It is always a fair question to ask: Why Christianity? Why choose to be a Christian rather than adopt any other worldview? I can see a number of good reasons but there is one that I would like to focus on here. When we think of other religions or philosophies, what is their core message? Understanding that there is only so much that can be said in short statement, I think these summaries are fair:
Hinduism – Making up for bad karma.
Buddhism – Escaping suffering through detachment from desire.
Judaism – Celebrating tradition and the heritage of being the chosen people.
Islam – Submission to God.
Humanism – Escaping superstition and improving humanity through science.
So what is the core message of Christianity? I would like to share a number of passages on this.
“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37–40 ESV)
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34 ESV)
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 ESV)
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 ESV)
“For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (1 John 3:11 ESV)
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8 ESV)
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogantor rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:1–13 ESV)
Love is the core message of Christianity. It is not a side issue or an option for being a better person. Christianity is about love. Now I must make two clarifications. I am not saying that there are no loving Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims or Humanists. Nor am I saying that all Christians live a life of love. What I am saying is that Christianity is the only worldview that has love at its core.
If you hold love to be the most important thing, you cannot afford to ignore Christianity.