relationship with God instead of strengthening it. If religion doesn't hurt one's relationship with God, there's nothing wrong with that, and if one chooses to forgo organized religion to better their relationship with Him, there's nothing wrong with that, either.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 11:42 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • It is true that there are people who are so absorbed in the religious experience that their relationship with God is damaged from it, but that doesn't mean that those who choose to reject religion in order to work on their relationship feel that ALL people who haven't done so as well are guilty of such a thing. Its not our place determine that, and as long as someone is comfortable with their faith, that's all that matters.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 11:43 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • FlyMo...
    I would have to argue caitxrawks, that having a "personal god" does not necessarily indicate a tie to a certain religious deity either.

    I would like clarification on this. By my understanding that the Gods usually have a religion built up around them, even if it's a religion of one. So for me a personal God is nothing more than the Gods that one worships. IF I were to discuss my personal Gods, I'd be discussing how I view Apollo, Athena, Gaia and so on.

    Answer by isabellalecour at 12:07 PM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • In order to understand you need to define relationship and religion both are two entirely different things.
    When I hear the word religion I hear control, manipulation, bondage and lack of His power but when I hear relationship I hear grace, mercy, friend, and the power of His amazing love.

    Here is a link... Joyce Meyer is a well known preacher/teacher and here is what she has to say about this very topic. I think she explains it well.

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 12:39 PM on Jul. 25, 2009