October 12, 2012

What Is Christianity?

What is Christianity?  Is it a physical building?  Is it a religious thing meant only for those who follow its rules?  Is it brainwashing?  Is it a lie?  Is it just a Hollywood sham meant to entertain the notion of morality?  Is it whatever we want it to be?
I would argue that Christianity is none of the above.  It is not a place,  event,  religion, or good, fuzzy, feelings.  Christianity is a person.  Christianity is Jesus Christ and the love He has given freely to anyone who believes in what He did on the cross.
There is a lot of confusion about what true Christianity is these days and I think this is partly because the word Christianity has been thrown around too often.  Many people claim to be Christians but do they really understand what it means to be a Christian?
Religions around the world teach that we must reach out to the gods.  Christianity sits apart in that it teaches God reaches out to us.  There is nothing we can ever do to be good enough for God's standards because He is perfect and we are not.  This is a simple and unchangeable truth.

I believe that Christianity is not a religion because you will not find God in a cathedral or church building.  You will not find God in ceremony and man-made rules.  You will not find God in cults or in extravagant shows and events.
I say again that there is nothing we could ever do to impress God in any good way.  And I say these things because the Bible tells me so.  And I point to the Bible because it is the only true source for answers about Christianity.  Remember that I said Christianity is Jesus Christ?  Well the best place to learn about Him is in the Bible.
I know people sometimes try to discredit the Bible and that doesn't surprise me.  The Bible can make people feel guilty and ashamed and who wants to feel like that?  But sometimes its important to recognize the shameful things we have done because how else will we change for the better?

People today are looking for something that's real.  People are tired of fake goodness and fake living.  True Christianity, grounded on who Jesus Christ is and what He did on the cross, challenges anyone who believes to stand in the grace of God and live for Him.  When someone decides that it matters more what God thinks of them than anyone else on the planet, then lives are transformed.  Because God is not human.  He does not judge us the way we judge each other.

True Christianity teaches that it is the motivation of our hearts that matter most to God.  It teaches us that it is better to forgive, to share, to honor and respect others, and to live in peace.  It does not teach us to hold grudges, gossip, lie, cheat, steal, or kill.  Even to our enemies we are to be kind and forgiving! 
True Christianity is no walk in the park.  In fact, to live as a true Christian is impossible without God's help.  None of us are good enough to do what is right in every circumstance of life.  And the Bible says that Christians will suffer more than non-Christians just because they live as Christians should live!  

So again I ask you, what is Christianity?  Its difficult to defend what you believe if you aren't certain why you believe what you do.  Let me encourage you to open your Bible and pray.  Ask God to give you understanding about what you believe through His word.  And most of all, be patient with yourself and others.  Jesus doesn't take everyone home the instant they believe in Him because faith takes time to grow. For most of us it will take our entire lives to grow.  And Jesus desires that we share what we learn and experience about Him with as many people as possible.

I don't have all the answers.  And I'm certainly no theologian or philosopher.  But I know what I've experienced and I know what has helped me.  It is God's love in the person of Jesus Christ that has made all the difference in my life.  And by God's grace it is still making all the difference.  My prayer is that He will be just as real to you too.

God bless you in your search for the truth.
" If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me." 
~ Jeremiah 29:13



Thesauros said...

Thank you so much for this post. Solid theology is good to find.
God Bless
See you There!

Delvalina said...

Nice thought friend! for me Christianity is when He saved me and I keep walking on His way, but I think more than that it's all about your experiences/ journey with God.



Denise said...

To me, Christianity is your own personal life with the Saviour.

Brenda said...

Yes, believers can gather anywhere, and be built up by one another as long as they are gathered in His name ( in the olt testament the person's name defined his character, or nature ) and it is the Spirit inside us which defines who we are. Romans ch.8 v.9 tells us 'You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ'. How do we get that Spirit? - by seeking God through Jesus Christ, the Word of God and having our minds renewed in Him daily as He speaks to us and we grow in Him.


Thesauros: Thank you for visiting. God bless you and I'm certain we will meet again. :)

Delvalina: All good points. I believe that our personal experiences with God are important. People want to know about them.


Denise: Yes. And it is God who shows each of us how to express this truth to others. :)

Brenda: Amen! Thank you for sharing Romans 8:9. You speak truth. :)

T-Childs said...

Brilliant post, and so revealing and so true. People have made faith into different things, and of course humans before today and even in this day and age use religion for their own ends; to control other people, to make money, to be 'respectable', to have social status and so on and so on. It's all missing the point somewhat.

God can't be contained in churches and even denominations, He can't be 'tamed', He isn't just 'our' God, He is the God of everybody, everybodies Creator, the God of the whole universe in fact.

God isn't even religion, He is beyond that, but He is an intimate God, a gentle God, a God who will humbly walk with us if we walk humbly with Him. Yes, God reaches out to all sorts of people simply because He truly loves us; that's not religion, it's reality.

Elizabeth said...

Wow. Thanks for posting this, Sincerity. This is so true. Many who think they are Christians aren't because they just don't get it. They think they can earn their way to heaven, but God gives His love out freely to anyone who believes! :D

<3 Elizabeth


Elizabeth: I believe that many people around the world use religion as an excuse to be their own god. And it always disappoints.

We cannot find the answers to life in ourselves. They can only be found in God.

Many people feel guilt and shame and so believe that God could never offer so much freely. Its as if they were saying, " What's the catch?" But with God there is no catch. There is no fine print.

God tells us everything upfront in His word. And He wants to give us love, honor, and respect even when we don't deserve any of it. He leaves the choice to trust Him to each of us.

What amazing love! What an amazing God!


T-Childs: I love what you wrote:

" God isn't even religion, He's beyond that."

Exactly. He is so far beyond anything we can possibly comprehend and He is entirely good and loving.

It blows my mind.