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?

If you have questions, we’d love to hear from you. Use this form to  be matched with one of our mentors. Mentors are trained volunteers with real life experience.  They can answer questions, point you to other resources or just listen when you have something to say.

Your mentor will email you using our secure system, The Mentor Center (TMC).  TMC ensures your privacy by protecting your information.  If you want to keep talking, just hit reply.  The conversation is free, confidential and non-judgmental.   You can keep talking to your mentor as long as you like and there is never a fee.   If you’re curious, start a conversation.  We’re ready when you are.

See the complete list of questions
Comments are also welcome!

EmailPrint

Email Print

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

  • Tom Tom says:

    Halo630—
    It sounds like you have an unusual situation, but you ask some good and important questions.
    To start, no, you are not a sinner because of your curiosity. If we start with the idea that God is infinite, then we quickly realize that we’ll never know everything there is to know about him and therefore will always be curious and have questions. Questions are good things. By asking questions, we come to understand by having our questions answered, we grow in our faith.

    Am I understanding you correctly that your family professes to be Christian? Do you consider yourself to be a Christian? If so, what do you know about what it means to be a Christian? Is it that you cannot discuss your questions with your family, or is it that they are not Christians?

  • halo630 says:

    It’s so hard for me to really know what I believe. . .obviously there’s no one I know that can turn night into day so there must be a higher power of some sort. Unfortunately I can’t express my feeling inside my home because if it’s not their way I’m wrong.I just have a lot of questions and as a Christian what I’ve been raised to believe is I’m not to question God’s work.. So am I a sinner for my curiosity? Or thinking there is an afterlife…religion has restrictions and limitations.I pray to someone that I wake up the next morning but who or what? I hate being confused because I still believe in blessings but do I lose them from a lack of faith?

  • Tom Tom says:

    Hi Alec—
    You wrote that you “feel the need to connect with god.” Where do you think that feeling comes from?

    I think you’re not far from the truth when you say you think all religions were invented because of a need. However, would you agree that due to the law of contradiction, and due to the fact that nearly all of man’s religions contradict each other, either they are all wrong or only one can be right?

    Keep in mind that if there is a God, then there naturally would be some sort of religion that goes along with him, because the religion part would be how we interact with him, what he expects of us, etc.

  • Alec says:

    I don’t have a religion. I think all the belief systems were invented by different races and tribes because they felt insecure and needed to turn to a supernatural being. I still feel the need to connect with god but I have no faith in any religion.The truth is Iam not convinced god exists.

  • Elkay says:

    Norma, a lot of what you say is unfortunately true about routines and regulation but those are not good reasons for not “participating in church”. The very same Jesus who suffered pain, sin, abandonment and judgment on the Cross so that your sins might be forgiven is the very same Jesus who heads up, who leads, who is present in His Church, is the Savior of His Church. See Eph 5:23. You have been blessed with skills and talent and when you do not engage and do your part in building up the Church, you are preventing the Church from growing up in all things into Him, who is the head, Christ”. See Eph 4:15-16. This is why Heb 10:25 commands us to “assemble together” in order to increase in love and good works, edifying one another. Finally, the Church is referred to as “His wife” and it is His Church that Christ is coming for a second time to be joined with forever and you definitely want to be part of Her. See Rev 19:7-8. Your feelings are certainly important but your obedience is more important so please engage in grace.

  • Tom Tom says:

    Norma–
    Thanks for you comments, and I’m glad to hear that you desire to worship the Lord from your heart.

    Your post indicates that your feelings seem to play an important part in your worship and how close you are to God. But may I caution you that we are to live by faith and not by sight, feelings, or emotional trappings.

    While enjoying God’s creation and praising him for it is important, actively participating in the Body of Christ is not only important, it is commanded. Paul wrote in Hebrews 10:24-25, “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

    Over and over again in scripture we’re told to encourage and exhort one another and bear one another’s burdens. It is not possible to do that effectively without regularly attending and participating in a local church. Here’s an article that discusses our responsibility to a local body of believers: https://www.gci.org/church/ministry/1another

    I hope you will take this to heart Norma. You have been given at least one spiritual gift that is to be used to edify other Christians. A failure to use that gift will be in direct disobedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Again, thanks for your comments.

