Luke 11:27-28 --
"And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company
lifted up her voice, and said unto him,
Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and
the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that
hear the word of God, and keep it."

Christianity from an Existential Perspective..

Christianity is not important, but Christ is

The Christian movement today has evolved from centuries of traditions, rites, creeds, and the occasional reformation or revival. Throughout each small or large change the Christian name takes on throughout history, only one aspect of it remains constant: “Exercising Christianity, in the formal institutional sense, is not important.” Well it is not important according to Jesus anyway.

Consider what constitutes the Christian religion. We have church, which is the foundation of any Christian life. Church includes singing and other kinds of worship, public prayer, the last supper, preaching, the offering of money to the church, and fellowship. Outside of that two hour Sunday ritual the Christian is let loose on the world, the Church requires nothing from him but only to encourage nice pious behaviour and to remain safe (so that he can attend church the following Sunday and give to the holy coffers).

All of this is nice, and if approached the right way can be useful for a spiritual person (especially prayer). However, if you look at what Christ taught throughout his life you see that his conception of the “fundamentals of Christianity” is the polar opposite. He told people that if they wanted to pray they should do it in private and not let anybody know about it, he never commanded anybody to attend church each week or to give money to some religious institutional body, and he certainly never asked for worship. In fact, in Luke 11:27-28 you see Jesus directing worship away from himself to people who have heard his word and have kept it.

I am not saying that any of this worship is wrong, just that according to Jesus it is all frivolous trivialities. It is nice to do but does not make you a good Christian (or even a good person) by performing it. What does make you a good Christian is what Christ essentially preached to the multitudes: love, tolerance, forgiveness, and non-violence. That is what marks a follower of Christ, not attending church or anything else. Jesus told his disciples that people shall know that they follow him by their love for one another; this is what is actually important. Love is what actually matters for the Christian, not any kind of religious hierarchy imposed upon them by supposedly “holier” men.

-- By Timothy Neal