What Is Christianity, Anyway?
Each Church and each Christian has a specific opinion of exactly
what Christianity involves! We do not intend to "push"
our Church's opinions, but a lot of people ask, especially
people who are either not currently Christians or those Christians
who are confused by some aspects of what they are Taught in their
Church. We believe the following description is completely logical
and completely in agreement with what the Bible texts say. This is
what our Church Teaches.
Keep in mind that this presentation is ONLY of the beliefs of our little
Church, and that other Churches may or may not agree with various
parts discussed here! However, we feel that these beliefs are
extremely logical, where we feel that some Churches have some beliefs
that might be open to challenge on a logical basis. It also turns
out that many if not most Christian Theologians and scholars
firmly believe each of the various aspects of these beliefs which
might not seem familiar. In general, even though they believe
those things, they tend to stay somewhat silent about promoting
them, for fear of upsetting some Christians who might not be able
to or want to follow a logical theme because they are totally
Devout in their beliefs of whatever they have been told by their
Church leaders. That's fine with us, and we would not want any
such Christians to have any of their Faith shaken by learning of
these aspects which we happen to believe and Teach. But we suspect
that there are some people in the modern world who might wish to
learn about an extremely logical approach to Christianity, so
we have presented this web-page.
The implications of this view are these: Creation in Genesis was
Done by our One True God, Whom we might call YHWH or Jehovah or
Father or Jesus. He oversaw ancient human history without ever
emphasizing the "kind and gentle" aspects of Jesus.
That was important at the time, as an All-Powerful God would have
been seen as weak if He demonstrated Kindness or Gentleness or
Love. After a number of times when His favorite people, the Jews,
kept letting Him down, we believe that the Lord decided to
join human society so He could Personally feel what human
existence was like. Therefore, Jesus was Born, and Mary was used
for that purpose. Jesus was perfectly Kind and Gentle and Fair
and Loving, and yet He was Crucified due to the decision of Jews.
His physical Death, as the "One Son of God", essentially "paid
off" (Atoned for) the otherwise eternal punishment of all humans due to
the Original Sin of Adam and Eve. This Atonement allowed the situation where
an individual person might become exempt from that eternal punishment, Saved,
by accepting Jesus as Personal Savior. The person's heart must
really deeply feel this, but it is publicly announced by a simple
statement of such commitment. This is the Christian concept
of personal Salvation.
- We believe that the (Original) Bible was perfectly and absolutely
correct and we believe that modern (English) translations such
as the KJAV and NIV are very accurate translations. No, we do not
believe they are as Perfect as the Original was, but extremely close.
Such different Versions of the Bible occasionally seem to disagree with
each other, but that is because of the possibility of different
English translations of the very same Original Greek and Ancient Hebrew
- The First Commandment in that Bible makes clear that there is One
True God. All Christians are supposed to believe that and we
definitely do! But many of the things said by some Church leaders
seem to imply that there might be either two or three Gods, such that
Jesus can be included!
- Christianity managed to really complicate things and confuse
almost everyone by developing a "Trinity concept"
around 300 years after Jesus lived. The reason they felt the need
to do that is clear. The New Testament includes many references to
when Jesus "spoke to the Father" and His many references
about "the Father", clearly implying that He was referring
to someone different from Himself. Early Christians were extremely
confused by this, because nearly any understanding of it either
contradicted the First Commandment or it indicated that Jesus could
not have been God. Many Heresies developed in early Christianity in
the many attempts at finding an explanation for this, and the central
Church felt a serious need to provide an acceptable explanation.
Unfortunately, the specific Trinity concept they came up with probably
has caused more confusion than it resolved! Almost all non-Christians
believe that means that Christians believe in three (tri) Gods
instead of one, and so they heap enormous criticism on Christianity
because of that misunderstanding. THEY know that Moses provided the
First Commandment that made clear that there is One True God, and
if Christianity seems to believe in more, then Christianity must be wrong!
As odd as it sounds, the Trinity
concept was developed in order to CONFIRM that there is One True God!
- Since there has always been exactly ONE True God, we humans have
managed to confuse ourselves in many ways. We will use the term
Lord here for the One True God. He did Creation as described in
Genesis 1. For quite a while, humans did not have a Name for Him,
and it was considered a sin to even say a Name that was supposed to
refer to the Lord. But ancient Jews eventually developed many Names
for Him, including YHWH, Jehovah, Adonai, Elohim and dozens of others,
all of which are mentioned in the Bible. A thousand years later,
some people believed that Jesus Christ was He, the Lord, the One True
God, and those people became known as Christians.
- This situation seemed very confusing to many early Christians.
The Lord was clearly in Heaven, watching out over the entire Universe.
The New Testament even makes clear that Jesus often appeared to
rely on that Lord in Heaven, calling Him the Father.
So how could someone named Jesus who was walking around like a man
be the One True Lord of the Universe? Christians believe
that the Lord is TOTALLY powerful
and capable of everything. In this case, Christians believe that
the Lord simply (for Him) arranged to be in two places at the same time!
