=> Disclaimer: This is mostly an OPINION PIECE <=
It happens all the time. You're having good conversation in the office, or while you're out and about, or even sitting at home with friends. Inevitably, the topic of religion comes up. Everyone immediately shuts down and doesn't want to carry the conversation any further. The atmosphere gets thick and everyone becomes nervous, or sometimes even dismissive. Someone might even say, "Hey now, you never talk about religion or politics. Keep that to yourself." I call this THE IRON WALL. If you think about it, people are actually choosing what they do not want to know. Think about that for just a second. People willingly make the conscience choice to dismiss what they do NOT want to know or learn. Well, does this mean what they don't know is wrong? Not at all, it just means they refuse to tune in to anything more. No one can make an intelligent decision about anything if they are not well informed; that is a given. And if you are going to be informed, you need to evaluate ALL the evidence, for and against. If anyone deliberately ignores new evidences that they didn't yet know, in any study, you almost always end up with an incorrect conclusion. However, many do ignore specific facts on purpose to avoid admitting a conclusion they strongly disfavor. How else do you explain it other than that person has chosen to live in their own deception?
In this article, I want to specifically address conversations about Christianity. There are those who proclaim to be Christians, but know very little about its teachings, roots, or even Jesus Christ. And what's worse, these are typically the people who find it uncomfortable to talk about Christianity or Jesus Christ openly with others. I have had a family member who was extremely offended when you said they were not a Christian, but yet they openly rejected the bible's claims and never wanted to discuss the proofs for it's accuracy. They had created their own type of Christianity, and didn't want anything else. It is an incredible contradiction that I have seen time and time again! People are willfully keeping themselves ignorant of the truth by not examining the teachings and historical evidences of the "said belief" they subscribe to. Most do not even know what the bible says, or ever even take the dusty book off the shelf.
"For this they willingly are ignorant, that by the word of God..."
- 2Pe 3:5 KJV
Of course, non-Christians who refuse to listen, and put up The Iron Wall, also fall into this very same category. In my opinion, it's an extremely dangerous category to be in. Because, as I stated above, people typically ignore only the facts that make them uncomfortable, whether it's actual truth or not, thus creating a reality they can be comfortable living in. This reality can only be one of two things... actual truth, or a cozy, self-created delusion. I've said it before, truth can never be subjective. It's either truth or it's not. (read also Subjective Truth vs. Specific Directions)
There is a quote by the famous author, C.S. Lewis, where he states...
"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important."
- C.S. Lewis
In other words, if Christianity is true, there is NOTHING in this UNIVERSE that is more important! It means that if God made this place, He owns it (and us), and we better find out what He wants and what we should do. It should be, at the very least, thoroughly studied and reviewed by all of us. Not suppressed to the point that no one wants to talk about it amongst each other. But unfortunately, society has widely developed this type of timid reaction in those exposed to it's material. It really is no wonder when there are many fake people, groups, and churches that claim the name "Christians", yet abuse and/or profit from the title. I completely understand why most would have twisted prejudgments about Christianity and never really want to be in a conversation about it long enough to learn anything about it. This fact is a real shame!
So then, what is "real" Christianity? Well, allow me to start with what it is not. It's not a viewpoint. It's not even a religion. Christianity is not predicated on the personal teachings, interpretations, or opinions of any individual man or woman; never has been. Instead our teachings come from highly reliable historical records penned by prophets and holy men that were told what to write by God Himself! (read also A Remarkably Unique Book or Hidden Prophecy By Names)
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
- 2Pe 1:20-21 KJV
Real Christians are those that have an alive and active relationship with Jesus Christ, believe that scripture is 100% inerrant and inspired (even when some scripture is not totally understood, there is more than enough circumstantial evidence, inside and outside scripture, to take God at His word that it's ALL truth), and do their best to live out the lives that God intended for them. When a real Christian wants to share information, they are not simply giving a subjective self truth that they themselves decided to follow, or was brainwashed to believe, because it felt good to them. Real Christianity does not always bring a simple and prosperous life, either. More often, being a follower of Jesus Christ instead subjects you to many real hardships. It is rather an acceptance and a relationship with the truth. Absolute truth; which changes your perception of the world, which in turn changes your heart.
Additionally, Christianity can not be considered a religion. Religions are really just organizations, manufactured by men, that teach you can become righteous by your works, and even become a god yourself if you are good enough. It's no surprise that these man made systems also use their influences to exploit certain advantages for worldly benefits, like wealth and power. What many do not realize is that a great deal of what scripture says can be verified by outside historical records, and numerous archaeological discoveries. The Bible never has to catch up to science, but rather science is always trying to catch up to the claims of the Bible (read also Science In The Bible). This then does not make Christianity a "viewpoint" or a "religion" for any individual, but rather just allowing someone to accept an accurate and tangible historical record of who they are and where they come from. Most real Christians have a very intelligent and rational understanding of the facts that led them to their acceptance of Jesus Christ. Often times it's because they finally took the time to put down their guard and examine Christianity's claims rather than following the preprogrammed pressures of society. Some even set out to prove Christianity's claims and historicity as bogus, but instead ended up becoming devout Christians themselves once they determined they couldn't refute where the evidence took them (read also Earth's Flood Testimony).
So why do we shut down? Why won't we allow others to share these neat facts with us? Are we not even curious most of the time? Are we afraid we might not like what we find? Do we think there is too much to lose by knowing the truth, and not enough to gain? Do we love our lifestyle so much we would gamble our eternity on it? Are we so arrogant that what we already believe is absolute for us, and there is nothing more we want past our own current understanding? My prayer is we all learn to seek and listen.
"And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, ... have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? ... "
- Mar 8:17-18 KJV
Written by: Joshua Berry