What do Christians believe, anyway?
Big question. Here's a short start at an answer.
Christians believe that God created everything that is and that he loves all of it. He loves people; he loves each one of us, more than we can imagine. God's deepest nature is love itself.
Christians believe that God showed us this deep nature by sending his son to earth as a human being. This is where Christian theology gets difficult. There's no denying or pretending that it doesn't.
For example, how is it that God can have a son, and doesn't that mean we believe in more than one God (since the son of God must be a God also)? Muslims accuse Christians of believing in more than one God, and it could look like we do, but we don't.
But we can't talk about everything here, so let's put this (extremely deep and difficult) topic aside for the moment and just focus on the son himself.
Jesus was God at his most approachable, his most visible and knowable.
Christians believe that the person, Jesus, a Jew who lived roughly 2000 years ago, was God in flesh, God with us, the Son of God, both fully human and fully God. Because he was human, this is God at his most knowable, at his most approachable.
So, what did this person, Jesus, tell us about who God is and what he wants with us, or more accurately, what he wants for us?
What he said, in a nutshell, was that God wants us to love each other and to love him.
He wants this for us because this is the route to pure joy and contentment, the route to delight and goodness.
It is what God made us to do. It is who he made us to be.
Loving one another and loving God doesn't sound very radical. What's the big deal, you may ask?
Well, when Jesus said it, he meant it. He meant that we should love everyone all of the time. Now that's radical. It's also impossible for us to do on our own.
We don't do it, can't do it, and in failing to do it, we distance ourselves from God, whose deepest nature, you will recall, is love itself.
It is not that God made us flawed and then is going to punish us for it. (God is never mean or unjust.) God didn't create us flawed; he created us free.
God didn't create us flawed; he created us free. We introduced the flaws.
God doesn't want us to fail. He made us, he loves us, and he wants to keep on loving us forever. That's what Jesus was all about.
There is much more to the story, of course, more than any one person could write in a lifetime. There is even more elsewhere in this website, and, of course, there is the wonderful Christian tradition to teach and guide us as we go along.
It's a fascinating story in which we each play a starring role, whether or not we know we're in the play. It is the story of God's amazing love for you and for me. It's worth knowing more about.