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I am going to answer from a Christian point of view. I am cannot answer for other religions. In short I believe there is no such thing as being over religious. Every Christian strives to be like Jesus, He is the standard. The aim of every Christian should be to be more like Jesus daily. When you get closer to being more like Jesus you will be like Enoch who walked with God 300 years. Gen 5:21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. 22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. I personally wish and pray to be more like Jesus, walk with God daily (just 70 years) and then one day I can be no more when God takes me to heaven without tasting death. The problem comes to us when the world says we are too religious and we get embarrassed when people begin to say “Please watch what you say because we have Christians among us”. Instead of being embarrassed we should praise God that our lives are touching people around us in a positive way and they recognize that their own behavior is out of order. That is what the bible means by “you are the salt of the earth”. Contrary to being “over religious”, I think Christians are actually “not sufficiently religious”. We frequently embarrass Christ by failing to live up to the standard when called upon. We fall short of the glory of God too many times. We are not like Job whom God boasted about to Satan about his faithfulness. However the great news of the Bible is that it does not matter how far short we come or how frequently we fail we have a faithful God who forgives every sin and short coming we may have. 1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
I have met many who are religious but not Christian, they use the label but not the example set by Jesus. Many are in positions of power they abuse in churches.
The Pharisees were the most religious people on earth. They followed the Law to the letter and added over 600 more laws that they thought made them acceptable to God. They had great zeal but Jesus said they were of their father the devil. Religion is what people do to make themselves righteous. Jesus said true religion is visiting widows and orphans. The Pharisees thought their law keeping is what made them righteous. They had no love for God or people. They degenerated into religious fanatics. The law became more important to them than loving others. It seems to me that God hates religion. Religion is all outward and makes us look righteous, but our hearts are far from God. It is outward conformity to a set of rules to make one righteous. That is why Paul said "If anyone puts you under the law let them be accursed. That is pretty strong words. We are saved by grace and we are to show that grace to others. Law keeping won't save anyone. It just makes us religeous, selfrighteous, and we have contempt for others that do not conform to our own letter of the law. Paul said he gave up all of his law keeping and counted it as dung in order to learn Christ. As Christians we should obey the law because we love God and others. Not to make us righteous. There is a huge difference. Many are still blind and cannot see, and still think their religion is what saves them. Jesus told His disciples to leave them alone.
Religion is a template that should be understood from a Biblical perspective-- if the religion is Christianity. Other religions are templates from other writings such as the Koran of Islam or perhaps the writings of one of the Buddhist traditions, etc.. In other words, these writings or scriptures are teachings for the reader to follow in order to live a life that will bring them into the next life in a favorable position either before God or having ascended to another level as in closer to Nirvana for a Buddhist. Therefore, if one is a Christian that means they follow the teachings of Christ and adhere or follow the commands of the Holy Bible. However, if someone has been a serious Christian for any length of time, then they know that following the way of Christ is not strictly following a set of rules or laws. One starts by learning the rules, however, if one continues seeking they will come to understand that Jesus taught relationship within the confines of love and the law or rules. In the Bible we are taught that we are fallen or sinful meaning we often make mistakes or miss the mark set by God's Word. This means that the Christian always has a choice within the context of any day to either choose the way of holiness or the broken way of selfishness or sin. There are a couple of important points that must be addressed. As Christians we are given supernatural help through prayer and guidance from the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. So that we are in relationship to God, our Father, by the death and resurrection of Jesus His Son, through the power of the Holy Spirit sent by the Father and the Son. If then, we are made in God's image, and we acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God and his death for our salvation. And we have the gift of the Holy Spirit, and we know that the Bible is the Holy Word of God.Then, we love the unsaved as made in the image of God. And as broken, and sinful, and in need of God's mercy, and forgiveness as we once did, and offer mercy and grace as Jesus offered the woman caught in sin. He also said, "Go and sin no more." A final thought--I apply the words of the Apostle Paul, and the love of Jesus to myself, and I try to apply mercy and grace to those who are in sin. I attempt to not judge, and remember where I came from and the grace I received. Then I, "go and do likewise," as Jesus demonstrated service by washing the feet of His disciples. When I sin I run to Jesus and ask for forgiveness and ask for grace to not commit the sin again. Then, He always loves me back to Him. Finally, I do not have to tell others that I am a Christian. They seem to know. I'm always welcomed and invited to gatherings such as parties or a night out with friends. However, I never comprise my relationship with Christ. He is my sweet Lord. I have noticed at times that certain folks will try to make me think I'm too strict with myself and that I should have more "fun," but I tell them it's not fun for me because I love my Jesus and leave it there. I pray daily that I have the grace to walk humbly with the Lord, and to see others as He sees them and love as He does. If we are to show the world a better way, how can we do that without being religious as in the way of holiness and our Lord, Jesus? The answer is that we cannot.
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