What Jesus Actually Said
A recent survey by Pew Research asked devout Christians to identify the attitudes and behaviors that they believed were essential to being a Christian. Not surprisingly, 97% said that “belief in God” was fundamental to Christian faith.
What’s more surprising is that 3% of Christians think that belief in God is not essential to being a Christian. How bizarre.
After ‘belief in God,’ the answers became increasingly diverse and interesting. Here are some of the top responses amongst devout Christians when asked about the things that are essential to their Christian identity:
- 89% said praying regularly
- 70% said reading the Bible regularly
- 61% said attending religious services
- 47% said serving the church
- 47% said not losing one’s temper
- 43% said dressing modestly
Other ‘essentials’ that featured on the list included being grateful, helping the poor and spending time with your family.
Now don’t get me wrong. There is nothing bad about any of the things that appear on this list. In fact, most, if not all, of these things are good things. However, if you were an outsider looking into Christianity, you could be forgiven for believing that being a Christian means going to church, reading your Bible, praying every day, stamping out a bunch of undesirable behaviors — commonly referred to as sin — being a generally nice person, and wearing a dress that goes down to at least your knees.
What I’ve described here though is not Christianity. It’s what I call “Churchianity,” — more commonly referred to as cultural Christianity. Cultural Christianity is really more about religious activity, habit and external appearance, rather than the true, internal, life-transforming work of Christ in the life of an individual.
I define real Christianity as simply following Christ and his commands.
I know, I know.
Following commands doesn’t sound like much fun. However, when I really take the time to look at the commands of Christ, I realize that following Christ is actually…