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