There are a lot of misconceptions about Christianity. We have allowed our faith to be hijacked by those who seek to misrepresent it. We have to be clear witnesses, in no uncertain terms, and set the record straight.
What Happened to Christianity?
The process started long ago. When the serpent tempted Eve (and Adam) with the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he countered God’s own warning with words and reasoning to the contrary. God said they would die, but the serpent (or satan) said that just wasn’t true. They listened to the wrong voice and disobeyed God’s words.
Today, the enemy is still doing all he can to turn people away from the Word of God. This process has utilized worldly arguments that are successful at influencing people who aren’t fully versed in what scripture says or in what Jesus taught. Each argument seems convincing enough to pull these unrooted Christians away from the truth, and from their very faith.
A Falling Away…
There have been a number of Christians who have fallen away from the faith, but the most lethal targets the enemy chooses are those in positions of leadership and influence.
Recently, two well-known Christian leaders announced that they had left the faith. Joshua Harris, a former pastor and author, said he no longer calls himself a Christian and that he now vocally supports the LGBTQ community. A similar announcement was made even more recently by Marty Sampson, a Hillsong United worship leader.
Worldly arguments have proven highly effective with these influential people, and their influences can cause even more to fall away.
Recognizing the False Arguments
While it’s a sad fact that this is happening, we should neither be surprised nor disheartened. Satan has been at this for millennia, and he’s gotten quite crafty at it. The Bible speaks of a “falling away,” so we have to guard our hearts and stay rooted in the Word of God in order to recognize all the clever tricks of the enemy.
Each of these worldly arguments tries to either make sin okay somehow or make it seem unloving and judgmental for us to call it sin. Embedded within this notion is the false belief that Christianity stands in judgment of sinners. If we are truly like Christ, then we are to be friends of sinners – but that doesn’t mean that we condone sin.
The enemy has succeeded in making people think that believing what the Bible says about sin is the same thing as judging. Perhaps some so-called Christians (yes, even some of us) have been guilty of judging others, but the Bible clearly tells us NOT to do that. I can believe homosexuality is wrong (because the Bible says so) without judging gays. There IS a big difference. Indeed, I can be their friend!
In fact, what I tell people when witnessing, I can’t judge anyone for their sins without judging myself. I have my own struggles with sin, and I’m not better than anyone else. The Bible says that, by the same manner that I judge someone else, I will be judged. Because of my belief in the Word of God, I can neither condone sin nor condemn anyone for it. That’s just not my place. God alone will stand in judgment of us all.
Many Refuse to Hear
We must also understand that there are those who simply won’t listen, either due to preconceived ideas of our faith or because of an unwillingness to submit to Godly principles. For such people, we can only do so much. In many cases, prayer might be our sole resort for them.
[Warning against falling away] We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!
Hebrews 5:11-12 [NIV]
Some of the hardest people to reach for the Kingdom can be those who previously called themselves Christians. These people often think they already know all there is to know about Christianity. They once believed, but only in a shallow sense. That belief was not rooted deeply in the truth, or it would not have been so easily uprooted.
Standing Firm in the Faith
Once we learn to recognize the tricks and false arguments of the enemy, and keeping ourselves deeply rooted in God’s Word, with humble hearts full of love and grace, we must stand firmly in what we believe. But we have to KNOW what believe first. Correcting the false notions about our faith is dependent upon us knowing the truth.
You can’t witness effectively to someone who thinks you either have already judged them or hate them. Often, that’s the first misconception we have to tackle. They need to know that we love them and don’t consider ourselves to be better than them. Make it clear that you don’t want to be their judge, but their friend. This should be obvious in both your words and your actions or behavior toward them.
Too often, our Christian faith gets hijacked and misrepresented to the world. Satan wants everyone to think we are against them rather than for them. We have a responsibility as Christians to correct these false ideas and set the record straight. We have to own our faith, knowing exactly what we believe and standing firmly in it. Otherwise, we may be uprooted ourselves and fall away or be deceived by worldly views.