There is a lot of misunderstanding of what a Christian is, or what Christianity is. In the US, there is a fierce debate over LGBT rights and religious liberty. LGBT sympathizers are militantly opposed to conservative Christianity, which they think is responsible for discriminating against them in the past. On the other hand, they love liberal Christians, who accept them just as they are, some of whom are even openly gay themselves. They reason, why can't conservative Christians be more like the liberal Christians. The simple answer is that liberal Christians are not Christians at all.
This article identifies some of the misconceptions poeple have regarding Christianity, and explains what true Christianity is.
all, let us consider what Christianity is NOT.
A large percentage of people who call themselves Christians are not Biblical Christians.
Many people consider
Christian if they attend a church, or tick off
the Christian box when filling out a form. Even Barack Obama identifies as a Christian, but look at his
policies, they tell a different story. I refer to these as nominal Christians –
Christian in name, not essence. I love Steve Harvey, but he is an example
of a nominal Christian. He openly claims to be Christian, and that is wonderful.
But read between the lines, and you'll quickly realize that he is not a biblical
Christian. Unfortunately many
churches today are inundated with nominal Christians. They know nothing of Jesus
or the Bible, but have attached themselves to an institution and by default wear the
name of Christ. This is not the Christianity the Bible depicts.
The word contemporary means modern or nowadays. For example, Beyonce would be considered a contemporary singer, while Paul McCartney would not. Contemporary Christianity refers to modern day Christianity.
There is a TV show called Modern Family that portrays three families that typify the modern American family. There is a gay couple with an adopted Asian kid. There is an old man remarried to a young Hispanic woman with a kid. And oh yeah, there is also a family consisting of a husband and wife (of comparable age) legally married with two daughters - one studious and one slotty. It's not a bad show, and I'm certainly not saying don't watch it. But it's way different from let's say Family Ties, or Family Matters, or The Cosby Show.
This is a good parallel of Christianity. Modern christianity is a distorted version of Biblical Christianity. It absorbs a lot of the culture from the world around it, and therefore I prefer to use the term contemporary christian culture rather than contemporary Christianity. If the Apostle Paul time travelled to the present, he would visit about 10 churches before he found 1 that looked familiar to him. That's because, modern christian culture is so distorted, it looks totally different from anything in the Bible.
Contemporary christians listen to music that sounds just like the world. They prefer to use the
generic term God rather than Jesus Christ. They look at TBN rather than study the Bible for themselves.
Contemporary Christians are more dedicated to political ideologies than the Word of God.
But they tick off the Christian box when filling out a form, so that makes it OK.
Liberal "Christians" (note the inverted commas) are the opposite of conservative christians. In this
context, conservative means true to the traditional interpretation of the Bible, while liberals tend to
question or doubt certain portions of the scriptures, especially the parts that are not convenient to them.
A classic modern example is the homosexual scriptures. Liberal "christians" tend to argue that those scriptures
are not relevant, or they should be interpretted differently. As a result liberal christians enjoy an
adulterous love affair with the LGBT movement.
It is common to hear secular writers claim that
Christianity is a warlike religion because of the Crusaders and the Roman
Catholic church of the Middle Ages. Anyone with a basic knowledge of the Bible
would seriously question whether any of those groups can legitimately be called Christians.
Even America today is called a Christian nation. The
truth is that USA has no dominant religion, in fact the anti-Christian sentiment is much louder than
the Christian sentiment. Even so, a Christian
nation is only a name. Christianity is an individual issue and not a national,
social or political one. When the Bible speaks of teaching the nations (Matt.
28:19) and judging the nations (Matt. 25:32), it is clear from the contexts that
it is individuals constituting the nations that are being referred to. Man has
always had a tendency to institutionalize religion, but Christianity by nature,
cannot be institutionalized.
Saved by Grace
True Christianity is a saving relationship with God through personal faith in Jesus Christ. The proper terminology for a Christian is “believer”. Relationships cannot be institutionalized. Individuals must have the free choice to accept or reject the gospel. The following is what Biblical Christianity entails:
- the knowledge that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world as a man (John 3:16; 1 Tim. 3:16),
- the belief that in His sacrificial death, He satisfied God’s righteous demands for sin (Rom. 6:23),
- the trust that through Him and Him alone, salvation is provided from the condition of being lost (John 14:6; Acts 4:12),
- the assurance that because of His grace, our faith in Him guarantees that we will spend eternity with Christ when this life is over (Rom. 8:16; 1 John 5:13).
No law keeping is required nor good work necessary for
salvation since salvation is a free gift God gives to us (Rom. 6:23; Eph.
The 10 Commandments
Many people erroneously associate the 10 Commandments with Christianity. The 10
Commandments were given to Israel to maintain civil law and order (1 Tim. 1:9)
until Christ came (Gal. 3:24,25).
God never intended for people to live by them (2 Cor. 3:3-11; Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17;
Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). He intends men to have a personal relationship with Him,
which is through Jesus Christ, independent of our own goodness. The very reason
God sent Jesus is that man in his fallen state could not consistently keep the
law, and violation of one law renders one guilty of breaking the whole law
(James 2:10). (See my article on
The Alleged Works Salvation Scriptures.) Jesus
kept the law perfectly and this qualified Him to satisfy God’s demands. He paid
the penalty which was due to us. This is why it is only through Him we can
be saved. It is already established that of our own we could not accomplish it. Christianity
differs from other religions in that it portrays God reaching down to man rather
than man reaching up to God. Christianity
is about a personal relationship with God, not following rules and regulations.
The Offence of Christianity
Christianity is by nature a discriminating religion. But this discrimination is theological, not social, racial or otherwise. The Bible teaches that Jesus is the ONLY way (John 14:6). Liberal Christians may believe that all religions lead to God, but true Christians do not believe that, because that is the opposite of what the Bible teaches. So could a Christian have a Moslem friend? Of course. The discrimination is theological not social. We could be friends with anyone while at the same time disagreeing with them politically or theologically.
But at the same time we must remember that people will naturally hate Biblical Christians because of this. They will call us bigots. The LGBT movement has declared open war against Biblical Christianity. Their objective is to cause all Christians to conform to a more liberal mould. And we see that happening in America today. Christian business people are being sued for refusing to participate in gay weddings. Is that really something to get sued for? Yet it's happening. Elsewhere, Christians are being killed and tortured by ISIS affiliates. The Bible tells us to expect persecution. Here is a test. If the LGBT movement loves you, then you probably fall into one of the false Christian categories above.
In summary, a Biblical Christian is one who has come to a saving relationship with God solely through Jesus Christ. No one else can claim to be Christian and be Biblical at the same time. A true Christian looks and thinks different from the world. And because of this, the world will hate us. But this is not unexpected. They persecuted Christ, so they will persecute us too. You should worry if you are not hated by the world.Home PDF Comment Bookmark