Christianity and Doctrine

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What is the Christian belief? It’s vital that one understands what Christianity itself is before diving deep into the details about Christianity and the Christian belief.

In the Spiritual writings of Soren Kierkegaard in the book “Provocations” compiled and edited by Charles E, Moore, Kierkegaard points out that genuine Christianity is anything but doctrine (read creed); it is a way of being in truth before God by following Jesus in self-denial, sacrifice, and suffering and by seeking a primitive relationship with God. He further adds “unfortunately doctrine is what people want. And the reason for this is because ‘doctrine is the indolence of aping and mimicking for the learner,’ and doctrine is the way to power for the teacher, and doctrine collects people.”

A creed is simply a set of principles or religious beliefs.

A doctrine is a belief or a set of beliefs held and taught by a church or a political party. The Christian belief is, therefore, the doctrine or creed held and taught to Christians based on, or believing, the teachings of Jesus Christ.

There is however quite a big misunderstanding of what Christianity is all about. It’s not only about knowing what the Christian doctrine or creed is but living in a way that manifests the presence of Christ in one’s life. It is due to this reason that Kierkegaard points out the fact that knowing creed by rote is quite simply paganism.

Now knowing what Christianity and the Christian belief is, understanding the challenges that face the Christian faith and finding solutions to these challenges won’t be some sort of rigmarole. One great problem that ails Christianity in today’s society is the absence of the ‘self’. People are thinking more in terms of ‘we’ instead of ‘me’ yet Christianity is a personal commitment one makes to Christ.

Paraphrasing Kierkegaard “there is salvation in only one thing, in becoming a single individual. The truly spiritual person is able to endure isolation, to pause ‘to deepen oneself in inwardness’ before God and His word. Although in life one might find solace in the crowd from God’s radical demands, in eternity one will look in vain for the crowd.

He will listen in vain to find where the noise and gathering are so that he can run to it. In actual fact for the infinite one, there is no place; the individual is himself the place.”

Therefore true or authentic Christianity is making the commitment to base one’s life on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Each person instinctively knows that God is higher than the moral law and any set of values. His conscience tells him that the highest commitment one can is to God, the very ground of every moral value. The will of God, not some abstract law is finally what matters. And because no human can measure the demands of God, one must ultimately surrender to God in a leap of faith.

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