It’s easy to understand why nearly all non-Christians, secularists, and the media misunderstand Christianity. Today, words and their definitions are nearly meaningless because they are used interchangeably to support opposite agendas. Relativism and proof-texting are one means to this end, often justifying the terms people use about themselves and others.
Division among denominations, churches, organizations, and even personalities, advocating their own version of truth certainly hinders non-believers from understanding Christianity.
What is genuine Christianity?
Genuine Christianity is rooted in the historical person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus’s words and actions communicate God’s unconditional, immeasurable love, and his actions made possible redemption. To know Jesus is to know God; and one’s belief about Jesus yields eternal consequences.
A Bible-believing Christian affirms that Jesus is not only the Word of God but is also the key to understanding God’s revelation. (John 1, 5, 8; Romans) Jesus made authoritative claims about his deity, the eternal co-existing relational nature of God, and the necessity for salvation, truth, and life, all of which only he can provide. His claims got him killed. (cf Jn. 10:29, 30, 8:24-27, 5:18, 3:35, 15:26, 19:10-11; Lk. 2:49, 11:13; 1 Jn. 4; 1 Pet. 1; Matt. 26:39)
Knowing Jesus is evidenced through a Christian’s commitment to the authority and divine authorship of the Bible as God’s Word, which cannot be altered. (Prov. 30:5-6;2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21) Knowing Jesus results in the rejection of false teachings, such as those taught in the Qur’an and the Book of Mormon, among others. Followers of both texts claim their texts add to or correct the Bible, and that the Bible is not enough on its own, or is inaccurate.
Genuine Christians affirm the Bible alone communicates God’s divine answer to humanity’s deepest needs, and provides moral and ethical guidance to foster human flourishing and right and peaceable living. The Bible records the true gospel of Jesus Christ, which offers forgiveness, mercy, grace, redemption, hope, joy, and eternal life.
Birth, baptism, ethnicity, or culture do not a Christian make. One becomes a Christian only through faith in Jesus Christ, whose grace and imputed righteousness personally transforms believers relationally to him. Such conversion, what Jesus called being “born again,” results in obedience demonstrated through love.
Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s founding pastor, Tim Keller, once said, “We don’t love people in order to share our faith with them. Rather, we share our faith and ourselves with them in order to love them.”
Love is demonstrated through action. Such action has been historically documented in the numerous humanitarian organizations, hospitals, charities, schools, and social reform efforts begun by genuine Christians who transformed societies serving their neighbors.