• Michael Haldas

Christianity


“Christianity became known as the Way based on Christ calling Himself “the way” (Jn 14:6), and on the fact that following Christ is not simply a momentary decision or the observance of outward religious practices, but a whole way of life.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Acts 9:1,2)

“Christian faith is not a “religion” (except in the conventional everyday use of the word). It is the fulfillment of all religions in their search for divine truth and human meaning as inspired by God’s law written on human hearts.” (Father Thomas Hopko)

“There is no imagined version of Christianity within the New Testament that exists outside the Church. Anyone who says that they have a “relationship with Jesus” and do not need the Church is in deep delusion. There is no such Jesus.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Christianity isn’t just a philosophy but a way of life that demands everything…Christianity must mean everything to us before it can mean anything to others.” (Rod Dreher, Donald Soper)

“To make any difference in our common life, Christianity must be lived—not as a means to social cohesion or national renewal, but as an end unto itself. Anyone who seeks a more perfect union should begin by seeking the perfection of their own soul. Anyone who would save their country should first look to save themselves. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Ross Douthat)

“Christianity is more than a collection of interesting facts; it is the power of God to everyone who believes.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Thessalonians 1:5)

“Who is a Christian? A Christian is a man who lives by Christ and in Christ…To be a Christian is to be like Christ." (St. Justin Popovich, Matthew Kelly)

"Christians are Christ's body, the organism through which He works…For the very essence of the Christian life is the giving of self to God. And we give ourselves to Him by giving ourselves to His children here on earth." (C.S. Lewis, Agnes Sanford)

"Now the whole offer which Christianity makes is this: that we can, if we let God have His way, we come to share in the life of Christ. If we do, we shall then be sharing a life which was begotten, not made, which always existed and always will exist. Christ is the Son of God. If we share in this kind of life we also shall be sons of God. We shall love the Father as He does and the Holy Ghost will arise in us. He came to this world and became a man in order to spread to other men the kind of life He has by what I call good infection. Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else." (C. S. Lewis)

"A very simplistic view of Christianity go something like this: "I follow Christ. He reports to me by keeping my or the body safe from all harm, my earthly mind clear all troubles. He keeps my belly and my wallet full. It's easy being a Christian! I'm good to God and He pays me back by being good to me!" But it's not like that at all...Christianity is still the only religion where God becomes human, suffers and dies for His creatures so that they may have a turn a life with Him in Heaven." (Marianne C. Sailus)

"Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously doing God’s will." (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

“It is Christ Himself, not the Bible, who is the true word of God. The Bible, read in the right spirit and with the guidance of good teachers, will bring us to Him…But we must not use the Bible (our fathers too often did) as a sort of Encyclopedia out of which texts (isolated from their context and not read without attention to the whole nature and purport of the books in which they occur) can be taken for use as weapons." (C.S. Lewis)

“In our zeal for the truth of scripture, we must never forget its purpose – to equip us to do good. We must never study [the Bible] to increase our knowledge or prepare us to win arguments. We should study the Bible so that we will get to know Christ’s work in the world. Our knowledge of[the Bible] is not useful unless it strengthens our faith and leads us to do good.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Timothy 3:17)

“The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time.” (C.S. Lewis)

“Keeping Christ first in your life can be very difficult when you have so many distractions threatening to sidetrack your faith.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Corinthians 11:3)

"God has given us two Bibles: the written one and the one we see and read in the natural world around us." (St. Augustine)

“Beware of thinking that you or your church has all of the answers. No religious system is big enough to contain Christ completely or fulfill perfectly all His desires for the world.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 6:6,7)

“One of the dangers of faith is religion…it’s easy to become so enamored with practicing the rituals of our faith that we forget about what really counts which is how we view and treat people.... Love of God, developed and nurtured through our sacramental and/or ritual life, should naturally breed love of others.” (Sacramental Living)

“Christianity is not a religion but a way of life… it is meant to be the end of religion because religion is only needed when there is a wall of separation between God and man.” (Sacramental Living, Father Alexander Schmemann)

“Everything comes from God and everything should be drawn back to Him.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Ephesians 1:4-6)

“Becoming a Christian is not so much inviting Christ into your life as getting oneself into Christ’s Life (Orthodox Study Bible, Ephesians 1:4-6)

“What is sacramental living? It starts with how we understand creation. As Christians, we understand that “we do not live in a world of mere matter. We live in a world filled with holy matter. We live in an altar.” In essence this means that the world and everything in it, the universe and created order if you will, is a means for pointing us to the reality of God, gaining more and more of an awareness and appreciation of Him, and, most importantly, having communion with Him. To live sacramentally we must become somebody who seeks and finds God in all things and at all times, in all places, in all company and in all ways. Then we shall always be able to grow and increase unceasingly and without end.” (Sacramental Living, Everywhere Present, Orthodox Study Bible, Meister Eckhart: Selected Writings)

