Is Christianity a religion or a culture?


Pradyot Sharma

Staff Writer

While there is a massive uproar about people moving away from God, the greatest threat to Christianity today is how self-proclaimed “Christians” use religion as a means to an end whenever it helps them achieve something they want.

Nothing highlights this attitude more than the words that Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler used to defend Judge Roy Moore against accusations that he had inappropriate sexual relationships with teenagers when he was in his 30s.

“Take the Bible, Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance,” Zeigler said. “Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth, and they became the parents of John the Baptist.”

He didn’t stop there but also felt that it was important to invoke Mary, who was the mother of Jesus Christ.

“Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter,” Zeigler said. “They became parents of Jesus.”

This has led to millions of Christians being duped as politicians and organizations invoke their faith in order to gain votes or benefits from them.

In Chapter 23 of the book of Matthew, Jesus warns his disciples against hypocrisy, citing the actions of the Pharisees who performed sacraments outwardly so people could see it.

Similarly, political candidates visiting churches weeks before the elections is being hyped by the media. Republican presidential candidates find the need to speak at Liberty University in order to “secure” the evangelical vote.

Americans today have been defining how Christian the nation or an individual is based on this outward show of faith and how culture in society reflects it.

People invoke Scripture in events with no religious implication, and declare that there is a war against Christmas when people say “Happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

For years now, Christianity has become a product for individuals who fail to realize its true values and meaning, and this was a product with a very high demand. Thus, people lose their minds over religiously irrelevant issues like Starbucks just using plain red cups over Christmas-themed cups.

If we continue to enable people who measure Christianity in this country by how many trees are bought each Christmas season or by counting the number of days politicians spend in church during an election cycle, Christians in America will soon lose the true meaning of their faith.

Instead of examining their hearts and evaluating their personal relationships with God, people are being lured to look for God in what society reflects and the hypocritical actions of individuals who will go to any lengths to manipulate the faith of others to achieve their goals.

If Christians don’t realize the toxic effects of this illusion of Christian culture, sacraments of faith will end up becoming a cultural thing to practice, not a religious one.

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