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