He remained in Heaven, carefully watching over the entire Universe. But,
simultaneously, He was walking the Earth as Jesus. This does NOT
mean there is or was more than One True God, but that He chose to
appear to be in two places at the same time. Christians do not
claim to know how He did that, but that He could, and did.
- The New Testament certainly includes a number of additional complications
regarding this. There are a number of times where Jesus appears
to directly be talking to "the Father". The obvious question
is, if Jesus WAS the Lord, why did He have to ask the Father (Who
also was the Same Lord!) or even need to talk to Him at all?
The premise is this: Since Jesus IS the Lord, then He always HAS BEEN
the Lord. Even before Mary! This is called "Pre-Existence
of Christ", a Theological concept that is accepted by virtually
every Christian Theologian and scholar. The One True Lord therefore
performed Creation in Genesis, then entered
into a Covenant with Adam and Eve. They broke their word to Him!
Later people disobeyed the Lord and the Flood was necessary.
Later still, the Lord Gave Moses the Ten Commandments, (Mosaic
Covenant) but people immediately broke those Laws.
The Old Testament of the Bible contains many more examples of where
human (Jews) failed to follow what the Lord asked and expected of them.
It must have seemed to the Lord that we humans just could not be
trusted to keep our word to Him!
- The Lord, prior to Mary, had then decided to join
human society, possibly so He could experience an actual human
existence. He was faced with several possibilities on how He could
join human society. He could simply Miraculously appear in an impressive
way. But then all the humans would immediately know Who He was,
and He could not possibly have a chance to live a "normal"
human lifetime. People would forever follow Him around wanting
Miracles for their own needs.
- Therefore, we believe the Lord chose to be
"born" and Mary was chosen. Do you see the situation
here? Jesus ALREADY EXISTED as the Lord in Heaven before Mary was ever born.
The "Virgin Birth" really did not require Joseph OR Mary
(for sperm or eggs) but Mary was necessary such that Jesus could
appear to have a conventional birth.
In this view, the Virgin Birth was simply the method that the Lord
chose to enter human existence without drawing undue attention to
Himself by Appearing instantly. This situation then allowed the
Baby and Child Jesus to experience a conventional life.
- This could have caused the Baby Jesus or the Child Jesus to
do the Miracles that He was certainly capable of (since He
was the Lord). If the Child Jesus had just performed a single
Miracle, as to entertain other children, then
all the other children would want Him to do more,
and they would tell their parents. In short order, there would
be hundreds or thousands of people following the Child Jesus around,
each wanting Miracles done for health or prosperity for themselves
or their families or friends. In that case, the Child Jesus could
not have experienced a conventional human childhood. Therefore,
we believe that, prior to His Public Ministry (begun when He was
around 30 years old), Jesus had not performed ANY Miracles.
In fact, we believe that He probably did not even realize that He was
capable of enabling any Miracles!
- Around 150 years ago, a "Kenotic Theology" was
developed that we think fully explains this and much more.
Kenosis means "emptying". The reasoning is that,
because of the situations mentioned above, Jesus was "emptied"
of His knowledge of Who He Was, by the moment of His Birth.
Therefore, the Baby Jesus or the Child Jesus did not actually
know that He was the One True God!
Once His Public Ministry began, and He began to realize that
He was Divine (the Transfiguration), even He probably still did
not realize that He was the One True God. Instead, He came to believe
that He was the "Son" of God, as well as the son of Mary
(or "son of man"). Therefore, it would make sense for
Him to always ASK "His Father" to do certain things, still not
realizing that He could do them Himself. Even when He was on the
Cross, He cried to His Father, so even then He did not seem to fully
realize that He was the One True God.
Jesus therefore was able to live an entire life, from Birth to Death,
experiencing everything that a human would experience, even feeling
the same pains, fears and disappointments that we humans are familiar
This really makes great sense. Jesus made clear that He did not
intend to CHANGE "the Law", the Old Testament Teachings,
but to clarify them. He knew that the First Commandment made very
clear that there was One True God. As a human walking the Earth,
it seems inconceivable that He would have concluded that that was
referring to Him. Therefore, He regularly would have referred to His Father
as the One True God in Heaven (which was true).
- For hundreds of years after Jesus, there was great argument
over whether He was Divine or human. Church leaders eventually
concluded (400 years later) that He was both, a composite of Divine
and human, He had "two natures" (Monophysitism). This discussion
was important because if Jesus was
completely Divine, it seems that He could not have suffered on
the Cross. If He was completely human, then the basis of Christianity
would be wrong.
The opinion we have, based on Kenotic Theology, is that Jesus was
certainly always Divine but didn't realize it. Therefore, He
experienced all the good and bad aspects of human existence,
and so felt pain and suffering. Therefore, Jesus was always
entirely human during that period of existence on Earth. This is
in complete agreement with the notion that He was both Divine and human.
