The secular world today looks at Christianity in exactly the same way that the ancient pagans looked at their own religions. The ancient pagans saw all approaches to religion....and even no approach at all, as equally valid and equally admirable. After all, religion, they said, is secondary in life anyway; a hobby or pastime enjoyable for some. Entertainment..having no connection at all with one's destiny in the next life. The secular world today sees Christianity in this same way, as immensely complex, with each approach to it valid and good, with everyone going to Heaven, everyone saved anyway, no matter how they behave.
The Christ of the Gospels taught something very different. He spelled out a moral code, going into great detail on many moral points, and made it quite clear that salvation depended on obedience to this morality. It was not enough just to follow Him in one way or another; one must obey the Commandments as He had spelled them out. "He who obeys the Commandments he has from Me is the man who loves Me." (John 14:21)
To claim that one loves Christ without commitment to obedience to His commands is not to love Him but to deny Him! On essentials; and, yet, astoundingly often, we see people claiming that His words here are utterly untrue. We hear people say, "I am divorced and remarried, and had serious reasons for doing what I did, but I still love Christ intensely." All they really had were serious reasons for disobeying Christ! And this lasting disobedience proves, in Christ's words, that they have no love for Him at all, only the claim of it, the pretense of
Christ taught that divorce and remarriage was adultery, equally against the Sixth Commandment with other forms of adultery; adultery not just for Christians, but for all men, even before He came, "from the beginning" (Matt.19:4,8). All people, even savages, know what marriage is, that it involves a solemn promise for life. This solemn promise must be kept. Many say, "I am living in adultery, or I am unmarried living with my unmarried girlfriend, but I love Christ." Rubbish. Christ identified these two sins, adultery and fornication, among the things that make man impure.(Matt.15:19) He mentions both of these explicitly and separately.
Christ said,"As the Father has sent Me, so I send you." (John 20:21) "Whoever listens to you, listens to Me. Whoever rejects you, rejects Me. And, whoever rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me." (Luke 10:16) The Church has the power not just to declare morality, but to declare and define what is right and what is wrong for all men. Whoever rejects the morality taught by the Church rejects not only the Church, but Christ; and not only Christ but the Father, as well. They are not just going to God in some other way. They reject God altogether, even when they claim otherwise.
Many today say, "I do not keep holy the Sabbath Day, but I love Christ immensely." They claim to love Christ, but shy away from hearing the words of Christ in the Gospels in any regular way. Claptrap. Many say, "I am committed unrepentant to the practice of abortion, or to the use of contraceptive devices, or both, but I love Christ with my whole heart." Nonsense. The killer of an innocent person, the one who engages in sexual perversions, as well as the burglar and the mugger, cannot legitimately claim to love Christ. The only reason why such claims seem plausible at all today is that there are so many people engaging in such claims.
Acceptance of Christ is not complex or convoluted at all. People who accept Him base this acceptance on His clear teachings of what goodness, honor, and decency are all about; that the morality taught by Christ and His Church are easily seen to be true. And they are grateful for having this light in a world which is committed to the mad and perverse cultivation of darkness!