Survivor: China premiered last night and one of the castaways is Leslie Nease, a Christian talk show host (New Life 91.9 in Charlotte, NC).
After refusing to partake in a Buddhist ceremony she explained:
"I’m not a religious person, but I have a relationship with Jesus Christ"
Oh does that give me flashbacks! I still hear that ridiculous statement occasionally, but when I was growing up it was practically a part of our "non-liturgical" liturgy. The statement makes NO sense and sounds completely mental to anyone not raised in right-wing church environments. Some people feel that they get spiritual brownie points for making such statements in the public square.
But if you take it apart, besides being nonsensical, it is completely arrogant (not a Christian value). It has the same humility that Lucy has when she talks to Charlie Brown.
Also, it makes the term "religious" sound negative, something that the Bible certainly does not do.
It is a demonstration of the "Us vs. Them" language that has been allowed (and encouraged) to flourish within the western church. I don't believe it pleases the heart of God at all.
And statements like hers make me want to run screaming from the room! :)