  • Norma says:

    I see nature and feel the presence of God, I think of Jesus on the cross forgiving me of all my sins. So yes, I considered myself a christian but do not participate in church, I do not want to feel obligated, I want to be willing to attend. That is when I feel HIM even more. I do not like the routines, I feel that is like any organization with regulations and way to do things, all have to be on time. It depresses me. I rather be climbing a mountain or a walk on the beach and feel His Power, while I listen to christian music. I am not going deny that there is powerful anointing of the Spirit of God when there is worship and singing, that is my favorite moment, so I go when I need to sing with others.

  • Tom Tom says:

    Alma–
    It seems from your statements that you are seeking the truth and that you have some belief in Jesus Christ. Those things are good, but may I give you a word of caution:

    The truth is not about religion but in a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Yes, religions tend to separate humanity; but Jesus Christ came to bring all peoples together as God intended us to be. Those who not only believe in Jesus but place all their trust in him for righteousness before a Holy God will one day stand in complete unity before God and live with him forever. Those who do not will not only wander in the darkness of this world but will be shut off from God forever at their death.

    The problem with simply visiting various churches and religious meetings is that these things cause confusion. And while there are a variety of modern English translations of the Bible, they do not contradict each other (unless a heretical translation such the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation is read.)

    You asked if it was normal to believe what your heart tells you to believe. Well, it’s normal for a person to trust what their heart tells them, but the Word of God tells us that, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) If we have not been born again spiritually by the Spirit of God (see John 3:3ff) then we can’t trust our hearts/feelings. Even when we’ve come to saving faith in Christ, we still need the Bible and to be under the teaching of a Spirit-filled man of God (I.e., the pastor of a church.) We need that accountability so that we don’t just wander off in a direction of our own choosing.

    So I encourage you to make sure of your relationship with Jesus Christ; then find a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church and become a part of that fellowship for accountability, discipleship, and spiritual growth.

  • Alma says:

    I also like to learn from different religions. I notice they all perty much say the same verses and so on, but expressed differently; also written differently. I grew having no religion but will always read from the books. Indeed i believe there is God and Jesus. They play a big role in all religions. Yet religion seem to seperate us humans. That i know of Jesus preached everywhere he went, anytime, and never mentioned a religion or stayed only at one place at all times. But yet religions tell me im doing wrong in going to different churches and reading different bibbles. I do go to different churches not only to learn more about God and Jesus but to understand why churches exist or preach the way they do. I also never seem to fit in or feel confortable. I beleive what my heart tells me to beleive. Is this normal.

  • Ghel Gabriel says:

    I love God. I love knowing and serving God using his given talents to me. Only I am not claiming any religion ever since I graduated high school.I was baptized as a Roman Catholic but never felt I should be. I love reading the bible as it is friendly to read. I am having freedom whenever I am with my own personal relationship with God. I am attending church and listening to the priest sermons, I am attending Christian gathering and listen to the pastor’s sermon. All I thought these are not merely sermons for me it is a good share to everyone and I feel good listening to those because it is so positive to bring along with on my journey. I respect all religions but never think that my faith will be more strengthen by means of that. I pray everyday and keeping a diary about him.

    God forgives our sins to realize his love, that we can change it for good and get a better life without committing it again.

    He only taught to spread LOVE, do good deeds to others and knowing and doing what is right. The world is just so good to live in if his simple teachings can only be attained by each and everyone of us.

    Thank you and God bless.

  • Elkay says:

    Taboo, your acknowledgment that all human beings are sinners is a fundamental issue that must be addressed in “reaching” for God. As our sins are against an infinite, holy God who cannot even look upon sin, atonement must be made in order for us to have fellowship with God. Because sin touches even our best acts, we are incapable of making a sufficient sacrifice. We have no gift valuable enough, no work righteous enough to atone for our own sins.

