What are some common misconceptions about Christianity, so common that even some Christians believe them?

Good thing we're in a "common misconceptions about Christianity" thread. A lot of people have this idea that salvation by faith in Christianity is some kind of "get out of jail free card" where you're able to murder, steal, etc. without remorse and still be saved because you profess a believe in the Christian God. The real idea of salvation by faith in Christianity holds that genuine faith in the Christian God is reflected by an effort toward good deeds and a general true remorse for any bad ones. Good deeds for us are a response to and a reciprocation of God's love for us, not holes in a "get into Heaven" punch card. In other words, good works are a sort of evidence that someone is saved, but they are not HOW one is saved, as though we could possibly please and satisfy the infinite God just by the things we do.

As I've said, it's only possible for non-Muslims who "don't understand Islam" to get into Heaven, which is plenty unfair and also extremely arrogant in my opinion. The important thing in Christianity is not checking off a list of arbitrary commands that God gives us just because he can. The important thing in Christianity is not having spot-on theology, which the vast majority of the human race and even the vast majority of believers in the correct religion will not have. The important thing in Christianity is to love God and to love other people. We believe that the best way to love God is by accepting Jesus (which also means trying to follow what he taught), but I personally believe that anyone who loves God has a chance even if their theology is wrong. After all, we believe that God took some time to reveal that He is a Trinity, so obviously He wasn't concerned that prophets before Jesus and the people they taught did not have perfect theology; He cared about their relationship with Him. He revealed the Trinity when the time was right.

On top of all that, there are multiple ideas of what the opposite of salvation entails in Christianity, and "fire and brimstone" Hell isn't as widely accepted as people think. Personally I subscribe to the idea that the opposite of salvation is simply total cessation of existence, a sort of "complete death", which I think is very biblically supported. But there are views that range from purgatorialism to universalism. In contrast, Islam is pretty much limited to what I consider the single most nightmarish, horrific, and - dare I use the word evil? - conception of Hell that exists in any religion. That would make it suck a lot more to be wrong, but it also presents a bigger conflict with the omnibenevolence of God than other religions have.

/r/Christianity Thread Parent