Is Christianity Stifling or Empowering?

Is Christianity Stifling or Empowering? May 8, 2024

A Christian in prayer
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There is a stereotype of Christianity that has been popularized by the secular culture today. It’s that kind of Christianity that limits your freedom and stifles you. All it does is stop you from doing the things that you love, the things that can make you happy.

As a result, people form an image in their minds that Christianity is limiting. What could be more suffocating than having someone always telling you not to do this or that?

In addition to this, Christianity seems to have a penchant for suffering. Its heroes are its martyrs, the sorrowful saints who have been abused and killed for their faith.

And for one who is being victimized, for one whose only yearning is to be set free from pain, what is the use of this kind of faith?

As a result, many can quickly scoff at the idea of conversion. Why convert only to suffer and to live a life of a slave? Why be in darkness when you can bask in the light?

It’s a sad thing, but that’s just how many people see Christianity. We find it so hard to evangelize because we’re immediately dismissed as those who can offer nothing but more pain to a world that is already in so much heartache.

It is true that suffering has a central role in Christianity, and it is only through sacrifice that we can test true love.

But that is not the complete picture of what Christianity is all about.

To begin trying to understand its true message, let us look at this Bible verse:

“I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.”- Isaiah 42 (RSVCE)

Let us also look at another one from the New Testament:

“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.” – Luke 7:22 (RSVCE)

Would countless people have flocked to Jesus if He preached only about pain and suffering? We know that wherever He went, a crowd had always been there. People waited for Him to pass by hoping to be healed. They would follow Him in distant places just to hear Him speak words of eternal life.

To the hungry, he offered bread to eat. To the woman caught in adultery, He offered forgiveness. To the repentant thief, He promised even paradise.

Christianity is not about darkness but about light! It is not about confining people to suffering, sickness and pain but about healing. And it is not about imprisoning people but in setting them free!

This is the complete picture of what true Christianity is about. While we never forget the reality of suffering and the value of sacrifice, we must remember that Christianity heals, brings light and sets people free!

Our suffering is temporary, but the joys promised us is eternal. We may walk in darkness, but we keep on following the light that is before us.

Christianity is about freeing us from the captivity of sin, evil and eternal death.

That’s the very reason we see so much suffering as we look at the cross. Jesus suffered and died for us so that we may have life! An eternal and happy life that no one could ever take away from us.

The world may offer its pleasures, but the happiness they provide is fleeting. Sin may offer lack of restraint in doing whatever we please, but its consequences would always be enslaving. Evil is something that deceives so that it may destroy us in the end.

“For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” – Mark 8:36 (RSVCE)

Let us not lose sight of what is truly good in exchange for illusions of goodness. Let us not be blinded by temptations that will have us lose our very souls.

We must try to discern what is enslaving and what is liberating. Let us pray so that we may have wisdom and proper judgment.

Christ has come to set us free from darkness. There is nothing else that can ever be more empowering than that!

“He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’

..And he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’”

Luke 4:17-19,21 (RSVCE)

You may also want to read “Are Christians Supposed To Be Powerless?”

Jocelyn Soriano is the author of the book Defending My Catholic Faith.

“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” – 1 Peter 3:15 (NABRE)

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About Jocelyn Soriano
Jocelyn Soriano is an author, poet, and book reviewer. She is an introvert who enjoys a cup of coffee and listening to the cello ****** while working.

She wrote the books To Love an Invisible God, Defending My Catholic Faith and Mend My Broken Heart. She also wrote books on poetry including Poems of Love and Letting Go and Of Waves and Butterflies: Poems on Grief. She has published more than 15 books and developed her own Android applications including God’s Promises and Catholic Answers and Apologetics.

She writes about relationships and common questions about God and the Catholic faith at Single Catholic Writer. She is currently single and happy and she would like everyone to know how happy we can be by drawing close to the love of God!

You can read more about the author here.

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