Many stories associated with religions are considered to be myths—stories made up to serve a specific purpose at a specific time.

Popular movies and TV shows today often depict religion, specifically Christianity, in a way that promotes modern-day myths. One of the myths being popularized about Christianity is that it is a stuffy, no-fun religion.

How many times have you seen a character like the uptight reverend in Footloose depicted in mainstream media? When people see Christianity as an overly strict, rule-based religion, it is easy to view it as something to rebel against. But true believers know that this isn’t true; Christianity is not meant to enslave anyone or keep them from enjoying life. True believers know that Christianity is the only way to know true joy. When we believe in God’s gift of salvation, we are free to enjoy a life connected to our Creator. We don’t have to fear death anymore, and this is true freedom.

The Pharisees adhered to strict ritualistic rules, and the rules became more important than their beliefs. Jesus called these types of followers hypocrites.

Matthew 23 (New King James Version)

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!"

At the other end of the spectrum, references to Christianity as a not-a-big-deal belief system abound in pop songs and TV shows. These references show Christianity as a religion without rules.

The Bible teaches that God gave humanity the gift of free will; the gift to choose which path we want to take in life. But we aren’t to take this gift lightly. We will have to answer for everything that we do in this life. God loves us regardless of what we do, but we have to think of our actions as having consequences, even if they aren’t immediate.

 Ecclesiastes 11 (New King James Version)
Rejoice, O young man, in your youth,
And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth;
Walk in the ways of your heart,
And in the sight of your eyes;
But know that for all these
God will bring you into judgment.

Somewhere in the middle lies the truth of Christianity: it is a way of life that sets its believers free instead of enslaving them. It isn’t the freedom to do anything we want, however—we must take responsibility for our actions and try to live the way that God wants us to. The world may view this as oppressive, but Christians know that following God’s rules actually lead to a much better life than the one glorified by the world.

Romans 6 (New King James Version) 

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

How can you show the reality of Christianity in how you live? How can you help dispel some of the myths surrounding Christianity to nonbelievers? Why do you think the world wants people to be confused about Christianity?

All Bible verses were taken from Biblegateway

This post was written by Emily Haymans.