Religion Quotes

A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing. --Martin Luther

Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion—several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight. --Mark Twain

If you have two religions in your land, the two will cut each other's throats; but if you have thirty religions, they dwell in peace. --Voltaire

When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, "Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?" --Quentin Crisp

Christians are like frogs holding a symposium round a swamp, debating which of them is most sinful.-- Celsus on Christians in the second century A.D.

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said 'Stop! don't do it!' 'Why shouldn't I?' he said. I said, 'Well, there's so much to live for!' He said, 'Like what?' I said, 'Well...are you religious or atheist?' He said, 'Religious.' I said, 'Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?' He said, 'Christian.' I said, 'Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?' He said, 'Protestant.' I said, 'Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?' He said, 'Baptist!' I said, 'Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist church of god or Baptist church of the lord?' He said, 'Baptist church of god!' I said, 'Me too! Are you original Baptist church of god, or are you reformed Baptist church of god?' He said, 'Reformed Baptist church of god!' I said, 'Me too! Are you reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1879, or reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915?' He said, 'Reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915!' I said, 'Die, heretic scum,' and pushed him off. --Emo Phillips

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it with religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

Of all bad men religious bad men are the worst. --C.S. Lewis

As editor of the largest newspaper in West Virginia, I scan hundreds of reports daily and I am amazed by the frequency with which religion causes people to kill each other. It is a nearly universal pattern, undercutting the common assumption that religion makes people kind and tolerant. - James Haught

When religion is in the hands of the mere natural man, he is always the worse for it; it adds a bad heat to his own dark fire and helps to inflame his four elements of selfishness, envy, pride, and wrath. And hence it is that worse passions, or a worse degree of them are to be found in persons of great religious zeal than in others that made no pretenses to it. --William Law

The Institutional Church (ecclesia) has killed only two kinds of people: Those who do not believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, and those who do. --- Will Durant

I am perplexed at the stupidity of the ordinary religious being. In the most practical of all matters he will talk and speculate and try to feel, but he will not set himself to do. --George MacDonald

If the gods listened to the prayers of men, all humankind would quickly perish since they constantly pray for many evils to befall one another. - Epicurus

Orthodoxy, or right opinion, is, at best, a very slender part of religion. Though right tempers cannot subsist without right opinions, yet right opinions may subsist without right tempers. There may be a right opinion of God without either love or one right temper toward Him. Satan is a proof of this. –John Wesley

The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooist brutality, is patently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with the dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes. --John Adams

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. --Jonathan Swift

Organized Christianity has probably done more to retard the ideals that were its founder's than any other agency in the world. - Richard Le Gallienne

The human race in the course of time has taken the liberty of softening and softening Christianity until at last we have contrived to make it exactly the opposite of what it is in the New Testament... --Soren Kierkegaard

I think we must fully face the fact that when Christianity does not make a man very much better, it makes him very much worse... Conversion may make of one who was, if no better, no worse than an animal, something like a devil. -- C. S. Lewis in a letter to Bede Griffiths, dated Dec. 20, 1961

You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. --Anne Lamott

True sweeping, incisive spiritual logic pours only confusion and dismay upon head and heart of all who set themselves up for pillars of the church without practising the first principles of the doctrine of Christ--men who, professing to gather their fellows together in the name of Christ, conduct the affairs of the church on the principles of hell--men so blind and dull and slow of heart, that they will never know what outer darkness means until it closes around them--men who seek gain first, safety next, and the will of God not at all--men whose presentation or Christianity is enough to drive the world to a preferable infidelity. --George MacDonald

Many Christians still at bottom look upon God as one of the most selfish, self-absorbed Beings in the universe, far more selfish than they could think it right to be themselves, —intent only upon His own honor and glory, looking out continually that His own rights are never trampled on; and so absorbed in thoughts of Himself and of His own righteousness, as to have no love or pity to spare for the poor sinners who have offended Him. --Hannah Whitall Smith

Men rarely (if ever) invent gods superior to themselves. Most gods have the morals and manners of a spoiled child. -- Robert Heinlein

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself. --Richard Burton

Evangelical Christianity, as everyone knows, is founded upon hate, as the Christianity of Christ was founded upon love.-- H. L. Mencken

The mentality of fundamentalism is by no means an exclusive property of orthodoxy. Its attitudes are found in every branch of Christendom: the quest for negative status, the elevation of minor issues to a place of major importance, the use of social mores as a norm of virtue, the toleration of one's own prejudice but not the prejudice of others, the confusion of the church with a denomination, and the avoidance of prophetic scrutiny by using the Word of God as an instrument of self-security but not self-criticism. The mentality of fundamentalism comes into being whenever a believer is unwilling to trace the effects of original sin in his own life. And where is the believer who is wholly delivered from this habit? --E.J. Carnell

