Saturday, April 12, 2008

Why I Do Not Call Myself Christian

Since I've made the life transforming decision to lean not on the understanding of doctrines taught by pastors in churches. I've become more and more uncomfortable with the word "Christian".

In so many ways,  today's Christianity seems to contradict the very principles taught by the Bible itself. It has come to represent an ideal and a view, that to be Christian, is to be arrogant, self-righteous and judgmental. I have found to be Christian, by today's standards, means deviating from the Bible in some way, shape or form.

Who Can Be Today's Christian?

There are many who call themselves by this precious name. They have varied beliefs. So who is a Christian? This becomes a question in the mind of those seeking Jesus. They may have a predetermined idea of who Christians are based upon what they have seen and heard in mainstream Christianity. This may mean to some a confession of some sort by one who claims to be one. Maybe it is consistent church attendance that makes one Christian in the eyes of another. But one thing is clear, the name has certainly become muddied, if not down right distasteful to many.

It is only in today's society that I do not, can not, call myself Christian.  In hopes that I may be an effective, appropriate advocate for Jesus, I must disassociate myself from anything that may cause confusion.

What's In a Name

So what DO I call myself?? There are many names I can choose from to label myself, and separate myself from those who practice Christianity loosely, unfaithfully. Typically I refer to myself as a Believer when speaking of  my Faith in Jesus, however, I believe that every true Believer has a name that only Jesus knows.

True Historical origin of Christianity

You may be surprised to know that the original Christians were Jews that accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah as foretold in Bible prophecy.

"And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch" Acts 11:26

The history of church started the moment Jesus ascended to heaven and the Holy Spirit promised by Him arrived to invigorate large groups of people to accept Jesus and the good news that He has risen.  Acts 2

True Historical Origin of Church

While the general consensus of church may be  a specific place  you go to "worship".  It is important to understand the correct history of how "church" was established. You may have heard the Roman Catholic church referred to "early church" history, but if you read the Bible, Acts 2, for yourself, you will see that church was not made out of a building or a specific place. Church is spiritual.  Church became of a body or group of those who believed in Christ Jesus as God's Son.  Nor was church established by a specific person, it was established by the Holy Spirit, which was promised by Christ before His ascension. Christ who promised the Holy Spirit to teach, guide and lead His people is the Founder and Author of Church. To sum it up, only a group of people who Believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God make up the spiritual body of the Church. These people who have genuinely accepted Jesus, also are governed spiritually by the Holy Spirit...the true, biblical definition of a Christian.

Today's society of Christians generally require consistent church attendance to a place as a condition of Christianity and a means for eternal salvation. Today's Christian culture also emphasizes spiritual growth and understanding comes from a pastor or leader of  a church. This concept is also erroneous by biblical standards. The Bible teaches that true growth and understanding comes directly from the Holy Spirit. The emphasis  by  many churches places Faith on physical behavior, and not on spiritual concepts as indicated in the Bible. It is misleading to many who believe that through specific behaviors and actions (church attending, worship acts and rituals) one can be seen as right in God's eyes. The truth is NO ONE has the power of themselves to make themselves whole or sinless. It will not be found in a specific church, or pastor or bible study group. It can only be found in your acceptance as Jesus Christ as your Savior.

Bible Books to Study and Read

Acts 1 and 2

John chapter 16

7 comments:

  1. I love this site! Its awesome! How did I miss you all these years! =D

    Sidharth

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  2. First Thing, I am not after religion inculding christianity at that! It's just a name and a brand. what's important really is how we live and how we noursih our relationship(I repeat relationship )with the Lord. On the other hand, I am also proud of bringing the name as it reminds me who I am and who i should be living for.

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  3. Although publishing this comment, and the comment I'm about to type, may start a "war of words", I'm using this opportunity to possibly bring furthur clarity to truth as it taught by scripture and Spirit.

    Mikes, you say "what's important really is how we live and how we nourish our relationship". In other words, our relationship should take precedence over labeling ourselves "Christian", what you call a "brand".

