Christianity is Not Primarily a Creed
Today Churches that come under the umbrella of "Christianity" are primarily defined by the creed they espouse. For this reason, they accept many interpretations of God's Word, when in reality, there is only one - God's. It is necessary to take the pains to study the literary skills of interpretation to understand what God means and not what men misinterpret.
God made the world, and in creation, He made Himself known, but when men rejected His rule, He gave them over to unbelief. Furthermore, God gave men over to live and rule the world as they will. Every day, we live with the results of our actions and the actions of others. For six thousand years, humanity has paid the price for its rude and disrespectful behavior toward God and His ways.
The result of men's rejection of God has been their brutality toward one another. For two paragraphs, I have spoken about relationships. In Isaiah 53:6, God defines sin in this way, "All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way." Men cannot escape the reality that their lives are defined by how they treat others, whether for good or bad.
Once upon a time, religion was defined by idols made by men's hands, which were false gods of their imaginations. Today, two thousand years after the advent of Jesus Christ, the long-awaited Savior, men have refined idolatry as a religious philosophy. Hence, Christianity has been reduced to a Creed.
A Mind for Christ, Not a Creed
The Apostle Paul understood the reality of creeds and made war upon Satan's battle for men's minds by God's power. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses (A military stronghold, argument). [We are] destroying speculations (Reasoning or rationalizing arguments) and every lofty thing (A raised barrier) raised up against the knowledge of God, and [we are] taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ..." (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
Paul is writing about a war that takes place in the minds of men. In the world, the cults convert the gift of Christianity into a demonic maze of confusion that does not closely resemble the message of Jesus Christ. In mainline denominations that most closely resemble the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the devil waters down the truth to make it of no effect in the lives of those who participate.
Among God's regenerate, born-again believers, the battle is not less intense but more so. Their hearts have been turned to God but still very vulnerable to demonic deception. As sin in our own flesh can deceive us, even so, the devil can do the same. The proof is in the divisions Satan causes among those owned by the blood of Christ.
For the sake of space, I will simplify the battle. The only way we can win is through God's power (Verse 4). God alone can identify the military argument that becomes a stronghold for the enemy. The idea that Christianity is a creed is the devil's most potent argument that separates the saint from the true God. To destroy Satan's rationality that makes us distant from our God, we must destroy the reasoning that takes us captive.
A Mind for a Person, Not a Principle
John 17:3, "And this is eternal life, that they might know you, the only true God...". Eternal life is a person. 1 John 1:1, "...what we have looked at and touched with our hands ...we ...proclaim to you the eternal life..." Eternal life is not a creed, it is a person. Whoever reduces Him to a principle loses the battle. God is found in the teachings of His Word. He is experienced by faith through the Holy Spirit, who makes His Word relevant and intimate.
"And this is eternal life, that they might know You..." To know a principle is to have an idea. An idea is not intimacy between two living beings. Intimacy is best defined as [in - to me - you - see]. It is the revelation of a person by another person. God knows everything there is to know about us. By intimacy with God, we grow in our knowledge of Him.
We can know about God through the study of His self-revelation, the Bible. We get to know Him as we experience Him through the faith that makes His Word relevant and His internal voice heard. His inner voice is an echo of what His Word has declared.
My dear readers, we must move beyond knowing about God through doctrine, which apart from intimacy can be cold and uncaring. The one who becomes intimate with God is the same that God leads. "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons and daughters of God" (Romans 8:14). A person can be a son and daughter to God, but not a doctrine. Only the son of a person will call God, Daddy. "...you have received a spirit of adoption as sons and daughters by which we cry out, "Abba! Father (Daddy)!" (Verse 15)
In this way, so-called spiritual disciplines are also cold and make people insensitive to the person of God. 1 Corinthians 9:27 shows the value of beating our bodies so that our lusts will not guide us through this life. However, as used in Corinthians about our bodies, discipline is nowhere used to draw near to God. What does asceticism accomplish in according to Paul? Confidence in the flesh. On the contrary, Paul trashed his fleshly attempts to be religious so that he might know Christ. We do not draw close to God by treating our bodies harshly; we draw near to Christ by appreciating His love and sacrifice for us.
Before God can be understood as King,
He must be known as a person who loves us.