Peace and blessings to you all from our Lord, Jesus Christ.
As most ROK readers are doubtlessly aware, Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the Western world today. Criticize Islam and you will be branded a “xenophobic white supremacist.” Criticize Judaism and you become an “anti-Semitic Neo-Nazi bigot.” Criticize Christianity, however, and you might get yourself a nice little Hollywood movie deal. Its morality is attacked every moment of every day, by every branch of mainstream “education” and “entertainment.”
Those who oppose it constantly seek to undermine and subvert its foundations… and the persecution of its followers around the world gets nothing but deafening silence from “humanitarians.”
Indeed, the enemies of our civilization have succeeded in brainwashing most young people today away from even considering Christianity as a guiding light in their lives. Therefore, today’s article is for those of you in the audience who remain open-minded enough to consider what Christianity actually is before you decide whether to partake of its mysteries.
What Is Christianity?
Some people will tell you that Christianity is about morality. Others will tell you that Christianity is about love, and still others will tell you that Christianity is about Jesus.
While these are all correct answers, I’d like to zoom out a bit today and show you the umbrella under which all of these answers fall. Once you can start to see the bigger picture of what Christianity actually is, I believe you will begin to understand the extraordinary benefits it can offer to both you and your community.
To understand what Christianity truly is, we must begin with its view of the world—and mankind’s place within it—before it was plunged into its present darkness.
In his prelapsarian state—the state of the world before the Fall from Paradise—man had no need. He had no desire, no longing, no void or sense of emptiness which might cause him to “seek answers.” There were no answers needed, because no questions were asked.
According to Scripture and patristic commentary, the prelapsarian cosmos contained no death. There was no decay, no sickness, no conflict, and no predation. Animals lived together in peace, and healthy food grew effortlessly for the entire kingdom of Paradise to enjoy.
Man’s soul existed in perfect union with God’s divine energy, which filled him to overflowing with mercy and grace. He did not want, he did not fear, and he lived in perfect dispassionate harmony with God and His natural law. This, in the Christian worldview, is the true meaning of human nature. Not some animalistic competition for dominance and riches, but perfect unity with God and each other.
What we experience on a day-to-day basis, rather than the truth of our nature, is a complete perversion of God’s intended order and design for our lives. Rather than order, we experience chaos. Rather than health, we experience disease. Rather than joy, we experience conflict and the need for constant self-preservation.
In this fallen state, you seek material wealth because you feel like its lack makes you “less than” others. You seek women and sex to fulfill raging biological urges and the need to conquer and dominate. You seek endless attainment outside of yourself to fill the void within. You take drugs to feel good, because you don’t feel good naturally. This is the difference between man as God intended and man in his present state; one is whole, and the other is empty.
God—recognizing this darkness and wanting nothing more than for us to return to perfect harmony with Him—came to us in human form in order to show us the way back. The God-man, Jesus Christ, came to show us what perfect submission and unity with God the Father looks like.
By following Him and seeking to be transformed into His image, we restore our true nature bit by bit and degree by degree. It is difficult, it can be lonesome, it requires a complete transformation of the mind and heart… and it is also the only path which produces genuine spiritual fruit in our lives.
What have all your efforts gotten you thus far? Does that girl you’re sleeping with heal the pain of a wounded heart? Does that car you’re so proud of help you sleep soundly and soberly at night? Or are you finally ready to recognize that you have built a life on shifting sand instead of solid rock?
The Power Of Christianity
Once we move away from our self-created pain into God-created harmony, our entire lives change for the better. Should you choose to follow Christ instead of the standards of the dark world around you, make no mistake: you will have to give things up.
To discover who you truly are, you must sacrifice everything you are truly not. Sometimes this entails the loss of a relationship, the end of a career path, or complete separation from your lifelong social circle.
Having been through exactly such experiences on my own journey, I can tell you this without a moment of hesitation: whatever it is you give up for God, He will grant you something better in return.
You will not know what it is or be able to see what He has in store for you, but faith in His goodness will be amply rewarded. Though you cannot see the very next step in front of you, God has already designed a full and perfect plan for your life.
The only way to materialize God’s plan for your life, inevitably better than the one of your own creation, is by giving up control and allowing Him to steer the ship of your fate. By such an act of submission and faith, God will break the shackles that bind you to falsehood and illusion. He will show you who you are not, and guide you back to who you are.
Christianity, therefore, is the path back to that original state of spiritual perfection. It is a path to wholeness of mind and soul, to your many divided parts becoming One. It is the end of internal division and dissonance, and the path to harmony of heart.
This is not something you can do by your own efforts alone. Your therapist cannot fix you, your mother cannot fix you, and the knowledge of your professors can do nothing for you soul. It is only by becoming “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4) that we can slowly but surely be restored to true humility and balance.
Most importantly for the young seekers on Return of Kings, you must understand that this is not something that philosophy alone can do for you. Logic and reasoning are certainly important, necessary tools by which we can make better sense of our world and solve problems that need solutions.
They can even convince you that a certain ideology or standard of behavior is superior to another, for reasons ranging anywhere from idealistic to pragmatic. However, philosophy reaches a plateau that only God can break through. This is one of the reasons St. Paul warned us in Colossians 2:8:
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which rely on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world, rather than on Christ.
He gave this instruction to the Church at Colossae specifically, among other reasons, to combat the idea that philosophy itself was the highest point a man’s mind could reach. There is a flooding of divine wisdom, into the mind of man, which is only possible and knowable through God’s grace. That same grace not only harmonizes the mind and heart, but it restores the soul and gives the experience of what it means to exist closer in our original condition: “in the image and likeness of God.”
This is why terms like “culturally Christian” are meaningless. People who logically agree with the moral tenets of the faith, yet do not have the humility to fear God and accept His Lordship, are not being restored to anything. They are simply giving lip service to Christianity for their own political reasons, and that is not enough to bring mankind back to the state in which God intended. You must empty yourself completely and allow God to fill you instead.
Therefore, Christianity is much more than a religion. It is more than being a good person, and it is more than going to Church. Christianity is the art of becoming human.