Nathan Johnson shared a very thoughtful response to my article “Shouldn’t Christ Have Been More Christlike”, which he wrote below.
Am I a True Christian?
All through history there has been true Christians, false Christians, and non-Christians. Between these three groups, there has always seemingly been some contention. Where there is disagreement, it is natural for the human nature to want to conflict with that which is against one’s own thinking. In true Christianity, we learn that our minds are fallible, that our understandings can be warped and misled. So, in true Christianity, we are taught to place all into God’s hands, and let God use us. When we stand up for something, we should not so much be standing up for ourselves, but for the One who is worthy of recognition and praise.
“Where there is disagreement, it is natural for the human nature to want to conflict with that which is against one’s own thinking. In true Christianity, we learn that our minds are fallible, that our understandings can be warped and misled.”
The role of a true Christians is that of a servant, like Christ’s example showed. The reason there is conflict between true Christianity and false, or non-Christianity, is due to the fact that light and darkness cannot coexist in harmony. If we are a true Christian, then what we are called to represent is what the world will take offense to, but we are stand boldly for what we know is truth–but to be careful not to pick fights or use the truth as a weapon to beat others with over the head (remember Eph 6:12). If we are false Christians, we could be misled, ignorant, selfish, or simply choosing to lead our own lives while professing something false. Where the Spirit of Christ is not, there is no true peace. So, the false Christian’s troubles he/she blames on others. And they’re easily offended by the true humble, contrite Christians message because the path and character of a true Christian denounces the actions of a false Christian, or even a non-Christian. Howbeit, our characters should always express true, pure, humble, and unfailing love, as that is the Character of Christ–even in the act of denouncing sin and apostasy.
“Our characters should always express true, pure, humble, and unfailing love, as that is the Character of Christ–even in the act of denouncing sin and apostasy.”
“If everyone spoke well of Christ, then He would have been a false prophet. “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” Luke 6:26. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12.”
These two points are very critical for the Christian to understand. The pleasant path is usually led by the one who seeks to blind. But, the path of the Christian, as the truth, it is straight and narrow, and an uphill journey. There will be trials, there will be temptations–these things are sent to strengthen our faith. For a surety, though, I know how disparaging and discouraging it is when the hearers become rejectors and attackers of the message we are called to bear. But, we must keep in mind that it is the Father’s business we are to be about, not the good social standing of our own reputation.
Are We Among These False Christians?
Sadly, I have seen many claiming to be Christians, but who are the most unkind and proud boasters of themselves, attacking the meek and lowly, and turning away the hungering soul away from the knowledge of truth. Are we among these false Christians? Lord, I pray we are not. Careful, tedious, sober, prayerful, and vigilant lives we should lead as to keep ourselves from such a shameful path.
As Brother Morris asked, “do you base your judgment on the Word of God?” Or do we base them off something else? It should only be the word of God. His word is the supreme authority; “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16).” The word of God is fit for that reproof and for correction, not just of others, but also of our own selves as well.
“The word of God is fit for that reproof and for correction, not just of others, but also of our own selves as well.”
There is soon coming a time where, as Christians, we will have to face the torments and tauntings of the world (we are right at the door). But have courage, and remember, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience (James 1:2, 3).” God will sustain His people through the trials. And we should count it all joy for to suffer for our Lord, who suffered greater for us.
If we profess to be Christians, but find favor in the world’s eyes, then we are not truly Christians.
There are some, and will continue to be many, who are “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: (2 Tim 3:5).” I hope that we will not be among this group.
Remember the Balance
Alas! We must remember the balance though. We can feel like we are true Christians by how the world and people treat us–whether goodly, or badly–but as long as we are not basing our Christianity from Scripture, then we may be guilty of professing Christianity without showing the true love and Character of Christ. Of this, we must also be aware of.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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