“Christianity is unique in teaching that no good deed we do will make us right with God. No amount of human achievement or progress in personal development will close the gap between God’s moral perfection and our imperfect daily performance." (Life Application Study Bible, Romans 3:27-28)

“…Christianity is not simply a matter of self-improvement but of becoming something entirely different…The Christian faith is not philosophy, but rather communion with God…Christianity is not about ideas but about deeds inspired by love." (Marvin D. Hinten, Dynamis 11/13/2014, Frederic Ozanam)

“Many sincere seekers for God are puzzled about what He wants them to do. The religions of the world are people’s attempts to answer this question. But Jesus’ reply is brief and simple: We must believe on Him whom God has sent...accepting that Jesus is who He claims to be. All spiritual development is built on this affirmation.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 6:28-29)

“All the other religions center on people’s righteousness—what we do and how good we are. Real Christianity centers on Jesus’ righteousness—what He has done and how good He is. All the other religions essentially say, “This is what you have to do to be in right standing with God.” Jesus comes to earth and says, “This is what I’ve freely done for you to put you in right standing with God.” (Jefferson Bethke)

“The Christian is one who imitates Christ in thought, word and deed…Being a Christian means looking at the world through “the eyes of Christ.” (St. John Climacus, Abouna Justin Rose)

“It is not Christianity that makes life anxious or uncomfortable, but the lack of it…Many people believe a moderate dose of Christianity—not an excessive amount—will fulfill our lives.” (William Law)

“Christianity should not be reduced to political activism or the enforcement of morality, for societal reformation can take place only when Christ is allowed to change the heart of every citizen.” (Abbot Tryphon)

"There's a classic picture of Jesus knocking on a church door trying to get in. However, there should be another picture showing Him in the church trying to get out. Sometimes we as Christians don't let Jesus out to the rest of the world." (Father Thomas Rosica)

“The true Christian is one who knows God’s power working in himself, and finds it his true joy to have the very life of God flow into him, and through him, and out from him to those around." (Andrew Murray)

“The Christian ideal has not been found tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried.” (GK Chesterton)

"Being a Christian isn't just about following commandments: it's about letting Christ take possession of our lives." (Pope Francis)

“Christianity is essentially a life to be lived, not a set of doctrines or moral precepts. It is not just any life, however. Christianity is life in Christ. This is understood not as an ethical imitation of Christ, but as an organic union with Him in His Body, the Church.” (Clark Carlton)

“Sometimes we are tempted to think that Christianity is either about a personal relationship with Christ, or adherence to a bunch of rules we call morality. Like most “either/ors” in the Christian tradition, this is a dangerous way of thinking. The truth is that we need both the personal relation with Christ...and so become members in what St. Paul calls so often his “body.” (Hieromonk Maximos)

“...far from being just a “religion,” our Faith is indeed about an “encounter” or a “meeting” between God and His people. It is about a way of seeing and being profoundly moved and transformed by what we see and encounter” (Father Thomas Loya)

“The best way to get a grip on what Christianity is about is to look at Jesus—and even more at His accomplishments than His pronouncements.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“Christianity is not a set of rules that one must follow to gain acceptance or inclusion…Think of Christianity more as a relationship…Religion in its simplest form implies God and the human being. Their relationship is manifested through spiritual and moral activities.” (Believe.com, Father Demetrios J. Constantelos)

“Believing that God exists is only the beginning; even the demons believe that much (James 2:19-20). God will not settle for mere acknowledgment of his existence. He wants your faith to lead to a personal, dynamic relationship.” (Life Application Study Bible, Hebrews 11:6)

“God desires–not requires–a relationship with us. It is not a one-sided affair; we are coparticipants with Him, both in our relationship with Him and in our work in the world... God doesn’t want you to do something against your will. You, therefore, must desire to know Him and have a relationship with Him.” (John Fischer and Rice Broocks)

“Christian faith not only puts us on the right path...it also brings us into a relationship with a Person. Aligning our minds with the facts and accepting Christianity as true is an excellent first step, but that alone does not accomplish what God has in mind for us. He wants us to know him personally.” (Thomas Williams)

“Christian living depends on our relationship with Jesus. Do we invest ourselves in Christ? Do we maintain our relationship with Him and place Him before all others? If so, we live unto Christ." (Dynamis 4/12/2014)

“Living the Christian life is a process. Although we have a new nature, we don’t automatically think all good thoughts and express all right attitudes when we become new people in Christ. But if we keep listening to God, we will be changing all the time.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ephesians 4:17-25)

“The Church, in which Christian life develops, is not primarily an organization, but an organism whose parts or members receive their edifying power from Christ to grow up into Christ.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Ephesians 4:11-16)

“Jesus went to the synagogue “as usual.” [Luke 5:16] Even though He was the perfect Son of God and His local synagogue undoubtedly left much to be desired, Jesus attended services every week. His example makes our excuses for not attending church sound weak and self-serving. Make regular worship a part of your life.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 4:16)

"The sacramental life is the primary means by which the Christian's life is united with God....The sacramental life is thus at heart what it means to be a Christian." (Father Stanley Harakas)

