What is Christianity About?
A few weeks ago I posted on my Facebook a simple question: What is Christianity about?
I received a decent amount of responses ranging from the obvious like love, service and sanctification to obeying God and living life according to Scripture. I also received some more detailed responses such as letting Christ live through our thoughts and actions or extending grace and not condemning a brother/sister in Christ as we learn to live out the Word of God. Then there were the verses that were posted in response to the question such as Mark 16:15-18 or Philippians 1:21.
Philippians 1:21 – For me, living is Christ and dying is gain.
Those are all great responses.
But almost every single one of them was different from what another Christian brother or sister posted.
And does giving a short answer really encapsulate the spectrum of Christianity or give Christ the respect He is due?
One of the people who answered me told me that my question was a nebulous, and I wholeheartedly agree.
But the point I want to make is just that.
The Christian life is so much more than a short description . Unfortunately, many Christian organizations only focus on one piece of the Christian walk and ignore the others. Some will celebrate one aspect over the others, which leads to a dangerous potential for heresy to enter the church. Other times, individual Christians are to blame when we hear a Sunday sermon preached then make that sermon or its topic the most important part of our lives.
There are major denominations of Christianity and major Christian websites, teachers, preachers, and others who refuse to touch this subject because of its immensity. I went to many of the commentaries I use regularly and very few of them explain truly what Christianity is about. Many of the authors I read don’t detail the answer to this question.
I remember a song a long time ago when I was growing up that had the line, “I know everything Your bride is against but I don’t know what she’s about.”
And that is true of the church today. When the world thinks of the church, they think of everything we are against. I used to ask people outright to come to church with me every week. Without fail, whenever I asked someone to come with me to church they would ask me where my church stands on issues like gay marriage, gun control, democrats/liberals, abortion, sex, and the list goes on. I realized that in simply asking that question outright, I was creating an environment that was hostile. If I answered in a way that they disagreed, then I could potentially lose a friend, or even more importantly, a chance to continually disciple that person over the long term. Now I don’t invite people to church as much anymore until I have had a chance to disciple them or teach them about the church, what we stand for, and who Christ is.
Jesus never called us to make church attenders or even converts. He called us to make disciples.
What I hope to accomplish over the next few weeks is to look at what makes a Christian a Christian. What is it that Christians should unify under and proclaim. I hope to make a pretty exhaustive list, but I am sure that I will miss some point about Christian life.
Life is complicated.
It can’t be summed up in a few short words.
When people write their biographies or autobiographies we find that they sometimes publish multiple different biographies about themselves because they cannot explain their life so simply in one book.
John 17:21 – May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me.
The purpose of this series is to give Christians of every denomination something to unify under. God calls believers to unity (John 17:21). Without unity we run the risk of losing our testimony as a church. The churches in the book of Revelation weren’t called out for their great acts (except for 2 of the 7). They were called out because their testimony was either weakened or removed by their lack of unity to Scripture.
So, is Christianity about love?
Is Christianity about justice?
Is Christianity about a lot of other things?
It is about emulating Christ. And if we are going to emulate Christ, then we are going to have to understand the nature of God. And once we understand the nature of God, then we need to put on OUR new nature. It is about becoming that new nature. Leaving behind the old, sinful nature.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
So, the long answer to the question of what is Christianity about is that you will have to follow along each week until we’ve exhausted as many of the components of the nature of God.
That makes the short answer to “What is Christianity about?” to mean that we to learn to emulate Christ, both human and divine. And I will plan on doing that over the next few weeks, months, years…whatever it takes.
I hope you will follow along on this path I am about to go down.