Is Christianity too complicated and confusing for the common person to understand? Do you have to be a Greek scholar, a historian with a Ph.D, or a learned theologian? To listen to some religious people you would think so! You would think that there is really no way of understanding the sacred text unless you have a string of letters behind your name.
1. Christianity is Simple
Well I have news for those who have made people feel that way–that’s not biblical Christianity! Jesus spoke to the common man. He chose common men to spread the gospel through the world. And the message was simple. In fact, Paul wrote this to the church in Corinth, “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). Devotion to Christ is simple and it is pure.
No doubt there are things that are deep, mature, and deserve in-depth pondering and consideration. But the core tenets of Christianity are simple. Salvation, worship, the church, and daily living can be understood by even the simplest of minds.
It is denominationalism which is complicated and hard to understand. Similar to the complicated religions of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology, when man creates his own religion it is likely to be so complicated that understanding it is burdensome. Maybe man makes his invented religion so complicated so that he makes himself indispensable in explaining it to the world.
Furthermore, a lie becomes a very complex and compounded thing because one lie always leads to another. Many of the man-made doctrines in so-called “Christendom” today were created to explain and legitimize a previous man-made doctrine. And thus we have many learned religious teachers; many of whom know absolutely nothing about the “simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”
2. Christianity is Not Easy
To listen to many, being a Christian is as easy as breathing. The preaching which echos from the walls of religious edifices today make it seem that when one becomes a Christian, all of his worldly pain, suffering, and hardship will miraculously disappear. In fact, some go so far as to imply that when one has hardship he is obviously not right with God.
Again, the Christianity of Scripture is much different. Jesus indicates that the “the way is hard that leads to life” (Matthew 7:14). And the “easy” way is said to lead to destruction (Matthew 7:13). Christianity requires self-sacrifice and self-denial (Matt. 16:24); if that isn’t hard, I don’t know what is! Jesus promised, not a life free of challenges and difficulties, but a life of persecution (Mark 13:13).
That isn’t to say that Christianity isn’t wonderful; because it is! And it isn’t to say that we have more problems than the world; because I believe we have far less problems, heartaches, and worries than those in the world. But difficulties inherent within Christianity, and when preaching to others we mustn’t give them the wrong idea. We cannot give the impression that when they become a Christian their problems will magically disappear. Countless new converts have been disillusioned because they had been “sold this bill of goods.”
Christianity is simple to understand and hard to live. And denominationalism is hard to understand and seemingly easy to live. But take heart! We are assured, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).