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. --Unknown

Religious creeds encourage some of the craziest kinds of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and favor severe manifestations of neurosis, borderline personality states, and sometimes even psychosis. - Albert Ellis

Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. --H. L. Mencken

In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing. - Mark Twain

The majority of mankind think that they think; they acquiesce, and suppose that they argue; they flatter themselves that they are holding their own, when they have actually grown up to manhood, with scarcely a conviction that they can call their own. So it was, and so it ever shall be. --Bullinger

Every other sect supposes itself in possession of the truth, and that those who differ are so far in the wrong. Like a man traveling in foggy weather they see those at a distance before them wrapped up in a fog, as well as those behind them, and also people in the fields on each side; but near them, all appears clear, though in truth they are as much in the fog as any of them. --Benjamin Franklin

Oh these foolish men! They could not create so much as a worm, but they create gods by the dozens. --Michel de Montaigne

All religions are the same: religion is basically guilt, with different holidays. --Cathy Ladman

Religion can never reform mankind because religion is slavery. --Robert Ingersoll

Religion stinks of death. --Gary Amirault

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. --Lucius Annaeus Seneca

The tragedy of religion is partly due to its isolation from life, as if God could be segregated.—Abraham Joshua Heschel

Those who think all religions are the same look at the wrappings instead of the content. --Gene Edward Veith

Things that will destroy man: Politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; worship without sacrifice. --Mohandas Gandhi

The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. --E. M. Bounds

In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise.--Richard Halverson

Any man or woman who neglects to maintain inward vigilance, and only makes an outward show of holiness in dress, speech, and behavior, is a wretched creature. For they watch the doings of other people and criticize their faults, imagining themselves to be something when in reality they are nothing. In this way they deceive themselves. Be careful to avoid this, and devote yourself inwardly to His likeness by humility, charity, and other spiritual virtues. In this way you will be truly converted to God. --Walter Hilton

Those Christians who are very strict in their observances, think a good deal more of the Sabbath than of man, a great deal more of the Bible than of the truth, and ten times more of their creed than of the will of God. Of course, if they heard anyone utter such words as I have just written, they would say he was and atheist. –George MacDonald

I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works ... I mean real good works ... not holy day keeping, sermon-hearing ... or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity. -- Benjamin Franklin

One chief cause of the amount of unbelief in the world is tha tthose who have seen something of the glory of Christ set themselves to theorize concerning him rather than to obey him. --George MacDonald

Christians, needless to say, utterly detest one another; they slander each other constantly with the vilest forms of abuse, and cannot come to any sort of agreement in their teaching. Each sect brands its own, fills the head of its own with deceitful nonsense. --Celsus (178 AD)

In order to justify their behavior, they turn their theories into dogmas, their bylaws into First Principles, their political bosses into Gods and all those who disagree with them into incarnate devils. This idolatrous transformation of the relative into the Absolute and the all too human into the Divine, makes it possible for them to indulge their ugliest passions with a clear conscience and in the certainty that they are working for the Highest Good. And when the current beliefs come, in their turn, to look silly, a new set will be invented, so that the immemorial madness may continue to wear its customary mask of legality, idealism, and true religion. --Aldous Huxley

The difference between heresy and prophecy is often one of sequence. Heresy often turns out to have been prophecy -- when properly aged. --Hubert H. Humphrey

A cult is a religion with no political power. --Tom Wolfe

I am surrounded by priests who repeat incessantly that their kingdom is not of this world, and yet they lay their hands on everything they can get. –Napolean Bonaparte

In nothing do the words of Christian liturgy strike the ears of contemporary men and women as 'empty ritual' so much as when they speak of a loving, Spirit-filled community where none is visible.-- Leonel Mitchell

I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature. --Thomas Jefferson

The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad. --Friedrich Nietzsche

Why do born-again people so often make you wish they'd never been born the first time?- Katherine Whitehorn, British Journalist, The Observer, May 20, 1979

If it weren't for Christians, I'd be a Christian.-- Mahatma Ghandi

I would have met Jesus sooner if not for Christians who led double lives. - Keith Green

I might believe in the Redeemer if His followers looked more Redeemed.-- Fredrick Nietzsche

It has always seemed unfair to me that many churches (and some individual Christians) keep careful records on how many converts they make to Christianity, but never keep any record of how many they drive away from Christ! --- Ray C. Stedman

The church is always trying to get other people to reform; it might not be a bad idea to reform itself a little by way of example. --Mark Twain

If the truth were known, many sermons are prepared and preached with more regard for the sermon than the souls of the hearers. --George F. Pentecost

The Church says the Earth is flat. But I know that it is round. For I have seen the shadow on the Moon. And I have more faith in a shadow than in the Church. --Robert Ingersoll

People in religions are too busy doing their thing to even notice that God is doing His. --Martin Zender

