What is Christianity?
Summed up in a very quick sentence, I'd say it is a relationship with God through the teachings of the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth.
Now then, where are the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth found... the Gospel, those series of books and letters that make up what we call the New Testament.
Now, if you are a pastor, claiming to be a Christian, what should you do?
I think the obvious answer is to actually talk about the Gospel, and not distort the message found within.
Unfortunately, there are many pastors out there who claim to be Christian, but distort the message of the Gospel, or do not even talk about it. With their "feel good" message speaking what you "want to hear" versus "what you need to hear", they are slowly but surely eroding the pillars of the Gospel within people. This can be seen in many "mega-churches" these days in the USA and quite frankly, it is disgusting.
The Gospel is not all "flowers and sunshine". There are many passages that state that things will be difficult following the path of the Christ.
The reality is this: truth causes strife. There will always be disagreements between people, and there is no way to please everyone all of the time. In the Christ's own words (from Luke 12:49-53):
Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, a father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
Disagreements within Christianity are quite common, and can be quite healthy (the last thing we need in this world is a Thoecratic GodBot State running everything). But if you teach that the walk with the Christ is a path that should be without any hardships and struggles, you are setting up a lot of people to start hating God when they hit the wall of disappointment in life. Teaching that a "good life" is a right, due to the sacrifice of the Christ, will ultimately cast more people into darkness than bring them into the light of Jesus.
Let's let a man with a better way with words than I, touch on this subject:
My thanks go out to Mars Hill Church for posting their sermons online to share with others in this world.
Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.