The question read, “Can we please, stop saying that Christianity is not a religion,” wrote one reddit user. The writer types, “I am a Christian. Why do so many people deny that Christianity is a religion?”
First, in all reality, anything can be called a “religion.” To many, sports is a religion. Yet, we know it is not. So why can I, as a theologian, claim that Christianity is not a religion?
Is it about semantics? No. I don’t believe so. You see, most of us simply equate the word religion with that of “institution.” On the one hand, Christianity is a belief; not an institution. The Catholic church is not a belief, it is an institution. Not only is the Catholic church an institution, it is a truly structured one.
One should also consider more closely, the term, religion. Any religion that claims to believe in and follows the teachings of Jesus, will fall under the term, “Christianity.”
I can even argue that the Catholic church is not Christian. Just as Buddhism is not Christ-centered, neither do I believe that the Catholic church is Christ-centered; to be more precise, they are not Christ-centered enough.
Religion cannot save me. Neither the Lutheran nor the Catholic church can save me. Only Christ Jesus can do that.
I am not a Christian because I was raised in the Lutheran Church. My wife is not a Christian because she is Catholic. We are Christians because we both believe in Jesus. Today, an ordained Christian minister, it is not my calling to gather people to Catholicism or Lutheranism, or any other religion. My calling, one could say, is to help people find Jesusism.