Religious men are and must be heretics now— for we must not pray, except in a "form" of words, made beforehand— or think of God but with a prearranged idea. --Florence Nightingale

A fanatic is someone who cannot change his mind and will not change the subject.—Sir Winston Churchill

The underlying foundation of all religion is performance – whether it’s a tribal dance around a campfire to satisfy the fire god, or a dead religious activity performed week after week by an evangelical Christian with the intent of impressing his God. It’s all religious performance, and God isn’t impressed by our performance. What impresses Him is faith.-- Steve McVey

The world is by no means averse to religion. In fact, it is devoted to it with a passion. It will buy any recipe for salvation as long as that formula leaves the responsibility for cooking up salvation firmly in human hands. The world is drowning in religion. But it is scared out of its wits by any mention of the grace that takes the world home gratis. --Robert Farrer Capon

Religion is the fashionable substitute for belief. - Oscar Wilde

Christianity is NOT a religion; it is the proclamation of the end of religion. Religion is a human activity dedicated to the job of reconciling God to humanity and humanity to itself. The Gospel, however – the Good News of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is the astonishing announcement that God has done the whole work of reconciliation without a scrap of human assistance. It is the bizarre proclamation that religion is over – period. --Robert F. Capon

Christians have always tended to transform the Christian Revelation into a Christian religion. Christianity is said to be a religion like any other or, conversely, some Christians try to show that it is a better religion than the others. People attempt to take possession of God. Theology claims to explain everything, including the being of God. People tend to transform Christianity into a religion because the Christian faith obviously places people in an extremely uncomfortable position ­ that of freedom guided only by love and all in the context of God's radical demand that we be holy. --Jacques Ellul

The truly wise talk little about religion and are not given to taking sides on doctrinal issues. When they hear people advocating or opposing the claims of this or that party in the church, they turn away with a smile such as men yield to the talk of children. They have no time, they would say, for that kind of thing. They have enough to do in trying to faithfully practice what is beyond dispute. --George MacDonald

Isn’t it strange that people place so much emphasis upon going to church when there is not one command from Jesus to do so, and yet neglect the basic duties of our ordinary life which are commanded on every page of the Gospels? —William Law

Most of us spend the first six days of the week sowing wild oats, then we go to church on Sunday and pray for a crop failure.-- Fred Allen

Being a Methodist, a Catholic, or a Baptist does not make one a disciple, it only makes him a Methodist, a Catholic, or a Baptist, who may or may not be a daily follower of Jesus Christ. –Michael Phillips

In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe , where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise.--Richard Halverson, former chaplain of the United States Senate

The self-righteous, relying on the many good works he imagines he has performed, seems to hold salvation in his own hand, and considers Heaven as a just reward of his merits. In the bitterness of his zeal he exclaims against all sinners, and represents the gates of mercy as barred against them, and Heaven as a place to which they have no claim. What need have such self-righteous persons of a Saviour? they are already burdened with the load of their own merits. Oh, how long they bear the flattering load, while sinners divested of everything, fly rapidly on the wings of faith and love into their Saviour's arms, who freely bestows on them that which he has so freely promised! --Jeanne Guyon

The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians--when they are somber and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths. --Joe Aldrich

Everyday people are straying away from the church and going back to God. --Lennie Bruce

Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt. --Paul Tillich

Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge. --John Wesley

Be careful your head doesn’t grow faster than your heart. --Anonymous

The Pentecostal power, when you sum it all up, is just more of God's love. If it does not bring more love, it is simply a counterfeit.-- William J. Seymour

Everywhere the apostle Paul went, he either had a revival, or he had a riot. Sometimes he a revival and a riot. That's what I want to be said of me. --Wade Akins

If those who had set themselves to explain the various theories of Christianity had set themselves instead to do the will of the Master, how different the world would be now! --George MacDonald

Whoever shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world. --Benjamin Franklin

Reality, in fact, is always something you couldn't have guessed. That's one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It's a religion you couldn't have guessed. C.S. Lewis

Men choose a religion, but a Christian is chosen by Jesus Christ. ---Iranian martyr Mehdi Dibaj

Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair. --G.K. Chesterton

It is easier to move a mountain than it is to move a person entrenched in the “traditions of men which make the word of God of no effect. Matt. 15:6-9)” Gary Amirault

One danger to any successful movement is that it becomes an institution and begins the slow process that leads to stagnation, one form of “loss of soul.” Stagnation of a religious institution is like a box constructed around a quest in which the quest begins to define itself in terms of the box rather than the vision by which it was formed. When the trappings become more important than the message, the institution takes the path to stagnation. The process of stagnation begins, for example, when a congregation begins to think of its church as a building instead of the people and spirit. Stagnation also begins when religious people lose their vision and substitute customs, rules, and rituals for their treasured traditions. Pastor James A. Ellison


See also: Faith and Doubt quotes....

Atheism and Agnosticism quotes...


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