    Christianity is based on the fact that by receiving the wrath of the Father on the cross, Christ was able to make atonement for His people. Christ carried, or bore, the punishment for the sins due sinful human beings. He atoned for them by accepting the just punishment due for those sins. Jesus thus satisfied the demands of God’s holy justice and when He received God’s wrath for us, His sacrifice, and this alone, made it possible for us to be in a right relationship with holy God.

  • Taboo says:

    Religion dosent make you good person or family. Its a judgement that people make. A homeless non religous person can be the best person you know. (If people could get past the judgement to know them)
    Good people are good people you find good and bad in all people or all races and religion.

  • Taboo says:

    No one can question the fact that someone created all there is. Everything must be created without a creator nothing would be. But one thing is for certain all religion speak on the same thing doing right by others and so forth. So if you pray to the creator of life and live by what you know is right and wrong isn’t that reaching “GOD” creator of all life.
    The creator of life made it to where we all can talk to him remember your inner voice that speaks to you just cause you don’t have a religion don’t mean you can’t reach “GOD” the creator of all life.

  • Tom Tom says:

    Jerry–
    What do you mean that you do “not believe in one faith”? Do you mean you think there are more than one ways to be forgiven by God, or do you mean you do not have faith in any one thing?

  • Sharon says:

    to Jerry– have you ever committed your life to God and attended a good church, if you haven’t gave your life to God say this I repent of my sins and I turn now to you God and I commit my life to you God now come into my life. I know you were born as a Lutheran but doing that is good but there is a personal relationship we have to have I was born into a Christian family but I needed to have my own personal relationship with God even if we don’t feel God near HE is near all the time I am praying for you– sharon

  • Jerry Ramsey says:

    I was baptized as a baby as a Lutheran, I attended catechism for a few years as a teenager. I felt like I was blessed. Even when I returned from Viet Nam alive. I could feel God in my heart, but it has been along time since I have felt that. I do not believe in one faith, I believe in God, that has never changed. I believe that a person can believe and have faith as long as there is nothing but love for another person. Islam does not seem to be that way; there are conditions. What happen to me, to have lost that faith?

  • Chris says:

    irish…thank you for your post….its true that jesus never intended that his followers would contend with people but simply share the truth in his love for everyone. as he mentioned, we are not responsable for any results but simply staying with the gospel as jesus has given it to us which is, in a nutshell, john 3.16….for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that whoever would believe in him would never perish but have everlasting life. you see, only jesus is the perfect sacrifice for the sins of humanity and without him and his precious blood, there can be no forgiveness for us. this is not about religion but rather about the one true God sending his one true son, to bring us the one true salvation. i pray you would open your heart to that truth today!

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi George, you ask a good question: “Let the name of God be “GOD” and believe in that ultimate super power and don’t harm or hurt others and always do good.By doing this,can’t we reach the god?” So how have you done with that in your life? Have you been able to live without doing harm to others and always doing good? When I am honest with myself I have to admit that even though I have good intentions I still hurt others by acting selfishly, and I am unable to always do good. If I include my thoughts there is even a darker reality to me than most people see.

    How do we deal with that darkness in our hearts, thoughts and actions? Do you know of anyone who has been able to exorcise that completely from their life? So if our reaching God is dependent on that standard that you have set–“believe in that ultimate super power and don’t harm or hurt others and always do good”–yet none of us has been able to attain that, how is it possible to reach God?

  • George says:

    Hi!I am George,from India.My doubt is,Can’t we reach god without religion?.Let me explain,we know the history in Bible,Islam,etc where we can find some set of beliefs to reach the god.For example,in Bible we should believe Jesus is our saviour,god,etc.My question is why we should believe?.Clearly speaking,why naming the god like Jehova or Jesus or Allah.Let the name of God be “GOD” and believe in that ultimate super power and don’t harm or hurt others and always do good.By doing this,can’t we reach the god?

