Let’s start with an important distinction—there is Christianity, and then there is church culture. They are not the same.
Often they are far from the same.
The personality conveyed through much of Christian culture is not the personality of Jesus but of the people in charge of that particular franchise. Tragically, the world looks at funny hats or big hair, gold thrones and purple curtains, or stained glass and assumes this is what Jesus must be like.
If you will simply read the Gospels without bias, you cannot come to any other conclusion but that religion is the enemy.
One of the most striking aspects of the stories of Jesus told in the Gospels is how few, how very few of the events related by the stories take place within a religious setting. The fact is, if you wanted an intimate encounter with Jesus, you would have been far more likely to find it outside the religious establishment. This is still true today.
Of Jesus’ 34 intimate encounters with an individual in the Gospel of Matthew, only one takes place in a religious building.
So what is Jesus like then? Well, let’s start with the premise that Nature reveals God’s handiwork. Nature is such a liberating force because it is God’s and it speaks volumes about his true—pardon the pun—nature!
Nature reflects the heart of the artist, Jesus. They are his masterpieces, his expression and his gift to us. So what would you conclude about what the sea, trees, the wind and sunshine, etc. say about Jesus?
So when you are confronted with something from Christian culture that you question, ask yourself: “Is what I am hearing or seeing true of the personality of the God of the trees and the wind, the God of the ocean and sunshine?”
This litmus test alone will dispel truckloads of religious nonsense.
The above text based on excerpts of John Eldredge’s book, “Beautiful Outlaw”.