I rarely even use the word.
The word has so much baggage. I think it’s better to just avoid it.
“Religion” evokes visions of lifeless ritual, rampant hypocrisy, and a cliquish incestuous culture, all of which is very different from the life and teaching of Jesus.
I grew up in a denominational church that was all about religion and very little about Jesus. It took a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting for me to hear the Gospel for the first time. I prayed that night, repented, and gave my life to King Jesus. For the first time in my life I felt clean and at peace.
A few years ago, someone at church chastised me for dropping my Bible to illustrate a point in a sermon I was preaching. He said my dropping the Bible offended him because the Bible was sacred. He later committed adultery and destroyed his family . . . . but I never saw him drop his Bible.
I think Non-Christians would be more attracted to Jesus if they saw more power in Christians’ lives. Instead, I am afraid they mainly see religious talk and ritual. There is too much talk in life and too little power. The kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.
I didn’t drink until I was in law school and an atheist friend told me he figured I was a Christian because he noticed I didn’t drink. I decided then and there I did not want the distinguishing mark of my relationship with Jesus to be that I didn’t drink, so I began drinking. I’ve been drinking ever since. My favorite drink is a Grey Goose Martini with Blue Cheese stuffed olives.
Religious people like to spend their time with other religious people. Jesus spent His time with people who were not religious. Religious people criticized Jesus for this and accused him of being a friend of sinners and a drunkard. Religious people don’t like sinners or alcohol, or people who do.
I am not a big fan of religion. GS