  • Irish says:

    Hi, I grew up as a Roman Catholic, my parents are bothh a believer of Catholic faith but doesn’t really goes to church. Sometimes, family and friends invites us to attend to their church (Christian). Now, I live in a multicultural city and have a lot of acquaintences from different cultures/beliefs (Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, etc.)
    I have a 6 yr old son and he is baptised as a Catholic. and attends a Catholic School.
    Anyway, I just want to share my point of view about religion. Lately, because of using facebook too much. I ran into a lot of accounts that claims they are the real religion. For example, there is man who claims he is a Christians, but almost all his post is about Catholics wrong-doings. ANother man who is Catholic has an account and claims that he is a defendant of the Catholic Church, and most of his post are about why should we have to hate Muslims, and other religions. ETC. I actually commented on some of their post and questioned them, why do they need to speak against other religion. Why don’t they just preach what they believe in. ANd my point is, the continous war that is happening nowadays is nor really new at all, these wars have actually started from the early days, fighting about who is tight or who is wrong about what they believe. And I believe that religion is what makes people hate each other. As long as there’s religion, we can not really achieve the PEACE on earth. As I mentioned earlier that I commented on thowse people and tried to express what I think that why dont they just accept everyone’s faith/beliefs without judging them. I am not saying them to stop to preach, but I mean, preach what you think is right but you have to respect other people.
    Do you get what I mean? Oh! I’m just tired of these people…

  • Elkay says:

    Hank, no offense taken and you are blessed to have an interest in God and want to have part in Christianity . . . so if you sincerely feel this way, you will make the effort to know the one and only true God as He has revealed Himself in Scripture. Otherwise you are in danger of worshiping something other than the Creator, Sustainer and Savior of this world in His Triune form. Jesus cautioned us that “The time is coming when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way.” (John 4:23) In other words, God is seeking people who worship Him as He truly is and for who He truly is because He rejects all other forms of worship . . . and the only way to ensure you are truly worshiping Him is to truly know the God of the Bible as He has chosen to reveal Himself therein. It is a beautiful journey to take and loaded with rewards that will carry you through life’s ups and downs!

    If you have never come into a relationship with God the Father by accepting and trusting His Son Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord as revealed in Scripture, you can turn your life over to Him and trust Him to teach you about true and spiritual worship. We have trusted mentors who are freely available to help you along this path and they can be reached by clicking on the “Talk to a Mentor” button near the top right of this page.

    Hank, may God bless you today with exactly what you need today and thank you for visiting this site.

  • Hank Hill says:

    I don’t mean to offend anyone but alot of us are taught at a early age that a certain faith or religion has the answers to happiness but what i have learned that people lie all the time for example that fat red clothed jolly guy we call santa claus what a fraud back to my point i think we are all blessed to be apart of a little thing called life athough some of us are more fortunate than others in this world.Sorry i was trying to keep this short but what i think us as human beings need to realize is that God already gave us life and a mind and instead of trying to figure out what he’s thinking let’s all enjoy his gift of life and when God is good and ready God himself or herself will tell us the truth.I don’t know or understand to much of the bible and I consider myself a Christian so I guess I just want to be apart of this whole faith/religion deal and another thing a lot of people preach but don’t even practice their beliefs what’s that all about here’s my punchline God created us for a reason we should be greatful God is everything and everywhere so breathe his beautiful air and drink his precious water if we haven’t polluted it yet.Hug your loved ones or pets or whatever and be grateful God loves us all good bad fat skinny Jew,Christian,Muslim and so on.

  • Hank Hill says:

    I don’t mean to offend anyone but we are all taught at a early age that a certain faith or religion has the answers to happiness but what i have learned that people lie all the time for example that fat red clothed jolly guy we call santa claus what a fraud back to my point i think we are all blessed to be apart of a little thing called life athough some of us are more fortunate than others in this world.Sorry i was trying to keep this short but what i think us as human beings need to realize is that God already gave us life and a mind and instead of trying to figure out what he’s thinking let’s all enjoy his gift of life and when God is good and ready God himself or herself will tell us the truth.I don’t know or understand to much of the bible and I consider myself a Christian so I guess I just want to be apart of this whole faith/religion deal and another thing a lot of people preach but don’t even practice their beliefs what’s that all about here’s my punchline God created us for a reason we should be greatful God is everything and everywhere so breathe his beautiful air and drink his precious water if we haven’t polluted it yet.Hug your loved ones or pets or whatever and be grateful God loves us all good bad fat skinny Jew,Christian,Muslim and so on.

