Isn’t Christianity just a bunch of rules telling me what I can and can’t do, and when I have to do it?
You’re confusing Christianity with “religion”. That startled you, didn’t it? Yes, Christianity is called as “a religion”, in the broadest sense of the word, but the Bible tells us that Jesus came to set us free, not bind us up in new sets of rules and regulations.
The Jews had tons of rules and regulations – things they couldn’t eat, things they couldn’t do on certain days, and things they had to do on certain days. It was all a bit much really, because it was more about the rules than it was about God. There were certain rules that God had given to the Israelites, and certainly some of those, such as the Ten Commandments, still stand for Christians. But Jesus came to shake things up a bit. He said that it was okay to eat the things that the Jews thought were “unclean” for example.
Basically, Jesus came to simply our relationship with God. Yes, there are things that are morally and legally wrong that we shouldn’t do, like stealing, murdering, committing adultery etc. – but those aren’t just Christian rules, they’re the rules of society, too. Our conscience even tells us that those things are wrong.
In Christianity, there are no rules no how often you have to pray, or read the Bible or what you can and can’t eat. You don’t have to go to church. You don’t have to sing worship songs. Most Christians do those things because they want to, not because they feel obligated to!
The crux of the matter is that Christianity isn’t a bunch of rules that takes all the fun out of life. What it is, is a change of heart that often leads us to make changes in our lives, not because we are being forced to, but because we have been convicted of the sin in our lives by the Holy Spirit, and because we want to make the choice to live our lives differently.
What’s the difference between Christianity and religion? I thought Christianity was a religion!
Christianity is a religion in its broadest sense, but the word religion can also be used in a different sense. A Christian can be described as “getting religious” when they become bound up in rules and regulations, having to pray at specific times of day for a specific length of time, reading a specific amount of Scripture every day and beating themselves up, figuratively speaking, if they don’t meet the standards they set for themselves. They can also be considered religious if they start comparing themselves to other Christians and thinking themselves a “better” Christian because they pray for longer or read their Bible more frequently. Prayer and reading Scripture are both important parts of a Christian lifestyle, but we don’t need to “get religious” about it!