While it is a fact that both titles usually include a spiritual definition and the person of “God”, the truth is that Christianity is not religion and religion is not Christianity. You might say; “But religion is knowing God”, no… religion is knowing about God. Because of the common link between Christianity and religion, the two have been often confused by those who have not had the awesome experience of knowing God.
If we could place both Christianity and religion side by side in visual form, from the perception of the world, they could not determine the difference because they would look the same, talk the same, dress the same, read the same book or type of book and initially, they act the same. Since how a person acts determines their level of social success, then it is the true that those actions must continue or improve in order to keep that success nourished and thriving. We are continually reminded in the Word of God to be separate from the world in how we think, act, and speak.
Therefore, the link that I believe religion is missing is this: Nourishing the actions that make for a successful social environment that produce significant change. Both religion and Christianity require discipline, dedication, and desire, but only Christianity is able to sustain those characteristics! It is through the powerful Word of God that character is ultimately sustained.
The world is “looking” at both sides and making a determination based on what they see. So as Christians, we must boldly stand out in our words, actions, and spiritual passion which is the spiritual gifts we possess. If we become satisfied at any point and become stagnant in our experience, then we become religious. This is where I believe many of us greatly falter.
I am also reluctant to say that some Christians have even adopted many of those behaviors from the world of religion because they lack the verbal, physical, social, and spiritual discipline that the Holy Bible requires us to pursue. And, unfortunately, this is where many Christians have been given a bad rap. Again, the world sees the common denominator: God. Many people have distastefully frowned on Christians because of the behaviors in the religious community.
Since, both Christianity and religion are experiences, our experiences should be such that we are excited to share them with those who don’t really have a clue what Christianity really is. Remember that the Word still has the power to transform even religious attitudes!