What is Christianity? 

         (Response to a group of Chinese students  in Taiwan in 1990)

Let me try to answer this question within the context of Chinese culture. For Chinese, respect for parents is great, for without them we would not be here, and without their parents, and so on backwards for many generations.

Are parents eternal? Certainly not! Modern physics indicates that the world has a beginning point. Once there were no parents at all. Then the Creator of the Universe created two people and from that beginning all of the families of the world have come. They knew God and knew Him personally, but sinned (disobeyed his
commands and became selfish in their ways of living) and stopped being interested in the Creator. As time went on, people made substitutes for the Creator, they worshipped all kinds of beings, snakes, monkeys, cows, lions, tigers, and even parents in ancestor worship.

The Creator did not like this, but he loved his creation. He
selected a person  who was a nobody, a man named   Abraham of Ur in Babylon, and made a covenant, an agreement, that through him and his offspring, the Creator would bless the peoples of the world, on the condition of their faith in Him.

ln many different points in history, God sent his spokesmen, (prophets), to call the people back to Himself, and tell the people that one day a special Person, called the Messiah in Hebrew, and Christos in Greek, would come and change the course of man's existence. Jesus of Nazareth, described in the New Testament Gospels, is the long awaited Messiah and is none other than the Creator in human form. Jesus, the God-man, was born in Bethlehem, in Judea, about 4 B.C.  He taught men about the true nature of God. People then rebelled against him, like the first two rebelled against the Creator, sought his death, and he was crucified on a cross. After three days, death could not hold him, and he came forth from the grave as he said he would, alive again, on what Christians celebrate as Easter Sunday.

Jesus sent his disciples to all parts of the world to preach the Gospel, the Good News about the resurrection. The Good News is that Jesus is alive, because He is God Himself, and nothing can control Him. He calls all people everywhere to follow him by turning from their disobedience, and committing their lives to Him. He said, "To as many as receive Him, to them he gave the right to become children of God." (John l:l2)  In his death Jesus made a New covenant (New Testament) that provides forgiveness for our rebellion (sin) and disobedience against Him, His Spirit to abide in our lives to change us, and to give us everlasting life in the presence of God, our Creator and Savior.

Christianity provides an answer to the question: How can l really know God? The only possible way is for God to reveal Himself, and this he has done in Jesus Christ, the God-Man. As a result, Christianity provides an answer to how to live life. This answer is that God has come Himself and teaches us how to live.  We cannot depend on the words of man, our culture, or our elders; Only on God.

Dallas M. Roark, Ph.D.