Christianity is the most popular religion in the world today, with an estimated two billion followers around the world, and is the predominant religion in the two American continents, Europe, Australia and sub-Saharan Africa. Thus if a person’s spiritual orientation is actually NEUTRAL, then he is most likely to be Christian because there are simply more Christian families in the world than those of any other religion. However, there are people who, even if they are raised in a non-Christian religion, may be unhappy with their family’s faith and may decide that Christianity is a better one for them. This blog entry is for them as well as for others that may be looking for a “true” version of the Christian faith, whatever their original background.
- Remember that Jesus, said to be the founder of Christianity, was a JEW, as were his early disciples. Therefore anyone who is a genuine Christian would also love and respect the Jewish religion and people. Anti-Semitism should have absolutely NO place among Christians.
- Jesus himself wrote nothing that survives to this day; what you read about him in the Christian Scriptures (commonly called the New Testament) are second-hand accounts of what some people thought he said. Do not take those quotations at face value. Do not believe that the Bible or any part of it is the infallible Word of God. That is actually an insult to any real God that may exist. Remember that one form of idolatry is attributing God’s glory to anything man-made, including books that have references to God himself in them.
- The many references in the Christian Scriptures to the coming of the kingdom of God were interpreted by many Christian leaders as referring to the literal coming of Jesus to conquer the world and directly rule it afterwards. This is absurd; if that was the case, it should have happened while the generation that lived in the time of Jesus still was around. They have all been dead for over 1900 years. Those prophecies must already have been fulfilled with the rise of Christianity to take over the formerly Pagan dominated Roman Empire. Writers like Hal Lindsey who claimed otherwise were lying to us.
- Remember that the Apostle Paul, who wrote about half of the Christian Scriptures that were later accepted by the early Christian community as valid, was not even an original disciple of Jesus. He led some of the early Christians, including many from non-Jewish backgrounds, in a very different direction from the groups that consisted mostly of Jews. The Jewish groups eventually faded away, leaving the non-Jewish ones. The result was a badly distorted faith. After all these centuries, we simply have no way of knowing if Paul was a legitimate Christian leader or not.
- In most cases, you must be a CHRISTIAN and nothing else. Do NOT claim as your primary religious identity any subdivision within Christianity, such as Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Mormon, or anything else. You would be a Christian who might go to a Baptist or Catholic church, but that’s it. Reject as necessary or justified any division within the Christian community that claims to be the one true religion. It is only CHRISTIANITY itself that ever should have made that claim. Not Mormonism, not the Jehovah’s Witnesses, nor any other such radical “reformist” or “restorationist” group within Christianity. These are simply additional divisions that do more damage to the credibility of Christianity itself.
- There is one exception to this: if you are also a member of a religious group that is actually multifaith, like the Unitarian Universalist Association. Then you should distinguish yourself from non-Christian UUs, but also celebrate the UUism you have in common with them. Check out this website: http://uuchristian.org/