Christianity is a Western religion. Or is it? Find out some truths of what Christianity really is!
By Kristine Lee
Find out if these common beliefs about Christianity are true or false!
1. Christianity is a Western religion - False.
Jesus was a Jew and His first disciples were Jews in Israel, within the Middle East. Outside of Israel, the first church that the Bible records the apostle Paul founded was in the city of Antioch, in the modern day Turkey. Turkey lies in the Asian continent! This belief is common because in for many centuries the spread of Christianity was directed from Europe. Unfortunately, being entwined with colonialism and Imperialism, Christianity suffered a bad reputation. A true Christian will not see himself or herself superior than any other person. The Bible is clear that we are all sinners and all fall short of God's standards.
2. Christianity is a religion full of rules that stifles freedom - False.
Christianity is a relationship with God founded upon love. Christians desire to follow God's will out of love for God and trusting God's moral compass and goodness.
It's true the ten Commandments were given by God. This was in a time of rampant lawlessness. God needed to set some rules for the good of mankind, much like a parent will set rules for his/her children for their own welfare. Or a government's laws designed to protect. Can you imagine criminals being allowed to do whatever they want? But humanity was not able to meet His standards, so God mercifully sent Jesus to save us to pay the penalty for our sins or wrongdoings.
What Jesus has done gives us true freedom. It's not a freedom to do whatever we want to do. Thank God for that wisdom! Because not everything we want to do is necessarily good for us or for others! True freedom is freedom from being held under the power and control of a natural tendency to sin. This frees us to choose God's perfect will for our lives. And His will is good, because He wants the best for us and knows our full potential.
3. Christianity is archaic and detached from reality and modern life - False.
The entire Bible is full of stories that give instructions on what pitfalls to avoid. "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching,rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" Timothy 3:16
It's not just a general moral compass. When God speaks through His Word, it's personal and applicable. One can read the same passage over and over, but see discover different meanings! "For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires." Hebrews 4:12 (NLT)
The Book of Proverbs within the Bible is full of wisdom that is applicable for different areas of life. There is content on parenting, finances, relationships and more!
The Bible doesn't sugarcoat reality.
Jesus repeatedly prepares His disciples for a life that is not a bed of roses.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.In this world you will have trouble.But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 The Bible also foretells of a troubled world in the end of days.
"There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven." Luke 21:11 Many of Jesus' disciples in the Bible were beaten and killed for their belief. So why do Christians have peace and joy, even in the midst of hardship? If you knew that there is someone always there with you, who loves you and wants the best for you, and that someone is the Almighty God, who is good and in control of all things, wouldn't you be on cloud nine, all the time?
4. Churches are out to get my money - False.
Truth Giving in church is not mandated but encouraged because
giving cultivates generosity. It frees us from greed and hoarding resources "Where your treasure is, there your heart will also be" Matthew 6:21
we acknowledge God as our provider when we give, and that we are stewards of what He has given us.
it is a form of thanksgiving and a worship unto God.
it helps us build of faith. As we give, we declare that God will provide and we will be in no lack.
5. Christianity is a blind belief - False.
Yes, it does take faith to believe in Jesus and His resurrection which we have not witnessed in person. But this faith is not blind faith but biblical faith is based on facts in the Bible and not feelings or hearsay.
You are allowed to question and ask. The apostle Paul often addressed questions with proof from the Word of God and historical events. God often provided proof through miracles.
We are each responsible for our own decision for Jesus. No one inherits Christianity as their religion or can be coerced into it. This is the free will that God has given us.
Reflect & Respond
What does Christianity mean to you? How did you come to this conclusion?
How will your life look like with all the freedom to be the best of who you can be? How will it free you to know that you are unconditionally loved by God, who will never leave or desert you?