Can You Connect to God Without Religion?

Written by Karen Schenk

soulcravingsfindreligionIs there a difference between God and Religion? There is definitely a difference between God and religion.  God is someone I have a relationship with.  My view on God can be altered by many factors in my life.  It can be affected by my relationship with my own father or even by my culture and the people I spend time with.

I see religion is a set of beliefs that have guidelines for behavior associated with them.    There are many religions with many differing beliefs and rules.   I don’t  think God needs religion.  He wants to have a relationship with me.   It is so easy for me to get confused and think that my relationship with him has rules of engagement.    I love knowing that God cares about me and that my relationship with him does not need a lot of order and structure.  I want to participate in religion or church to celebrate his holiness, but it’s not a condition of knowing God.  Do you believe you can you connect to God without religion?

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556 Responses to “Can You Connect to God Without Religion?”

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hold it Jack, the Bible is clear that Adam was the culpable one for original sin. Yes Eve was the one whom Satan addressed himself and who first ate of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, but as we read the story, Adam was right there and abandoned his role of leader and protector. The text says, ” The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.” (Genesis 3:6) The Old Testament condemns Adam for the sin, “But like Adam, you broke my covenant and betrayed my trust.” (Hosea 6:7) The New Testament writers as well point to Adam as he one who sinned, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.” (Romans 5:12) Never once will you read that Eve is the perpetrator of original sin.

    You are twisting the words of God Jack; saying that God ‘prefers’ to murder His creation is a gross misrepresentation of Him. Yes, He does deal out justice to those who oppress and murder others. He stands against those like the Canaanites who were sacrificing their children to Molech and following all sorts of evil painted as ‘religious’. But that is not His ‘preference’. The Bible clearly states that God relented from punishing them for 400 years, giving them opportunity to repent from their wickedness. He sent Abraham and his family to be an example and testimony of a loving, just God. We know that there was a godly priest/king in the area named Melchizedek who would have been telling people to repent of their ways. And that is just the pieces that we have recorded in scripture; who knows what other ways that God tried to stop the wickedness of these people. That is a lot of grace shown to a people, and reflects God’s preference for them to repent.

    The problem with you and I sitting in judgement over the acts of God is that we are so limited in what we can know. There is so much more going on that we are completely unaware of.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Absolutely, followers of Jesus are actually doing just that: following Jesus’ example. But it is not out of fear but out of love and gratitude.

    Thanks for sharing your understanding of the nature of God. So would you say that God has personality (i.e. He has a will, emotions, can have relationships with others, etc) or is God an impersonal force that just is and does but not with any thought or intent?

  • Canadian Jack says:

    Jamie:

    Satan was a snake in genesis. He induced Eve to eat of the apple of knowledge. For this crime Adam and Eve were driven from Eden and eternal life on this earth. A story like that would certainly instruct men to put limits on women’s freedom. Were it not for Eve all of us would live eternally. James whose to say that it was not God but Satan who inspired the men to write this negative view of women. If you read the story of Exodus, you read of the elimination of the Canaanites. GOD prefers to murder his creation than teach them to improve their behaviour. Again why would you not reach the conclusion that this too is Satanic. A GOD of LOVE does not inspire men to write hateful messages. A GOD of LOVE prefers that his children prefer an ephemeral existence of knowledge rather an eternal life of ignorance.

  • seon says:

    Hey Jamie,
    But Christians should still try to follow the teachings of Jesus. I know some of them are hard to follow (like when he said he was here to turn father against son, his old fashion teachings on divorce, to hate our parents) but I don’t see the Christian faith as just having faith in Jesus. If every Christian followed his actual teachings (apart from the bits I have a problem with) the world would be a better place.

    I see your reasoning. Your world view teaches Hitler still wasn’t saved (some say he was catholic, some claim he was an atheist but that is another debate) so that means in the end he made the ultimate sin against God in your eyes. But remember, while Hitler’s crimes were bad humanity as a collective allowed him to carry out the Holocaust. And we still allow these monsters to carry out these crimes to this day. We never learn.
    That doesn’t seem like heaven to me, having to agonize over your loved ones. Plus I wouldn’t worship the being who sent them to the torture chamber.

    I would define what we call God along the lines of the Deistic view which is an powerful being, a source where our souls came from but not one worthy of worship. Here’s why: God is all powerful, right? And supposedly all good? So why would an all good being create the possibility of evil? I know you would probably argue Adam and Eve brought evil into this world but he still created the possibility that by biting into that apple Adam and eve would bring evil into this world. So why would an all good being even bring in that possibility? Why not take evil out of the equation all together before designing the universe? The God I believe in isn’t good or evil, just a Source. I believe a balance between good and evil, male and female etc are essential. Plus if God is all powerful it’s like Superman ignoring the suffering of the people of Earth when he could save them. He is either willing to allow evil which makes him evil or unable to prevent evil which makes him not all powerful. So why worship a being like that?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    I don’t have any fear of Hell because I have every confidence that Jesus’ death paid my penalty. I also know that my faith comes from Jesus in me. Jesus said, “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:39-40) So my life is not governed by fear. I wouldn’t say that about everyone who calls themselves a Christian though. There are those who have misunderstood what it means to be a follower of Jesus; they are under the deception that it is about how well they can follow the rules. Paul wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Galatians 5:1) That means we are free from having to try to earn our place with God and can live under His direction rather than trying to follow a moral code. Those people would live under a fear of Hell or losing their faith. The remedy for that is trust in Jesus’ complete victory over the hold sin has on me and live in the freedom of following Him.

    For Hitler’s sin against humanity you are right, he does not deserve to endure the suffering of Hell for all eternity. That is because those whom he offended are of limited value, just like all of humanity. But for his sin against God he does deserve to suffer separation from God for all eternity because God is of infinite value. Same with me, my sin against God deserves an eternal punishment. Fortunately, Jesus died for my sin, for your sin and for Hitler’s sin, and because He is God, His death is infinitely effective to cover the sins of the whole world. We all have the opportunity to trust in that payment for ourselves.

    Yes, I am sure that I will grieve, but as I explained in my last comment, that will be perfectly balanced with my awareness that it is the just result of their choice to rebel against the eternally valuable God. I don’t know how that will work but I trust knowing a perfect God will make it all clear. If imagine many families are faced with the tension of loving their criminal family member and grieving their incarceration but also realizing that justice needs to be served for the wrongs they have done. In Heaven that balance will be much easier to achieve because I will have the benefit of perfect intimacy with God and a perfect expression of emotions.

    Defining God is a daunting task because He is unlimited so I could go on forever talking about who He is. But to be brief let me say, I believe in God as eternal Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; God created and sustains the universe; God in His perfection is alone worthy of worship.

    How would you define God?

  • seon says:

    Jamie,
    But you still fear hell if your faith in Jesus wavers, right?

    How is that justice? I mean they have suffered for their crime in this life but still get punished for all eternity in the afterlife, it just doesn’t seem fair. Even Hitler doesn’t deserve to be in hell for all eternity. Maybe 100 years for each victim but even that isn’t all eternity.

    Come to think of it if you like justice how is blaming someone’s son for the sins of their father justice?

    So you will grieve for your loved one’s burning for all eternity. Good. Won’t it bother you that they are not with you and you know they are suffering?

    You raised an interesting point about God. How would you define God? I just assumed you would give the standard Biblical definition.

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