What is religion, do we need it and if so why?

Asked by Someone

What is religion, do we need it and if so why?


The English word ‘religion’ is believed to have been derived from the Latin word ‘religo’ which means ‘good faith’ or ‘ritual’.

‘Religion’ is a broad term which today can include a range of beliefs including Christianity, Buddism, Islam and even the pursuit of other types of spirituality that aren’t associated with a belief about God. Basically it is man’s response to the bigger questions of life/death, faith and God etc.

Humans have created religion out of a basic human need that is spoken about in the Bible:

Romans 1 talks about the fact that God created humans and that they have a need for Him.

However, there is a tendency for man to go his own way and create for himself ‘idols’, ideas about God, who he is, what He is like, and how He should be worshipped. This base desire in man to ‘construct’ his own idea of God has led to what we know of today as all the different ‘religions’.

Different groups of people believe different things about God, and thus have formed their own ideas. As not all the groups agree, what you find you get over time are clusters of people who believe the same thing, or believe in the same ‘religion’ so to speak.

http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=Romans+1%3A18-23 - Romans 1

The Bible teaches us that what we know of God, we know because he has revealed it to us in His word. God’s word is a way He can prevent us from constructing our own ideas of who He is. God also has revealed himself to us in Jesus and tells us that this is the way we are to know Him. John
3:16 talks about this:

http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=John+3%3A16

So in a sense, religion can be what takes man away from God, as it is a huamn construct - God teaches us that we should focus on His son Jesus, and this is what Christians do. Of course Christianity does still fall under the banner of ‘religion’ - as it is one type of belief (within a broader grouping), however as Christians we are taught in the Bible to focus on Jesus first, not on one’s ‘religion’ or religious belief.

We don’t actually need ‘religion’ at all. God however, has created a need in us (from creation) to need Him and be in relationship with him. We are called to relate to God today through Jesus. When we die, we are told that we will face judgement, and that the only hope for us on Judgement Day is to be in relationship with Jesus. So in a sense, we don’t need religion, we just need a relationship with God through Jesus. We also do need the congregation of other believers to assist us in our walk with Jesus through life (so this is where socities definition of ‘relgion’ can come into the argument).

Essentially though it is where we stand with Jesus that counts.

Answers are kindly provided by our friends at Christianity.net.au

Read more about