Christian Belief vs Christian Behaviour

Sarah Bowman

Sarah Bowman, Secular Humanist, atheist, studied theology, social work, sociology, anthropology, some philosophy

 

Not based on what I know about it. The purpose and goal of Christianity as I understand it is to save souls from hell. To be saved from hell, Christianity teaches, one must believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Most denominations have extensive Statements of Faith and other Church Writings defining exactly what beliefs are expected of members. For some, behaviour is seen as a result of a regenerated or born-again heart, while for others there are rules and rituals that must be performed in order to be in good standing with the church. In general I think spirituality—belief and faith in the right doctrines—is primary, with the hope/belief that good behaviour will follow.

For example, we all know stories of murderers on death row who are absolved by Christians and promised eternal life in heaven because they accepted Jesus as their personal Saviour while in prison. These same Christians will condemn an atheist to eternal damnation even if the atheist has lived a long life of doing good deeds, working hard to earn an honest living, raised a family of honest citizens, given to charity, etc.

In conclusion, Christianity is not primarily—but only secondarily—concerned about changing behaviour.

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