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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Why Do So Many People Have an Unattractive Picture of Christianity?

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Don Stewart
There is an unattractive picture that many people have about Christianity. This is due to both the actions of Christians or people who call themselves Christians as well as the perception by unbelievers of what the Christian life is all about.


All Christians denominations have their traditions. Some traditions have been elevated to the place where they are equal with Scripture. This is unfortunate because people cannot separate the human-made things from the commands of God. During the time of Jesus, the distinction between God's commandments and human-made traditions had become blurred. Jesus denounced the unbiblical traditions of His day:

Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? (Matthew 15:3).

Wrong Picture

Many Christians have a wrong idea of holiness. Usually it consists of a list of negative commandments. Almost always. these commandments are not found in Scripture but are rooted in someone's idea of what a Christian should be. Unfortunately, many people consider themselves righteous because of the things they do not do.


There is also the matter of hypocrisy. Examples can be found of people who profess to be believers in Christ yet their conduct is hypocritical. Jesus had very strong words for those who claimed to know Him but practiced hypocrisy:

But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against others; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in (Matthew 23:13).

False Believers

There is also the matter of people who claim to be Christians and do terrible things in the name of Christ. History provides us with many examples of Christians who did not live Christlike. Jesus warned us of these people.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly they are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15).

The Apostle Paul also warned us of false prophets:

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:13).


The unattractive picture people have of Christianity is not a result of following Scripture. It is the very thing Jesus warned us about and condemned.

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