Re: I'm not religious............
Hmmm. Interesting. This thread just made me ponder something.
I too have almost exclusively negative connotations when it comes to "religion" and being "religious". So much so, that it's seemed to me an inappropriate label for Christianity for some time. "It's not a religion, it's Life unleashed." "I'm not religious, I'm with Christ."
Maybe it's because the term "religion" has to incorporate every misguided, misinterpreted or divisive framework, leading people away from the Truth while claiming to offer it. My definition, for all practical purposes, would roughly be "worldview attempting to explain God(/the gods) and lay down what He(she/they/it) expects, requires and/or demands of us (if anything)." I think of religions as being things that list the imagined requirements of the gods men (or worse...) invent, to fill the impossible void in their life wrought by the absence of the God they refuse. Religions are lies or half-truths that obscure the Truth.
But here's my pondering - see, for ages it's annoyed me a great deal that anyone would dream of trying to divorce themselves from the term "Christian" because they think there are too many unhelpful connotations. It really astonishes me - and yet, there are people who feel precisely that way. And is my rallying against "religion" so different? Who I am to say that because my own personal set of references and connotations have a negative impact, the word isn't valid? Given that the world has almost exclusively understood Christianity as a religion, and is probably not at all likely to have the same ugly baggage to attach to the word (and might even see an attempt to abandon it as arrogant, something already far too often associated with Christians!) as I do, am I really doing any good by shunning it? Hmmmm....
Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3
You put the stars in the sky and you know them by name, You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same, You are amazing, God.
I do not 'hope' I am saved and I do not 'think' I am saved, I know it with an absolute conviction. I know that I am saved just as I know that I think and I know that I feel. I am purchased and sealed, His possession.