Before we start I have to clarify the term Christian and who it is I am referring to. There are an innumerable number of denominations within the umbrella term that is Christian.
The best place to start would be at the beginning of the first century Christians. They were first called the term "Christian in Acts 11:26 at Antioch. And was considered to be an insult. Later embraced by the Christians, a practice repeated many times in our history.
From there, traditions claim Peter went to Rome and established the roman catholic church. But this is oral traditions and has never been proven. The great schism happened many years later in 1050 AF when Orthodoxy broke communion with the catholic church.
These became massive centralized power structures in Europe and then later into the new world.
Mainstream man-made religious doctrines are much different than the scriptures and often rely upon Apocrypha for false doctrine, saints that contradicted scripture and sound doctrine. And these institutions are often referred to when speaking of Christians.
The reformation happened and then we had the protestant movements springing from them, and the bloody wars that followed. Many of the people who came to my country, South-Africa were fleeing from this religious conflict.
Out of the reformed theology spang all the charismatic movements with rock bands and lead singers. This is a generalized timeline with many more branches to it.
These Religions are like that of the rest of the world's made-up religions. Which could be summed up with a picture of a scale which balances your good deeds against your bad deeds. And if you managed to be good enough you might just make it.
Now there exists a branch of believers that have always existed, throughout the ages. That simply believed the scriptures when it said faith/trust was enough to guarantee you everlasting life or commonly referred to as "going to heaven." That you can attain the everlasting life by simply trusting that Jesus will give it to you freely without any string attached: Galatian 2:16: Knowing hat a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed, that we might be saved by faith in Christ Jesus and not by the works of the law, for by the work of the law shall no flesh be saved.
Today they are called fundamental baptists and there are many more non-denominational churches that believe free grace. But we are a small number compared to the deception that I am implying here. But Jesus taught that narrow is the way that leadeth unto life and few there be that find it and broad is the way onto destruction and many there be which go in thereat.
The baptist also accepted a derogatory term as a name for themselves. When the baby baptizers were mocking them for rebaptizing adult believers.
The bible speaks of man being utterly deceived and than no one may know his way. That none are good and all have fallen short of the glory of God, meaning you can't please God. If you think of this logically, how can an all-mighty God be impressed with anything we do, there has been many great men and women in history how can you possibly think you measure up?
We all are judged as failures we can't please God. But by rejecting our efforts and trusting someone else's righteousness to justify you is incredibly hard for the religious folk they love the label more than any conviction.
Man is a proud full creature and wants to be in charge of his destiny. He wants to feel justified by his effort. The world we live in works like this. You study hard to get A's. You put effort into health you see results. You perform well at work for a promotion. You invest in friendships by doing things or investing in them financially and expect the same in return. If the friend performs you return it with affection or equal favors. The same with sexual partners.
This is why Biblical scriptural Christianity is different. It is counter-intuitive and extremely simple. Simple enough that a child could be saved.
2 Corinthians 11:3-4 King James Version (KJV)
3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.