It’s not! Ask yourself this, are you a Christian? If so, why are you a christian? Is it because you believe certain things? The right things? Is it because you do certain things? Or are you a Christian because there is a divine reality of love and you live or at least wish to live in it!
At the center Christianity states that: god is love and that we love, because god first loved us. This would lead us to a Christianity that fundamentally is about discovering divine love, living loved and loving others.
The early Christians did not call themselves Christians (little Christs) but rather, followers of the way. What way was that? Well first of all it was not the way of the existing Jewish community: legalism or religious observance. It was not the way of setting up specific criteria for belonging to the way. It was Kurios Christos; Jesus is lord not Caesar. Love is lord not law!
The most quoted text of the bible: John 3.16, makes it clear that gods incredible, scandalous, unconditional love is for gods creation (kosmos) of which you and I are apart and therefore we are so loved. Now most people run straight from the agape love of god to the condition of belief. But the divine agape is unconditional, which funnily enough means without conditions. And the word belief as in accepting a truth claim is a modern concept, as the enlightenment swept through Europe the word believe went from meaning trusting, loving (the word actually is rooted in the word belove) to believing that a fact is true. And so the meaning of John 3.16 went from loving relationship to intellectual, propositional truth. Even so gods love is not dependent on us loving or trusting god. Because gods love is unconditional. There are no conditions for receiving gods grace and love. What then are we to do with what seems to be a choice between eternal life and destruction?
The early Christian text Didaché states that there are two roads, one that leads to life and one that leads to death. I firmly believe that while it is easy to cram this text and John 3.16 into the eternal heaven/hell dichotomy it is far more likely that the text is actually talking about a living reality, here and now.
While everyone is included into gods scandalous, unconditional love, no ifs no buts, we can still choose to live a life where we feel more dead than alive, more alone and desolate than loved. On the other hand we can choose a life living in freedom and love where every step of the way makes us feel more alive, more connected, more loved. This is the way of life! This is the way we follow and so this is Christianity. There is no list only love.
- Love is not a theory
- Jesus is not a religion
- Christianity is not a checklist
- Church is not an adress
- The Bible is not a book of doctrines
- Community is not a meeting
- Grace has no exceptions
- Ministry is not a program
- Art is not carnal
- Women are not inferior
- Our humanity is not the enemy
- Sinner is not our identity
- Tattoos are not evil
- Peace is not a circumstance
- Science is not secular
- Life is not a warm-up for heaven
- The world is not without hope
- The mind is not infallible
- God is not a belief system
- Feelings are not dangerous and unreliable
- Self actualisation is not self-worship
- Seeing the divine in all things is not heretical
- Loving the earth is not satanic