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Friday, August 18, 2023

Take the Christianity Quiz


 

Okay, I lied - it isn't actually a quiz. Just something to think about:

How do you define Christianity? There are small variations from one church to another, nit-picky things like different understandings of a particular verse; teachings about saints, candles, confession and indulgences. 

But most Christian religions, when painted in very broad strokes, have these beliefs in common:


·       Jesus is understood to be God.
·       Jesus’ main reason for coming to earth was to be a manifestation of God and to save all mankind.
·       You have an immortal soul that continues when you die.
·       At death your soul goes to heaven or hell. 
·       Hell is a horrible place, generally believed to be tortuously hot.
·       Virtually no one you know personally ever ends up in hell. They have some redeeming quality that will keep them out of that place.
·       Eventually, everyone will be reconciled to God - apparently even the ones who were consigned to burn in hell forever.
·       Sex outside marriage is sort of frowned upon, but teachings to that effect are not enforced. While marriage to one of the opposite sex is viewed positively, alternatives are no one's business.
·       Opinions condemning homosexual behavior should be kept to oneself.
·       The most Christian quality is judgment-free acceptance of virtually any behavior that doesn't explicitly hurt a child or an animal.
·       Good Christians celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and other holy days. Regardless of their well-known pagan roots, such beliefs are sanctified by  their acceptance into the church.
·       Good Christians reverence their country’s flag, serve in the military, vote, and run for office.
·       A Christian preacher is a paid professional.
·       A Christian preacher should have a special title, wear special articles of clothing, be given special reverence, seats and parking spaces in the church.
·       Christian preachers overseeing churches may be of either gender and any sexuality.
·       The laity’s duty is to be nice to their neighbors and attend church, or at least support the preacher financially.
·       A collection plate is passed at every service. Special services such as weddings are expected to be accompanied by special payments.  
·       The Bible is mysterious and contradictory. It is a wise old book but not the absolute truth.
·       Faith means accepting what can’t be satisfactorily explained.

Since no one seems to agree on anything anymore I don’t expect anyone to look at this list and say, ‘Yup, that’s exactly what my church teaches.’ But you could ask yourself or a friend whether some, many, or most of the items above loosely fit your church.

If the answer is yes, here’s a shocker for you:

Jesus said, very specifically, that there would end up being two kinds of Christianity. He referred to one as ‘a broad, wide road leading off to destruction, and many are on it.’ The other, he said, was narrow, cramped, difficult, and “few are the ones finding it.” (Matthew 7:13, 14)

Lest you think that he meant ‘Christianity’ was the narrow road and, I don’t know, anti-Christianity, Pagandom, Islam? – is the broad road, notice that a few verses on he says that the people on the broad road call HIM “Lord!” (Matthew 7:22) 

The people on both roads label themselves as Christians.

What do all the teachings in those bullet-points above have in common?

Most of them are held in common by the majority. Hence, the people who agree with most of that list are on the wrong road, the broad road.

Am I reading too much into this? No, Jesus repeated the same point in different words in different places.

In Matthew 13:36-43 he compared his preaching to a man sowing wheat in a field. An enemy then over-sowed weeds in that same field. Jesus, the owner of the field, acknowledged that it would be hard to tell the wheat from the weeds and commanded, ‘Let both grow together until harvest.’ Christianity would include both wheat - genuine Christians, and weeds - fake Christians, side-by-side, down through time until the end.

In another word picture he compared Christians to a flock of mixed sheep and goats. (Matthew 25:31-46) In the illustration, both groups address him as “Lord”, so the entire flock are calling themselves Christians. But when tested, part of the flock fails. They are judged to be goats, weed-like, fake Christians; and they are destroyed. 

In the next column on this subject, we'll go through those bullet-points, one by one, and show from the Bible why real Christians don't agree with them.

Please feel free to copy the link to this column and share it with your friends. To jump to Part Two, click here.

Please leave a comment.

 Bill K. Underwood is the author of several novels and one non-fiction self-help book, all available at Amazon.com. You can help support this site by purchasing a book.

4 comments:

  1. I shared these exact points just a week ago. Except I didn't list the "beliefs in common". I REALLY APPRECIATE that List/This Post. Excellent Job! I'm going to ADD that "in common" list to my previous discussion and link this article.

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  2. The narrow road is not what you are saying it is. It is finding relationship with him. Not all who say Lord Lord will enter the kingdom. That includes every sect claiming to represent God and his kingdom. Your articles have a very skewed perspective because it lacks understanding of receiving the Holy Spirit. Being Spirit led. The idea you say Christendom professes that "Jesus is in my heart"....is a wrong understanding of what really happens. When you are convicted by the Holy Spirit of your sinful condition before a Holy God and Father, and you confess your sin with a contrite heart and accept Jesus sacrifice as payment for your sins....you receive the Holy Spirit and it is an indwelling within you. You become a child of God adopted into HIS family and are released from the law of sin. You are no longer under the condemnation of Adams heritage. This takes the power away from Satan over you. Until you are sealed with the Holy Spirit everyone is open for the enemy to control and for spiritual possession and attachment by unclean spirits. Many JWs have unclean spirits in them or attached to them. Please seek the Father separate from any mans understanding of him. Ask him to show you who he is. He is greater and more powerful than JWs teach or could ever appreciate. They say they are the way the truth and the life, but the bible says that Jesus is the way the truth and the life. God's word over mans! Please pray about this.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to write a comment. Perhaps you need to read this again. You are saying the exact same things that a large chunk of Christians say: 'Receiving the holy spirit', the spirit indwelling within you, etc. A lot of palaver, but not a scripture in sight. Exactly lining up with Jesus' definition of the broad way.
      Also, I notice the same 'holier than thou' attitude that permeates the broad way. 'Pray about this' is one of the most ignorant statements anyone can make.
      I read the scriptures daily AND I pray, as Jesus taught, to HIS FATHER, whenever I read scriptures.
      So, ponder this: If I'm reading God's word daily and praying to God to understand it, either God is a failure for not correcting my understanding, or your understanding of what the Bible is about needs correcting, and you are on the broad way with all the millions of other Christians who believe the way you do. Your choice.

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