    There can be no doubt, by reason of faith, our relationship with Christ is not only important, but the very reason our souls have been delivered from an eternal perishing, but the question becomes how DO we live (IN Him)?

    If we agree that the Word of God is true, then we know, accountfully, that we have been given a ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18) whereby we have beome laborers for Him(1 Cor. 3: 1-9). There is no doubt that this defines HOW we are to live.

    Those who have accepted Jesus Christ of Nazareth, AND are also accepted OF Him, know that this relationship changes that "old man" who once lived for himself, has now become a new man that lives for Christ and His message of reconcilation to the world.

    HOW then can we share of His ministry of reconciliation unto lost souls, if the name which that ministry SHOULD be given by is perceived by those lost souls as hypocrital, liars and theives? By the name of modern day Christianity, those lost souls see preachers who have condemned homosexuality, engaging in it themselves. They have seen Sunday school teachers, who have taught little children about the 10 commandments kill a child, and stuff them in a suitcase. They have seen pastors on television pandering the Word of God for a "seed" of $108.00. Many of these same souls have their own personal experiences with what is call Christianity today. And by these experiences, they have already resisted Christ, having NEVER heard the truth in whole.

    How then do we live? How then do we nourish this relationship if the lost souls have resisted their Savior because of this wrong? Christians have said that unbelievers resist the gospel because they love to live in their sins. This excuse and accusation is reflected in in how they BELIEVE a relationship with Christ is about... a legalistic, ritualistic worship of regular church or group attendance, sitting quietly in pews listening to an adapted, watered down version of the Word (1 John 2:27) implementing, in vain, a lifestyle by a code of morals that will bring them "righteousness" in God's eyes.

    Let the record show that the only relationship that is RECOGNIZED by Christ are the ones that do "the will of my Father" (Matthew 7:21) and that will is to present ourselves as a sacrifice to Him and to HIS will (ministry of reconciliation). For this same record (Word) also states:

    "For the time has come that judgement must begin at the house of God:
    and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" - 1 Peter 4:17

    Let me clear, the name, Christian, authentically, is not a "brand", for it bears the name of Christ. But through time and ages since its induction, it has come to be associated with a teaching, and a lifestyle that falsely and deliberately misrepresents Him and His sacrifice at the cross.

    In order for me to be, not only effective, but FRUITFUL, I need to ensure that I am NOT being associated with THAT teaching, to me it is akin to taking His name in vain (Det. 5:11)

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  4. Your response was awesome Hanna! You should make this a regular post so everyone can see it.

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  5. Hi Carol!

    Good to "see" you again. I did post my comment. The title is a bit ambiguous so it's not very obvious, but here's the link:

    http://confessionsofanunchurchedbeliever.blogspot.com/2009/05/comment-to-share.html

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  6. The father in heaven never told you to call yourself a Christian,Man gave their self that name,I consider myself someone who is a true believer of the father in Heaven and that I have his blood of his son which is my brother who I praise and hope I find truth and that I one day walk the true path towards the Gate's of heaven..Many say they are Christian's and they only bring you truth and that they follow what the bible says But they follow all the traditions of man when it says not too,..I am learning more and more each day of what I find in my own mistakes,I try my hardest to change my ways and than try to preach it to others of why it is wrong But many Christians will ignore the warning because it makes them feel good not because it is right.Which I see that as Pride.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The father in heaven never told you to call yourself a Christian,Man gave their self that name,I consider myself someone who is a true believer of the father in Heaven and that I have his blood of his son which is my brother who I praise and hope I find truth and that I one day walk the true path towards the Gate's of heaven..Many say they are Christian's and they only bring you truth and that they follow what the bible says But they follow all the traditions of man when it says not too,..I am learning more and more each day of what I find in my own mistakes,I try my hardest to change my ways and than try to preach it to others of why it is wrong But many Christians will ignore the warning because it makes them feel good not because it is right.Which I see that as Pride.

    ReplyDelete

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