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Why do some Christians say that Christianity isn't a religion but a relationship?

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One trait common to just about all world religions is the idea of mankind reaching up or out to some external deity or state of being. The measure of one's devotion to one's religion is based upon how well the practitioner or group of practitioners follow the rules, rites, and/or rituals that help define the religion. Christ didn't come to do any of that. In fact, He came as God incarnate. '''God reached down to man.''' He showed mankind the standards required to be able to reach up to Him, knowing full well that mankind had no way of achieving those standards. In times past He chose to use rituals, such as animal sacrifice, to point the way to the greatest sacrifice that could be made: God Himself, incarnated in the only one born without sin, would die in our place, having lived the life we could never live on our own. By His death and resurrection, Christ provided a way for mankind not to attempt to come close to being "good enough," but rather opened the door to get to know God in a way only Adam and Eve could do before they chose to rebel against God. Christ provided an "escape clause" for the otherwise inescapable death penalty we all choose for ourselves by doing things our own selfish, ignorant way. Through Christ, we can enter into a relationship with God that doesn't just start when we die, but starts the moment we choose to follow Him, and allow Him to work through our earthly life, improving even that along the way. Answer If it has rituals, then it's a religion. Relationships then follows according to which denominations one adheres to. Religion divides people; it never unites.
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