After asserting that Christianity is full of hate and that God silently approves, Brother Boxer implored Brother Earl and myself to abandon Christianity.
“You guys should consider converting to something else. You really aren’t Christians, and the Christians don’t deserve you, anyway.”
A few Brothers took issue with Boxer’s categorization of Christianity as a hateful and evil religion with the approval of God. They claimed that many Christians are No True Christians.
While Boxer declined to give us a sensible alternative to Christianity, no alternative is needed. In truth, Christianity is operating as designed. We most certainly should not abandon Christianity. In order to show and explain this, we have to examine the roots of the religion. Consider the following claims:
- The Universe had a beginning and a Creator.
- Life was designed.
- Jesus really existed.
- Jesus died and was resurrected.
The first and second are arguments of science, logic, and philosophy. The third and fourth are arguments of history. Together these arguments bypass the majority of the Jewish folk religion as irrelevant†, while showing the authority and significance of Jesus. In doing so Christianity is established as a religion with a concrete, Big Bang-like origin—not an arbitrary folk religion subject to the whims of its adherents or cultural shifts.
In order to answer “Why Christianity?” one must consider the words of Jesus, its founder.
“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
The way is ‘narrow’ in that following Jesus involves trials, suffering, and a strenuous effort to accept. Indeed, this was promised in spades.
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Perhaps suffering is the reason why there will be so few followers of Jesus. Yet, if you find suffering, you will find the followers of Jesus loving.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
It’s a bitter pill that those who love must suffer. It may sound trite and clichéd, but the reason the followers of Jesus persist is because love is more powerful than suffering. While physics has four fundamental forces, Christianity has one: love.
But what about all of those who have corrupted the teachings? This is expected.
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
In summary, Jesus taught the following:
- The religion he was founding would never end.
- The religion would be corrupted, especially as time progressed.
- The religious faithful would be few.
- The religious would be characterized by (a) love and (b) suffering and persecution.
By virtue of his resurrection, Jesus had full authority to set the terms of his religion. Why then is anyone surprised that the religion he founded has turned out as expected?
When I look around I see the corruption, same as anyone else who cares to see. I also see the faithful few, characterized by their suffering and their love. Yet I won’t abandon ship—it isn’t sinking. I take the label of Christian because the Christ is my master, not because of what anyone else says or does. For better or worse, our actions—not labels—tell the story of who we are and where our allegiance lies. I’m okay with that.
† For sake of argument