Being “Religious” is Also Kind of Like Keeping God at a Distance
Let's go back to 1692. You are living in a little town in Salem, Oregon. In this time, the main religion was a religion called Puritanism. Puritanism was a religion that was largely present from around 1533-1630. The initial goal was to remove any links to catholicism within the church of England after the separation from the catholic church. Many of the puritans had come over from England in search of something different from the Church in England. They had never wanted to completely destroy the church of England, they just wanted to separate from it. They also wanted broader lifestyle changes to fit with their very strong moral beliefs. They believed that the church should not have any rituals/ceremonies that are not found in the Bible. They believed that the government should enforce morals and punish behavior like that of drunkenness and swearing, but they also believed in religious freedom and generally respected different belief systems. While puritanism is no longer a current religion, it is very different from Christianity. Using Puritanism as the main point of comparison, we can tell that there is a very big difference between having a relationship with God and being a religious person, and here are some of those ways.
Having a relationship with God is way different from being religious. Religions are man made, and they depend on attempting to get to God through standards and guidelines and acts of kindness. When you are religious, you have a specific set of rules that you have to follow. You know what you have to do. In Puritanism, there were many do’s and don'ts. If you break those rules, you are in trouble. They believed that sins should be punished by the government in a variety of ways. Some examples of rules in puritanism would be no gambling, no celebrating, no bright/fancy clothing, and many more. Some punishments for these rules could be fines, public humiliation, etc. It is almost like you're working towards a certain goal in which you have to achieve in order to make it into heaven. You may think of it as “follow these rules to get enough points and you are a good enough person to make it into heaven.”
Having a relationship with God is a lot different from that. God’s plan for man’s salvation and for having a restored personal relationship with Him is told throughout the Bible. In the Old Testament and the New Testament alike. God’s plan is not based on people’s efforts and good works. His plan is based on His amazing Love and amazing Grace for us. God’s plan involved His precious Son Jesus paying the price and cost for our sins on the cross. That is the difference between being religious and having a relationship with God, with one you are working to get to God through good works but with a relationship you are working to have a personal relationship with him.
Religion is about ceremonies and man's thought on the best way to accomplish a specific "otherworldliness". Sacred writings have disclosed to us that God is an individual who thinks and feels. He needs to have a profound association with us all. He is not very keen on setting up actual religion for man. Or it could be that God needs to have a profound close connection with every individual that He made in His own picture. At the point when Jesus was here on Earth, He essentially said that numerous strict individuals will not be His ally on the last day of atonement. He has advised us to be careful with strictness.
Being “religious” is also kind of like keeping God at a distance. There are numerous religious individuals who don't have a relationship with God, and they are coming up short. They keep God perfectly concealed in a cabinet, possibly contemplating Him when it's "congregation time". Limiting God to just a single aspect of our lives isn't right and will bring a great deal of anguish. Investing energy in supplication and really hanging tight for God's affirmation would keep loads of slip-ups from being made and many wrong abandons being taken. Life is troublesome regardless of whether you associate yourself with God, yet without Him the outcomes can be alarming.
You also allow God to direct you when you have a relationship with him. Having a genuine relationship with the Lord implies that you are welcoming Him into all aspects of your heart and life. We can't overlook the Creator when we get things done. We can allow Him to impact everything: our organizations, our homes, our families, and our connections. He can change each part of our being and help us when defining objectives. He can make our lives complete.
When you are just being religious, you are on your own. You do not have anyone with you guiding you along the way. You may have your pastors, but God is not necessarily with you.
God has the appropriate response to everything. No one, but He can give us the valid and enduring harmony that we need to live fully. As seen in the crucible, you can see that the puritans were not really being guided. They were acting on what they believed, they did not have any guidance on whether or not those women were actually witches, they just sort of guessed based on what they had concluded were “signs” of being at work with the devil.
We can also take into account the fact that many people can say that they have a religion with God, when in reality they are just religious, or at least claim they are. Some examples could be what is currently going on with our government. While our current leaders can claim that they are being led and guided by God, the situations and violence that we are seeing do not seem very Godly.
Now that we know the difference between being in a relationship with God and being religious, we can compare it to the puritans back then and Christianity now. Puritans are people who are very religious. As stated earlier, they have many rules for them to follow. They are working towards God through their good works. They believe in a judgmental God. He punishes bad behavior and rewards the good behavior. They believe in predestination and election. Salvation and damnation are always predetermined by God. They also believe in original sin. Humans are innately sinful and tainted by the sins of Adam & Eve. Good can be accomplished only through hard work & self-discipline They also believe in providence and God’s grace.
Christians people who are more focused on the relationship we have with God. Christians are a lot more personal with God, and we focus on the fact that even if we sin, we can repent and be forgiven. No, that does not mean that we should go around doing whatever we want, but it does mean that if we do sin we will be forgiven as long as we truly repent to God. Religion without relationship is just following a set of rules with basically no gain. Everyone should have a personal and everlasting relationship with God, but some religions- mainly old ones- tend to leave the whole relationship part out.
In the Crucible, we see the differences between religion and relationship. One rule is you go to church every sunday. In puritanism, if you skipped church you would be in trouble. You could be put into the stocks for public humiliation. In the Crucible, we see that John Proctor was not attending church. while he was not put in the stocks, he was frowned upon by the Reverand. In christianity, people sometimes focus more on having a good and healthy relationship and understanding of God. You do not work on the Sabbath day. While in Christianity we try to take the seventh day of the week of-saturdays- you will not get in trouble for that. You respect the minister's word like it is God’s. While we should respect their words, God’s word is the only true one we live by.
While religions and Relationships have many differences, it can be hard to tell the difference. You may think you are being relational with God when in reality you are just following the “rules” he has stated in the bible. It can be very easy to get caught up in how you appear on the outside. In the crucible, many people most likely went to church and practiced religion so they would not become an outcast.
Taking everything into account, there are numerous contrasts between having a relationship with God and being strict. In rundown, Puritanism was only a branch from the CHurch of England. They took the principles from the book of scriptures and the rules they had set truly. They were strict, they didn't have a relationship with God. At the point when you have a relationship, you are close to home and near God. With one, you are attempting to get to God through acts of kindness however with a relationship, you are attempting to have an individual relationship with him. Religions are man-made, and they rely upon endeavoring to get to God through norms and rules and thoughtful gestures. Religion is about functions and man's contemplations on the most ideal approach to achieve a particular "powerful nature". Hallowed compositions have uncovered to us that God is a person who thinks and feels. He needs to have a significant relationship with all of us. God's arrangement did not depend on individuals' endeavors and benevolent acts. His arrangement depends on His astonishing Love and stunning Grace for us. God's arrangement included His valuable Son Jesus following through on the cost a lot for our wrongdoings on the cross. At the point when you are simply being strict, you are all alone. You don't have anybody with you controlling you en route. Numerous individuals can say that they have a religion with God, when truly they are simply strict, or if nothing else guarantees they are. While religions and Relationships have numerous distinctions, it tends to be difficult to differentiate. You may think you are being social with God when in actuality you are simply following the "rules" he has expressed in the holy book.