What does it mean to be a Christian?

Photo credit: Angel James de Ocampo on flickr

(Editor’s note: In a world of ever-increasing biblical illiteracy, people presume they know what the Bible is all about just because they attend church regularly or they do “Christian” things. As Brandon’s story illustrates, a person can live his life acting like a Christian without actually being one. But it isn’t hard to get a good foundation of the Bible if one reads a book that explains its message clearly.)

We received a long, hand-written letter from Brandon.* In over four pages of beautiful penmanship, he described his mistaken ideas about what he thought it meant to be a Christian. He writes:

“I was supposedly brought up in a Christian home and I raised our children in what I thought was a ‘Christian home.’ What does a ‘Christian home’ really mean? In my case, it meant attending church on a regular basis and being somewhat involved in church activities. Did we read the Bible daily? No. Was God a priority in our lives? No.”


He goes on to elaborate what he thought of his friends and neighbours:

“I also thought that since Canada was founded as a Christian country that everyone was Christian too. The older I became, and the more funerals and memorial services I attended, I realized that this is not true.”


Brandon discovered that many people, including himself, did not have a good understanding of the Bible. Since he barely read it, he was simply absorbing wrong ideas from others or making it up as he went along. Then he got hold of a copy of “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus” and read it cover to cover. He writes:

“There is one book which I have read, called, The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus by John R. Cross. [It] is like reading the Bible in a ‘nutshell.’ It really gives the true message of the Bible in a chronological manner.”


The book opened up Brandon’s understanding of God, Jesus Christ and the gospel. His misconceptions were washed away and replaced with truth. He realized that all he needed to do was trust in the completed work of Jesus on the cross. He learnt that God was all-powerful, that the devil is real, and that it was through Jesus that he could be declared righteous and thus have a personal relationship with God.

He closes with this note of encouragement to others seeking to understand the Bible:

“I just want to encourage you to read, study, pray and find out for yourselves what God’s plan for you is. What a wonderful feeling it is to finally have a personal relationship with God. I believe that was what was missing in my life.”


Are you also confused about what the Bible is about? Have you seen how neighbours, friends and family members claim to be Christians but have no understanding of the Bible? Why not follow Brandon’s example and take the time to find out. It’s the reason we create tools to help you gain a clear understanding of the world’s bestseller.

(* Name has been changed as per GoodSeed policy.)


Photo credit: Angel James de Ocampo on flickr



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