Guest Blog, “I Am a Christian …. Now What?”
Last week we posted an essay entitled, “The Heathen in Search of God”. The post produced its fair share of comments, one of which is the following article from Reverend Betty Anderson, a good friend and loyal member of the Blackacre family. Having found her God long ago, Reverend Anderson is a strong Christian. Her post however, is not directed at Heathens or even marginal believers. It instead aimed squarely at those who have found their faith, specifically Christians.
We advocate no particular religious point of view. Let each man search for and find the Divine as he sees fit. Moreover, we struggled with whether to make editorial changes to the Anderson essay. But in the end, we decided against it. These are Reverend Anderson’s words that express her heart. As such, they need no editing, interpretation and/or filter. So without further adieu, we present the guest essay, “I’m A Christian…………Now What?”
“Many people who do not believe and trust in Jesus Christ consider themselves Christians simply because they go to church. But going to church, serving those less fortunate than you, or being a good person does not make you a Christian. The term “Christian” is a title that was originally given to us by the world, maybe this is the reason we have so many worldly Christians.
There are many, many professing Christians in every Church whose union with Christ is only outward. An appropriate name that might be given to this group of church members is “pew-fillers. Some of these pew-filler Christians are joined to the church and Christ by baptism and Church membership. Some of them go even further than this, and are regular communicants who are willing to get into heated discussions about denominations, and rules, and “God said”.
These “Christians” have no problem being loud talkers about religion because they are worldly. Pew-filler Christians all lack what is needful to be a true Christian – although they attend services, and listen to the sermons, although they partake of the sacrament – they need grace in their hearts, they need faith, they need the inward work of the Holy Spirit. Pew-fillers give Christianity a bad name because they are worldly people who are willing to compromise their already weak Christian values to be accepted both in the world and in the church. These are willing to say, “That’s the way the world is going so we might as well accept it”.
One major problem with “pew-fillers” is they bring a lot of focus to themselves and this give those who are seeking charges against church fellowship to use “hypocrite” as a title for Christians and it also gives them another weapon of justification for their criticism of church fellowship.
Being a Christian is about what God has done for us, not what we do for Him; Being a Christian is loving someone as they are and not as they ought to be; Being a Christian is something that God does inside of you not just something you worked up through religious observance and compliance with church doctrine. Where there is no fruit of the Spirit to be seen, there is no vital religion in the heart.
There is a wide difference between believers and believers. In some things they are all alike. All feel their sins; all trust in Christ; all repent and strive to be holy. All have grace, and faith, and new hearts. But they differ widely in the degree of their attainments. Also, a lot of people who call themselves Christian are just mean, mad, and messed-up people with a little religious flavor thrown in for good measure, and, there are many mean people who call themselves Christians.
There are no good excuses for Christians’ bad behavior. We all misbehave from time to time. We all make mistakes and use poor judgment. We speak harshly to others. It happens. When we do it, we need to actually say, “I’m sorry.” However, too often we hear excuses that Christians use for bad behavior. One of the biggest excuses for Christians’ bad behavior is the idea that God forgives our sins.
It takes courage to stand out and be peculiar people for God. The term “Christian” is a title that was originally given to us by the world. In the rigors of different cultures and religions, the followers of Jesus were so distinct that they received a new name – Christians Of course, they meant it in a derogatory sense because they thought the people were odd balls because they were so wrapped up in Jesus. Believers were “called Christians first in Antioch.” These believers spoke so frequently and affectionately of Christ that the world coined the term Christ-ians. Acts 11:26. 1 Peter 2:29 reminds Christians, But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. We have a special, unique calling from God to do good works.
“Where there is no fruit of the Spirit to be seen, there is no vital religion in the heart. The Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus will always make Himself known in the daily conduct of those in whom He dwells. The Master Himself declares, “Every tree is known by his own fruit.” (Luke 6:44.) . Fruit is used to describe the best aspects of the Spirit a Godly character. In Galatians 5:22-23 Paul lists out the fruit of Godly character: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder. —James 2:19. Some people may need to rethink – am I a believer or a Christian wantabe. Christians is so sweeping that it includes both believers and religious unbelievers. While a true believer is a Christian, one who calls himself a Christian may not necessarily be saved.
True Christians should always be mindful of what they do and say in the at all times, after all, we live in a small world and Christians are observed by both other Christians, unsaved Christians, and many unbelievers. Remember that for many unbelievers, the only time they encounter Jesus is when they seem Him represented in Christians. Therefore, the Christian should live his life lovingly, from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith (1 Tim. 1:5).”
Leo Barron Hicks, Founder and CEO
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