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MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT CHRISTIANITY
Victor M. Eskew
A. The United States of America is rapidly changing.
1. We used to be a Judeo/Christian nation, meaning that the majority of people in this nation were either Jews or considered themselves to be Christians.
2. This has changed.
a. Now we have many cultures within our nation. Many people embrace world religions like Islam or Hinduism.
b. Others who grew up in “Christian” homes have forsaken their religious tradition. Many are not members of any religious group.
3. There is, however, a Christian influence within our nation.
a. At times, they raise their voice loud enough to make a difference, especially with regard to moral issues.
b. They are influential enough that others know “a little bit” about us.
B. The “little bit” that other know about us, however, is often quite distorted. We learn this when our opponents use our Christianity against us.
C. This morning we want to talk about some of the “Misconceptions about Christianity” that some people have in their minds.
I. CHRISTIANITY IS LOVING AND ACCEPTING
A. There is no doubt that Christianity teaches us to love others.
1. Romans 13:8
Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
2. This love is to extend even to our enemies (Matt. 5:44).
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
B. Those who know that Christians are supposed to be loving reason from there that love involves acceptance, even if we are called upon to accept something that is sinful.
1. The opposition will say that if we do not accept them, then we do not love them.
a. If we do not accept a couple who is living in an adulterous relationship, we do not love them.
b. If we do not accept the gay and lesbian lifestyle, we hate them instead of love them.
c. If we do not accept the religion of Islam, we do not love them.
2. Love and acceptance are not tied together in God’s Word.
a. God is our example.
1) God loves all men (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; II Cor. 5:19-21; I John 4:9-10).
2) God, however, does not accept all men. In the Day of Judgment, there will be those who God does not accept (Matt. 7:13-14; 25:41).
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
3) The only place wherein God accepts man is “in Christ” (Eph. 1:6).
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
b. Just as God can love others without accepting them, so can we (II John 10).
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into our house, neither bid him God speed.
II. CHRISTIANITY DOES NOT JUDGE OTHERS
A. Christians often talk about such things as wrong, evil, unrighteousness, sin, condemnation, and hell. Why? Because the Bible teaches these things.
1. Psalm. 9:17
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
2. Galatians 5:21b
…of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
3. Revelation 21:8
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
B. When we oppose evil and make mention of its eternal condemnation, one of the things that is said is: “You are not supposed to judge others.”
1. First, most of the time those that use this line are the quickest to judge.
a. We are called right-wing radical extremists.
b. We are called Jesus freaks and Bible thumpers.
c. We are called evangelical nut-jobs.
(NOTE: It is acceptable for them to judge us, but they constantly remind us that we are not to judge.
2. Second, the Bible does not teach that “all” judging is wrong (John 7:24).
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
a. God’s word is the standard of righteousness (Psalm 119:172; Rom. 1:16-17; Tit. 2:11-12).
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.
b. As long as our judgments are in harmony with God’s standard of righteousness, then we can judge.
1) We can know right from wrong.
2) We can know when someone is in sin.
3) We can know when someone is lost.
4) We can know when someone is not faithful to God.
III. CHRISTIANITY IS NOT OPPOSITIONAL
A. The Bible does teach us to be peacemakers and to live in peace with others if at all possible (Matt. 5:9; Rom. 12:18).
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
B. But, peace is not the only element of the Christian religion. Jesus let us know this in Matthew 10:34.
Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth: I come not to send peace, but a sword.
C. Christianity and the world are at odds with each other.
1. Even basic beliefs prove this.
a. God existS versus God does not exist.
b. The Bible is the Word of God versus the Bible is a good literature book.
c. Man needs to be saved by Jesus versus man can save himself.
d. There is a heaven and hell versus there is nothing beyond the grave.
e. Man should live by God’s Word versus man is free to live as he chooses.
2. We have been given the responsibility to take our message to the world (Mark 16:15).
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
3. As we go, we will have to
a. Stand (Eph. 6:10-13)
b. Fight (I Tim. 6:12)
c. Contend (Jude 3)
d. NOTE: On our part, these are not physical struggles. They are struggles with ideologies and doctrines that oppose the will of God (II Cor. 10:3-5).
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
D. If we are not being oppositional to the world, we are not doing God’s will.
If we do not oppose evil, who will?
This opposition is not out of hatred, but it is done out of love for God and love for the souls of men.
IV. CHRISTIANITY LEAVES OTHERS ALONE
A. We are often told by those in the world: “You have no right to talk to me and try to force your opinion on me. You Christians need to leave other people alone.”
B. Sadly, some Christians have accepted this concept as well.
1. By our words
2. By our actions: only opposing at home, in personal conversations, and in the confines of our buildings
3. The result: we are dying
C. Two examples.
1. Peter and John when confronted by the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:18-20)
And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to harken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
2. Paul did not leave the Athenians alone (Acts 17:22-23).
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by and behold your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
A. If our numbers continue to decrease, there will be many more myths that will rise about us from those who only hear and know bits and pieces about our doctrine.
B. We must not succumb to the myths.
C. We must not allow the myths to keep us from fulfilling our mission of seeking and saving the lost.