Most people are confused when I tell them I like to drink beer or smoke an occasional cigar. Others have a hard time with my geekiness. The fact I like comic books and video games seems to go against the perception of what a Christian is. This is because what most people know about Christianity is really just “churchianity”.
Churchianity is a perception of living or acting in holiness by living out your religion externally. Most people who are not Christian would likely have a certain expectation of how a Christian would look and act and it’s typically a “holier than thou” explanation. This comes from a misunderstanding of what Christian salvation is all about.
The perception is that of a works-based salvation (one where you can do enough good, or avoid enough bad to enter Heaven). In fact most people would say they are going to Heaven simply on the idea that they aren’t that bad. Now I must add, since I know someone will say something, that as Christians by faith and grace alone we do not have permission to do whatever we want.
It’s this misunderstanding that has invaded the view of Christianity within and outside of the church. Those who aren’t Christian have an unrealistic view of our faith, yet so many of those in the church have the same view. Christians put on Christ externally but their insides never change. We are indeed called to put on Christ (Romans 13:14, Galatians 3:27) but this action is taken by God through our baptism.
Just as we are called to workout our own salvation, a perpetual prayer and repentance life-we should be reminded that we have in fact put Christ on and should live in that. We once again assume that it is by our own works that we become righteous, when that work was done in Christ.
It seems we as human beings aren’t ever satisfied with Sola Fide (Salvation by faith alone) and think we must add to that works (which is a firm belief of Mormonism). It’s like saying, “when all else fails, just try to earn it”. This mentality causes us to craft idols in our lives, namely self-idolatry. When we attempt to “show” ourselves holy we often fail which leads to confusion and disaster. Instead we should learn to lean less on our own understanding/ability and more on the completed work of Christ.