10 Common misconceptions about Christianity and Christians: #8 Christianity was good back in the old days but is no longer relevant
Everyone seems to agree that Christianity served its purpose at some point in the distant past, but many feel that it is totally irrelevant in the secular world of our day. Now that we have been enlightened by science, belief in creation seems archaic. Now that we see that men and women should be treated with equality, the Bible’s teaching on men taking the lead in the home or in the church has been completely outdated. Now that our society has come to the realisation that any lifestyle is as legitimate as any other, the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality should be completely rejected and put into a museum alongside other curious things of the past.
So relentless is the anti-Christian steamroller that even Christians can feel quite self-conscious about believing wholeheartedly in God’s word. How can you respond to a person who holds to this misconception about Christianity? How can you open their heart to God?
1. Not by arguing.
There are amazing arguments for the truth of Scripture from Christian thinkers who have been gifted by God to respond to misconceptions like this. Their writings and videos will greatly strengthen you in your own faith and enable you to speak intelligently about these things. Being able to interact intelligently on these issues is important. But recognise that debating these issues will not open most people’s hearts, as they will simply be focused on defending their own position.
2. Point to what is clearly relevant in the Christian message today.
Ask people what they think of society today. Help them see that we live in a broken society that is full of problems because of all the broken people (broken homes, bad relationships between parents and children, crime, bullying, divorce). Talk about all the things that people turn to for solutions (counsellors, drugs, lawyers, governments, pushing the limits with sex). What is the outcome? Counsellors, drug dealers and lawyers get rich, but nobody’s inner brokenness is getting healed.
My doctor told me how depressed it makes him to look at how broken our world is and to think of his kids growing up in it. “Nothing is making things better,” he said, “People just stay the same.” I responded to him, “I agree, but there is one thing that I had seen over and over again truly change the nature of a person and make them new, and that is a real encounter with Jesus Christ.”
THIS IS THE RELEVANCE OF CHRISTIANITY—its power to heal the inner brokenness of our lives and set us on a completely new path, with God at the centre!
3. Share how Christ has changed your own life.
I never get tired of talking about my life before Christ and how his love has changed me completely. My own story has changed many sceptical conversations into meaningful gospel discussions.
Help people see that the relevance of Christianity does not primarily lie in theoretical discussions of issues, but in the power of God to change a life!