The christian religion appears to be based on two basic kinds of "truths". One, that relevant observable phenomena is consistent with whichever creation story/general explanations the believer adheres to and two, that a whole bunch of unobserved things are exceedingly true. Being saved, the power of prayer, the requirement of faith, that JC died for our sins, and even sins themselves, for example.
For a believer to participate in that POV, they have to learn and then accept all of the parameters and guidelines. And they have to accept them. And while the process itself is probably no different than the one we use to learn table manners or our native language, the effect it has on such believers is, to one degree or another, unusually powerful.
That being said, if one is to try to draw an accurate conclusions from the small sampling of christians or alleged christians we have had visit us on on this site, no two end up having identical thoughts and/or beliefs on the subject. In other words, each believer has been whopped up side the head, so to speak, with a powerful message, but it never takes the same form from inside their skull. Well, maybe not never, but seldom. Even members of tight knit religious groups differ on various details of doctrine or ceremony. Members of the same congregation can busy themselves backbiting each other over tiny details, all the while happily labeling the entire group as being a unified christian this or christian that.
In other words, the message being passed down is powerful, but not powerful (or perhaps accurate) enough to provide coherency or consistency amongst believers. In more oppressive times, such as when the catholic church held dominion over virtually all followers of the christian god and Jesus, there may have been less variation, but Martin Luther hammering a nail in the church door 500 years ago demonstrates that it wasn't all puppy dogs and kittens then either.
Within christianity, there is generic agreement, yes, but specific agreement? No.
A good example would be the myriad versions of heaven and/or hell that we've been told about here on the site. Some will come here and insist that all who fail to accept Jesus will surely burn in hell forever. Others tell us that we are all going to heaven, because there really isn't a hell. Or the hell will be a temporary landing spot. And then some tell us how wonderful heaven will be while others say that very little is known about heaven and that they are just hoping it is as nice as promised.
Some come here insisting that the bible is literal and that the world is 6,000 years old, while others concede evolution, but insist that god started it all
I think that individual believers are following the god that they have been told about, but that they are also following the god that they want. And that such customization is the logical result of generic beliefs haphazardly slapped together and inconsistency passed on. It is a story told thousands of years ago by individuals unable to foresee the future that would be caused by their localized and made up little tales, which were initially intended to either explain or control. And that view helps explain why those stories don't have the coherence necessary to create a consistency one might expect were it all true.
So here is (are) my question(s). Why is the word of your god the source for so many variations? Why is the christian religion, and religions claiming to be christian (but not christian by your standards), so varied? And how could a person interested in becoming a christian find the right version, especially if they made the mistake of asking two different christians for proper instruction/advise?
And don't give me some answer that involves a persons "feelings". That's the prime cause of these variations in the first place. If loving Jesus and getting to heaven are high priorities, doing it right seems relevant. Feelings shouldn't mean a thing.
(And do keep in mind that I am probably the only atheist on the site who has not given you a negative karma. You haven't pissed me off enough. Which means you can either appreciate my civility and answer sincerely or eagerly seek a 100% disapproval rating. Like with religion, that choice is yours.)