Christianity seems strange to those who stand outside its number, partly because of the bold claims it makes about the most important facets of life. This reality isn’t restricted to our modern era; for almost 2,000 years, Christianity’s claims and practices have been misunderstood.
The misunderstandings begin with what Christianity is even called.
No one has illustrated the misinterpretation of Christianity better than English-born minister, Dick Lucas. In a sermon preached across his long pastorate at St. Helen’s Bishopsgate, Lucas recounted a fictitious conversation between an early Christian and her neighbor in Rome. It would have gone something like this:
“Ah,” the neighbor says. “I hear you are religious! Great! Religion is a good thing. Where is your temple or holy place?”
“We don’t have a temple,” replies the Christian. “Jesus is our temple.”
“No temple? But where do your priests work and do their rituals?”
“We don’t have priests to mediate the presence of God,” replies the Christian. “Jesus is our priest.”
“No priests? But where do you offer your sacrifices to acquire the favor of your God?”
“We don’t need a sacrifice,” replies the Christian. “Jesus is our sacrifice.”
“What kind of religion is this,” replies the pagan neighbor.
“It’s no kind of religion at all,” explained the Christian.
Christianity. Because of what it is, it isn’t religion.
The King’s Cross by Timothy Keller. Dutton, 2011, Page 48.
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