- This means that He fully experienced the suffering of the
scourging and the Crucifixion and the Death. The Death on the
Cross ended the human existence of Jesus. But the Divine
Jesus (Lord) could not actually have been killed, and so He
appeared to many people afterward in around a dozen different
- For around 300 years after the Crucifixion, there was great
confusion among Christians regarding whether He was actually
the Lord, or possibly merely a really good human. A center
point of the critics was the various references in the Bible
where Jesus spoke to "His Father". Everyone knew
that the First Commandment made clear that there was One True
God, and if Jesus was speaking to Him, that seemed to imply
that Jesus WASN'T the Lord! This reasoning seemed to make
a lot of sense, and Christian Church leaders seemed unable to
stop an endless list of alternate opinions from being spread.
The Church was spending all of its time and efforts in attempting
to combat these many challenges (heresies) to whether Jesus was Divine
and how that was possible. For this reason, a "Trinity
concept" was developed. Its central point is that there
is actually One True God as per the First Commandment, but that
He had three "Personalities" of Father, Son (Jesus) and
the Holy Spirit. So the Trinity was intended to confirm that
there is actually One True God. Unfortunately, the logic
and reasoning of the Trinity is so complex that many people
never get to seeing that. Instead, they tend to see references
to "Three Persons" as meaning "three gods",
and this (incorrect) conclusion has forever caused great criticism
Regarding the Trinity concept, we note the following: The ONLY
people who directly interacted with "the Father" (or YHWH
or Jehovah) were Adam, Eve, Abraham, Moses and a few other very ancient
Jews, all prior to 1000 BC. The MANY people who directly interacted
with Jesus all did so between 4 BC and 30 AD and the Crucifixion.
The millions of Christians who have directly interacted with the
Holy Spirit have done so AFTER Pentecost, at least 50 days AFTER
the Crucifixion. See the point? We humans have never really directly
interacted with more than One True Lord (at any one time). He
"seemed different to us" at different times, so we concluded
that He represented Three different Persons! The fact that the Bible
mentions various times when Jesus "spoke to the Father"
seemed to confirm that, and it became embedded within Christianity.
There does not seem to have ever been any evidence of any
"team effort" by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as
they interacted with humans at different times in history.
The Bible contains the references to Jesus speaking to His Father, and even
references to His seeing His Father, but there were no actual human witnesses
to such things, and human eyewitnesses confirmed that they in fact saw
nothing. Revelation includes some references to seeing the Father
and Son on the Throne of God, but Revelation is certainly very symbolic and
also describes streets of gold and jewels everywhere, things that Christians
should not aspire to anyway. (We note a single apparent exception to this,
in Acts 7:55-56. The Greek Original text should be consulted on that.)
- Therefore, we accept that many people see value in the Trinity
concept, and we are willing to even Teach it, but we actually believe
it to be an unnecessary complication to Christian Theology.
Our One True God fully realizes how weak we each are! Especially after
living around 34 years with us! And so He Knows that we will
fail to always meet that commitment. He expects each of us to
admit (Confess) each of our failings, and to then make a more
concerted effort (Sanctification) to avoid repeating such sins.
Once it is clear to others that a person is actually "changed"
(spiritually Saved) by their noticeably improved actions and words,
a public Baptism is to be performed to acknowledge that the
person has been Saved. (A public (water) Baptism is not normally performed
immediately after a person makes a request for Jesus to be
Personal Savior, but after others notice that it has had effect.)
(Our Church feels that a "private" Spirit Baptism actually
occurs at the instant of Salvation, well prior to the public water
Baptism.) Once a person has been publicly Baptized, they should participate
in the Eucharist, where a small piece of bread (either represents
or actually is) the Body of Christ and a small sip of wine
(either represents or actually is) the Blood of Christ. By
partaking of the bread and wine, a more complete personal bond
is formed between the Lord and the person.
There is a separate but related thread that should probably be
The Lord made a Covenant (like a Contract) with Adam and Eve.
When they broke their end of that Covenant, (what Protestant Christians
call Original Sin) the Lord Judged them
for their "crime" (regarding the apple). His Sentence
was to end their endless lifetimes and their idyllic life in Eden,
and that Sentence applied to all their descendants, including all
of us today. Therefore, every person that would ever be born would
carry that burden of that Sentence due to Original Sin.
It was clear that NO human could ever "earn redemption"
or "pay off the Sentence of Original Sin" so all people were
forever destined to lead sin-filled lives and never be Saved.
The Lord arranged that He would Walk the Earth as Jesus, and for Jesus to
suffer "the ultimate Sacrifice", Death on the Cross, which was
the ONLY way that the Sentence of Original Sin could have been "paid
off". Jesus' Death on the Cross is said to Atone for the personal
Sins of any person who chooses to accept Jesus as Personal Savior.
In this way, the Sacrifice of Jesus Atones for Original Sin, for
individual humans, and then enables them to be Saved and proceed to Heaven.
Human existence is FAR more complex than has been implied here, and so
Christian Faith is similarly more complex, in order to be comprehensive
for all people. These comments are meant to give an overview of what
Christianity means to our Church.
Our Church, A Christ Walk Church,
has its own web-site that further discusses our "strict, but
core-related" Christian beliefs, attitudes and positions.
This presentation was first placed on the Internet in January, 2005.
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This subject presentation was last updated on - -
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C Johnson, Pastor
A Christ Walk Church
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