  • Elkay says:

    Robert, it may be in your best interests that you “follow no religion” because as the article says, “religion is a set of beliefs that have guidelines for behavior associated with them.” A set of beliefs cannot help me with my biggest problems and those are the sins I commit and how they separate me from the Holy God who created and sustains this universe.

    Obviously I cannot “un-do” my sins and only Holy God can forgive me. That is why Eph 2:4f tells us that “When we were dead in our sins, God made us alive together with Christ that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.)”

    When Jesus came into the world, He also incredibly established a New Covenant “Abba” relationship between God the Father and us and it is this relationship that defines Christianity as being not just another set of “religious beliefs”.

    From the Father’s side, “Abba” implies many things:
    • His mercy, compassion and love for me;
    • His personal interest in me and consistent concern for my good;
    • His willingness to provide for my needs and to protect me; and,
    • His use of His perfect knowledge, judgment and wisdom in guiding and caring for me.

    On my side, my calling God “Abba” signifies:
    • An implicit willingness to love, honor and respect My Father;
    • An awareness of My dependence on God;
    • My sense of confidence in my Father’s judgment and trust in His integrity; and,
    • Ready obedience to my Father’s desires and will, with corresponding acceptance of my Father’s right and responsibility to discipline me for my own good.

    Robert, you are right about this ills of organized religion but God’s most glorious work is the work He is doing with His new creation, the Church of Jesus Christ. Today multiplied flaws and defects embarrass the Church, but the time will come when she will be “a radiant Church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25).

    If you have never come into a relationship with God the Father by accepting and trusting His Son Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you can turn your life over to Him and trust Him to bring about what He knows is best for you. If you would like to know more about this, we have trusted mentors who are freely available to help and they can be reached by clicking on the “Talk to a Mentor” button near the top right of this page.

    May God bless you today with exactly what you need today.

  • Robert says:

    I may be naïve, but I follow no religion, I simply believe in God the entity. I also believe in humanity and science, and see no contradiction in either. God gave us ” us “, and the ability to think and learn, to create, to have ideas, to learn. If anything, I do have a distaste for organised religion because it seems to have an inherent divisiveness, setting one against the other and being claimed by some as a weapon, or worse, an excuse for carrying out horrendous crime. I have not had a good life, I have failed. I have lost all but the love of my family, but that is not God’s fault, it is purely mine. One thing though, in losing everything ( and I mean that ) God never deserted me.

  • Seon says:

    Hey Elkay, every generation thought there’s was the one where Jesus would return. But you are right, It’s FAITH not about what church you belong to or if you are baptized or not.

  • Elkay says:

    Seon, being part of a loving family is wonderful in many aspects but one thing to keep in mind is that the truest definition of “Christians” as being followers, disciples, of Jesus Christ, is found at Acts 11:26. Being a member of a church of any denomination or an adherent of any religion does not make one a Christian. Christ-followers are the people Paul speaks of at 2 Cor 11:2, “I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ.”

    It is a big deal to be part of the pure bride to Christ because Rev 19 includes these words: “The Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to Him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and His bride has prepared herself. She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.” For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.” (NLT)

    These are indeed true words and on the roads I travel is a big sign that says, “Jesus is coming again. Get right with God.” As Derek Prince said, “When Christ comes again, you want to be fully clothed in white linen, not in a bikini!” I pray for the Bride’s invitation-blessing to everyone who reads this post. Amen.

  • Seon says:

    I’m with Kenneth (surprise surprise) I always had a tough time with organized religion but found a way to keep that relationship with God. But yes, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Bahais etc can be loving families. I have meet amazing families from most major religions.

Leave a Reply