I’ll be honest. I have not looked up the definitions to these terms. These are my opinions. I hope they will bring clarification to those who think everyone who goes to church is religious.
Religious: Someone who has a belief in God, may or may not go to church, and who claims affiliation with one denomination/belief system, or another. This group would include those who asked Jesus to save them, read their Bible sometimes (or not), and ignore God most of the time. They have their “fire insurance” giving them a free ticket out of hell, but they don’t take God very seriously. These are people who would rather go to a football game, stay home and watch their favorite TV show, go fishing, etc., than go to church and worship the God who saved them. Some religious people go to church on Sunday morning (only), put on their spiritual faces and lift their hands in praise. then they go home and cuss out their kids or neighbors, watch the garbage our society calls enterntainment on TV, and live the same as always. Sorry if I sound critical. I’m not trying to be. I’m just clarifying the differences here.
Christian: someone who tries to follow Christ. Christ is the first part of the world. The word Christian was first used in Antioch after Jesus’s resurrection from the dead, and was used to describe the twelve apostles. If you read the scriptures and study the life of the apostles, you will find that they were dedicated to the purpose of evangelization, the spreading of the gospel. But they didn’t just talk about Jesus and the price He paid to deliver us from hell; they helped and encouraged others; they reached out to the poor and needy. They lived what they believed. A Christian is someone who gives God/Jesus first place in his/her life. We still make mistakes and mess up, but we try to live what we believe.
I once heard a preacher ask this question: “If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
No one is perfect. We will never be perfect in this life. But just as we should do our best on the job, at home with our families, as parents, we should also give our best to Jesus. He deserves it more than anyone.
So if you are a religious person, I would encourage you, if you haven’t already, to ask Jesus to save you from your sin (nature) and then get an Authorized (AV) King James Bible, get involved with a church who uses and believes that Bible, (they are getting hard to find, but ask God and He will direct your path), and study that Bible. There are many good study Bibles out there. I like the Open Bible, but Dakes, Henry Morris, Schofield, are a few of the good study Bibles. Another is Thompson Chain Reference. Take your time to look at each one, see what features might best help you and appeal to you. Read it every day, looking up the cross references and reading the commentary notes. As you grow in the knowledge of the Lord you will be able to discern opinion in the commentary from truth.
Don’t expect to agree with everything a pastor/preacher says. They are human too and can be just as wrong as we are, but they have studied more than we, are (hopefully) called of God to the pulpit (which eliminates female pastors: see I Tim. 2:11-14). Just be willing to listen, take notes, and ponder what he says when you get home. If you have questions, ask the pastor or Sunday School teacher. (Yes, adults needs Sunday School too.) Many churches have a new converts class. If the church you choose does, that would be a good place to start.
Some words in the Bible are words we don’t use today: throughly (not the same as thoroughly), ensample (not the same as example), and a few others. As you become familiar with your Bible you will soon be able to understand the thees, thous, thine, and so forth.
I recommend starting your study with the gospel of John, then go back to Matthew and read the rest of the gospels. Many people believe that there are mistakes in the Bible because some of the accounts of events in the gospels differ from one another. Each gospel writer is showing us a different aspect of Jesus and His ministry and so focus on different details. It’s like what details you include when viewing an accident. You may only cite those details that you think matter. In the case of the Bible, God inspired every word, based on what He wanted told by that writer.
Proverbs is the book of wisdom in the Bible.