I read My Utmost For His Highest every morning before work. Oswald Chambers is, to me, a genius at wording things in exactly the way I understand. Not only that, but many times, it is also exactly the thing I need to hear.
So this morning I read "The Mystery of Believing" from the aforementioned book, and it said this, "Many a soul begins to come to God when he flings off being religious, because there is only one Master of the human heart, and that is not religion, but Jesus Christ."
Now, I don't know if you know this about me, but I really despise being called "religious". I understand that for many non-spiritual people, that's the only word that they have in their vocabulary to describe someone like me, someone they see as a Christian, or as following a bunch of rules for no reason (depends on your viewpoint). But, like Chambers, I believe that religion is NOT the answer. Not only that, but I believe that religion slowly kills spirituality. Once I start clinging to the guidelines of my faith, but forget the reason that I am following them, I begin to become legalistic, Pharisaic, and in short, religious!
Jesus. Jesus is who I follow. Not the Pope, not any synod or governing church body (although of course I believe one should respect God-given authority to a certain extent), but only Jesus. He is the Master of my heart, as strange as that may sound. The reason I associate with being a "Christian" is because the word itself means "Christ-like", which is what I strive to be. Also, I associate myself with other Christians because as a whole we are the body of Christ, attempting to bring His love and hope to the people of this world. As a Christian, I am not "right" or "left" or "fundamental" or "liberal". I am simply a Christian. Just Jesus. That is all!