“When our participation in a rite becomes perfect we think no more of ritual, but are engrossed by that about which the rite is performed; but afterwards we recognized that ritual was the sole method by which this concentration could be achieved.” (C. S. Lewis)

“Christianity is a religion of the heart; outward compliance is not enough.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 John 3:15)

“Religious ceremonies or rituals are empty unless they are performed with an attitude of love and obedience. ‘Being religious’ (going to church, serving on a committee, giving to charity) is not enough if we do not act out of devotion and obedience to God.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Samuel 15:22,23)

“Prayer, fasting, vigil and all other Christian practices, however good they may be in themselves, do not constitute the aim of our Christian life, although they serve as the indispensable means of reaching this end. The true aim of our Christian life consists in the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God. As for fasts, and vigils, and prayer, and almsgiving, and every good deed done for Christ’s sake, they are only means of acquiring the Holy Spirit of God.” (Saint Seraphim of Sarov)

“It doesn’t matter if you are active in Church and don’t have the right relationship with God. This is why so many people are brought up Christian, go to Christian schools, live their lives in Christian communities, yet have the same divorce rate, juvenile crime rate, and other problems that the rest of society suffers from. This is because without a proper understanding and relationship with Christ, Christianity is incorrectly reduced to just another system of rules and regulations we try to follow by our own will power and therefore ultimately makes no deep and lasting change to our way of being.” (Sacramental Living)

“A church building is sometimes called God’s house. In reality, God’s household is not a building but a group of people. He lives in us and shows Himself to a watching world through us.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ephesians 2:19-22)

“God wants to add believers to His church, not just newer and better programs or larger and fancier facilities.” (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 5:14)

“It is indeed difficult that when a person comes to Church, and even decides to dedicate his life to it, he then encounters that which seems very out of place. He encounters human deficiencies, completely “worldly” interests, and people’s infirmities. It is very easy to be disillusioned, to be driven away. It is much better, however, to attempt to understand this correctly. People come into the Church to be saved; however, they do not become holy automatically. They bring along their passions and their sinful habits. In the course of time people cease to struggle with themselves and simply exist. It is very difficult with such people in the Church. Some struggle, but with little success. Yet someone else conquers His weaknesses with God’s help.” (Hieromonk Nektary)

“Also it is vital not to judge the Church as an outsider would; it is necessary to live within it, to perceive yourself as an integral part of it, to consider her deficiencies your deficiencies, her misfortune as your misfortune, and her pain as your pain.” (Hieromonk Nektary)

“...the Church is always in need of people who desire and are capable of helping and working in it. On the other hand, the Christian himself, when working for the Church, acquires incomparably more than he himself gives. “Therefore even washing the floors, cleaning the candle-stands and the church property, and even less qualified work become the most real and efficient method for his churching." (Hieromonk Nektary)

“The Church is like a hospital for those sick with sin, not a place where perfect people celebrate their holiness. Jesus set it up that way. The Church is Christ and it is provided for our redemption. If the Church is doing its job, it will always be full of sinners, and if it is full of sinners, it is bound to be a dysfunctional family. And if it is a dysfunctional family, it is going to be very difficult to live with. But it is still Jesus’ family and each person must find his or her place in the family. To denounce the Church because of the imperfections of its Priests, Pastors, and people is unwise. It’s like denouncing the entire game of football because your favorite team is no good. Worse, denouncing the church is in fact denouncing Jesus because the Church is Christ with us.” (Sacramental Living, Josephe Girzone)

“No church has ever been or will ever be perfect....All churches have problems. If your church’s shortcomings distress you, ask yourself: Would a perfect church allow me to be a member? Then do what you can to make your church better. A church does not have to be perfect to advance the cause of Christ.” (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 6:1)

“When there is snobbery or a judgmental atmosphere, the church betrays the teachings of Christ and loses all appeal.” (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 15:19-21)

“Believers should be careful not only in what they say but also in how they say it. We may be correct in our content, but we can lose our audience by our tone of voice or by our attitude.” (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 15:23-29)

“God desires to receive everyone into His Church, regardless of heritage, social class, or past sins, for all are one in Christ.” (Life Application Study Bible, Deuteronomy 10:14,15) “Prayer, fasting, vigils and all of the other works that the Church prescribes are not attempts to win God’s favor, but rather they are means of preparing the soil of our heart to receive and keep the grace of God.” (Clark Carlton)

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for very good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

“The story of Scripture is the story of a Father’s love for his children. It is the story of a Father faithfully reaching out to the children who rejected him. It is the story of a loving God who never gives up.” (Richard Stearns)

“We should not study God’s Word simply to increase our knowledge or to prepare us to win arguments. We should study the Bible so that we will know how to do Christ’s work in the world.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Timothy 3:17)

“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the Book widens and deepens with our years.” (Charles Spurgeon)

“Being a Christian isn't just about following commandments: it's about letting Christ take possession of our lives.” (Pope Francis)

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