the most dangerous misconception about christianity: "Christianity is Not Relevant Today!"
The Charge: "Christianity was great for the folks 2000 years ago who didn't know better!" "Science has dis-proven the 'fables' of Christianity." "Christianity is a crutch for those who cannot take care of themselves, or who need something to hope for because they have too many failures or troubles in their lives." "Times have changed, and Christianity is out of date." Whatever the charge, a very popular sentiment in our time is that 'Christianity Is Not Relevant To Our Modern Lives Today!"
Let's Think About This - Lets consider the meaning behind this claim, and ask ourselves some very important questions. Would you act upon something even if you knew it isn't true? Would you accept something as true once you are convinced of the evidence, or despite the evidence? These seem like simplistic questions - think of your answers to them as you consider the discourse below:
There are many 'apparent' reasons that we could make the claim of Irrelevance:
"Christianity Is Too Restricting" - 'Thou shalt not' is sometimes seen as the mantra of a Christian. This is too bad, since real Christianity is about freedom! Christians believe that they are saved by grace, through faith, not by what they do or don't do! It is the love of the Lord they have for doing what He did for them, that causes them to obey His commands. AND, His commands 'are not burdensome', and are indeed intended for the benefit of mankind (the world might just be a better place if everyone loved their neighbor as themselves!)
"Christianity Is Too Boring" - A fellowship of loving, caring, and intellectually honest and open people is the most exciting social aspect of Christianity. Many non-believers seek this social acceptance, many with disastrous results! And, when the Holy Spirit enters your life and a loving relationship with Christ is experienced, the things that you may think are 'fun' today sure seem a mile away! In short, your focus and purpose in life will be different (a result of being spiritually 'born again') and you will realize that you finally grasp the 'meaning of life'.
Christianity Is Misunderstood - Many people have been 'put off' by a bad relationship with a 'Christian' or have had trouble accepting or understanding a particular Church's doctrine. The worst thing that a Christian can do is be judgmental or critical. In reality, Christians are no 'better' than the worst 'sinner', and should realize that the only difference is that we are 'saved'. The Church is intended to be like a hospital for sick people, instead of a cliquish den of self-righteous piety. A healthy Church will provide education and accountability, but be balanced with a strong social cohesion and care network for those inside and outside the Church. It is the place to be when you need help, inclusion, or a place to go to be safe. Properly understood, the Church is a refuge in the storm.
Now let's think of some of the reasons why Christianity is indeed relevant to our lives today:
Christianity Is Livable (It Is Our History and our Culture!) - In the West, we enjoy the benefits of a social system based upon Judeo-Christian values. Our freedoms, our responsibilities, and our morals that we have (for the most part) 'grown up on' are based directly on a foundation of values that God has placed in us, for our benefit and for us to seek Him. Any other system of morality is ultimately un-livable (Atheism, New Age, etc etc) because they generally all, by default, still utilize the framework of values that has been established by God and Christ, not the values that they prescribe for themselves (which would certainly make THEM irrelevant!). A denial of this comes either from ignorance of history, or from a misunderstanding of the values that we enjoy vs. what each other worldview prescribes. Just attempt to live your life without a baseline of freedom, equality, hope, purpose, or meaning, as the others would have you do! You see, Christianity is relevant to you in this regard already - we simply need to ponder and acknowledge it! (See the questions regarding Relativism and Meaning)
Christianity Is Intuitive (It's Obvious) - Do we really believe that something (indeed everything!) came from nothing? Show me the evidence of that! Did the 'laws of science' evolve from randomness? Is there ANY evidence of that? The Naturalists just presume they always existed! Indeed, the recent observations of science point to a beginning of the creation, and the rapid expansion of life (not the slow evolution, as evidenced by the 'Cambrian Explosion'). We can also easily see the fallen nature of man (just watch the news any day), as well as feel our desire for acceptance, comfort and hope (our 'religious instincts'). When we realize these things, Christianity seems more and more reasonable, just from our daily observations of life! (How's that for relevant?!)
Christianity Is Needed (Comforting) - Speaking of our 'religious instinct', when we are honest with ourselves and acknowledge the shortcomings of our human nature, we then realize that we spend enormous amounts of energy and resources attempting to be 'happy'. The problem is, that all that working to be happy rarely ever succeeds! When we finally acknowledge that we are in fact not the center of the universe, and that there is a higher purpose to which we can aspire, we become set free from the treadmill of the pursuit of happiness/disappointment, and also see past the inevitable problems of life (especially our human weaknesses, sicknesses and death!) and look toward the hope of fulfillment of our purpose in Christ! (True happiness - extremely relevant!)
Christianity Is TRUE! - Most importantly (in fact, the only 'real' reason - the others are just 'side benefits'!) is the fact that Jesus is indeed the Christ! The Apologetics (defenses of the faith) as well as the assurances of the Holy Spirit to our hearts lead us to the conclusion this Christianity is True. Any denial of Truth is clearly Not Relevant! A person may as well deny the rising of the sun or the inevitability of death - Truth is Truth whether we want to acknowledge it or not! The acceptance of this fact goes beyond declaring Christianity relevant, and now forces us to consider whether our personal beliefs are relevant, if we indeed choose not to believe!
The pages on this website, as well as the myriad of references included, seek to persuade that Christianity is a reasonable concept, and indeed the TRUTH. But a clear understanding of the evidences can only be obtained if an open mind is present, free of misconceptions and preconceived problems. Please consider this as you take the time to review the further evidences of Christianity.