Why Christianity? Why not something else?

I was listening to some of the kids at church talk about various other faiths, and was struck by how unimpressed they are with their own faith. The overwhelming impression I got from these kids is that faith is a matter of consumer options, like the choice between an iPhone or an Android phone – and about as important.

Many of my fellow believers have no awareness that their beliefs are fundamentally identical to most other religions. They like to tell themselves they are unique, but in practice, they prove their beliefs are very common.

If that is true – if Christianity has the same basic common foundational beliefs as any other religions – then choosing to be a Christian or a Muslim or a Mormon is the same type of choice as deciding what brand of car to drive. All cars are fundamentally built the same way and do the same thing – some better, some worse – but at the end of the day, what makes them unique is the details – all cars are fundamentally just a machine to move you around.

So what is that most Christians really believe? Here it is in a nutshell:

If you follow the rules, God will reward you. If you ignore the rules, He will punish you.

This is essentially what Muslims believe, Hindus believe, Mormons believe, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe or for that matter Zoroastrians, Pagans and Baal worshipers. The only difference between the various religions is in the rules. Muslims must worship on Fridays. JWs must not celebrate holidays. Mormons must wear holy underwear. Pagans must ┬ábe kind. Baal worshipers must sacrifice a child now and then. I have no idea what Zoroastrians believe, but I suspect it is something equally stupid.

Christians don’t believe their faith is fundamentally different, they just think their rules are better.

Urgh.

If that’s the case, I have zero interest in teaching anyone to be a Christian, because frankly, a lot of the Christian rules are just stupid. If the only thing Christianity has to recommend it is “better rules”, then I think people should be Buddhists instead.

But I contend that Christianity is not just a faith differentiated by better rules; Christianity is different at its very core. To return to my transportation analogy: Whereas all the other faiths are automobiles, Christianity is a Star Trek Transporter.

What is it that makes the Christian faith utterly completely totally unique – unlike any other? I am not talking about the story of its beginnings, because every faith has a unique story. I am talking about the claims Christianity makes about God and Man and how that affects believers in their everyday lives.

There is One Thing that makes the Christian story utterly unlike any other. Do you know what it is? Please comment.

4 thoughts on “Why Christianity? Why not something else?”

  1. Actually, Jack, I don’t think that God is going to punish me if I screw up. I don’t think he is going to punish you or anybody else, for that matter. I believe that God’s grace is extended to everyone, yes, even non-believers. Why be “good”, then? What is my motivation? I cannot answer for everyone, but gratitude and a desire to make a feeble attempt at being Christ’s hands and feet while I’m here would be my personal reason.

    My answer to your question: free grace.

  2. I’d go even further with your automobile analogy Jack. The other faith’s aren’t actually cars. They are a program where a salesman tells you at the end of your payment plan, he’ll give you a car. And then when you do finish your payments, you get sent to the worst prison imaginable.

    And yes, God will punish everyone who does not accept his grace. If there were no punishment, then what did Christ’s blood atone for? If Atonement is extended to all, why does Christ say he is the only way. And who are all those people he kills at the end of the world?

    No, simply put, you can accept God, and He will build a relationship with you, or you can reject God and He will let you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *