Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sorry - You're not a Christian

The Barna Group, a well respected polling group and the largest religious pollster in the world, has coined the term 'notional Christians' to describe those who report to be Christians, "but do not believe that they will have eternal life because of their reliance upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the grace extended to people through a relationship with Christ." [1] Perhaps most disturbing about this is that these people make up a  whopping 39% of the American population! That is roughly half of all people who self report as Christians (the number of self-reporting Christians has been on a fairly steady - but slow - decline since World War II [the expression "there are no atheists in foxholes" also appears to extend to "there are no atheists with sons in foxholes."] and currently sits at 77% [2] ).

Sit back to ponder that. If you took a random sample of 200 self-professing Christians in the United States (playing it fast and loose with the reality of samples and pretending it is perfectly repreted) and had a simple majority vote on whether or not the following verse accurately describes the state of things:

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" She *said to Him, "Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world."

(Joh 11:25-27)
101 would vote "no." On what is described by Paul as the single most important tenant of Christianity, a majority of Christians would reject the Biblical view. Let us consider exactly how Paul puts it:

For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

(1Co 15:16-19)
Those who claim to be Christians and yet deny the central precept of Christianity - the logical thread which ties all articles of faith together - are not Christians at all (I know, I am again entertaining that annoying old-fashioned habit of mine where I insist that words have meaning). On this point, I am terribly picky. If you are saved and are not actively seeking to mold yourself after Christ, you are not a Christian. If you are not saved - not bought and purchased by the blood of Christ - and are doing everything else right, you are not a Christian.

Christianity is not a list of ethical rules and regulations. God only gave mankind one religion - Judaism. Christianity is not a religion. Christianity is when you realize that you can never fulfill the requirements of true religion and you allow yourself to DIE to religion. In Biblical terms, you die to the Law. When you die to the Law, it no longer has authority over you. Instead, you live on the other side. So Christianity has nothing to do with rules and regulations. What do we have left? A relationship. Once you have been purified, you can come into God's presence. Once you are in God's presence, you will want to please Him. That is what willl shape your behavior.You can be clean before God and not seek to please Him, but you are not a Christian. You can be try to please a God you do not know, but you are not  Christian. Read the words of Christ:

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'

(Mat 7:21-23)
No matter what good works you do in the name of Christ, or if you call yourself a Christian, if you don't know Him, it is a waste. Jesus said that MANY would be in that situation, now the polls confirm it.

As Christ also said: "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it."

If the foundation of your faith is not solid, everything else you build on it is nonsense. If you build on the foundation of your own wisdom, then no matter how elaborate and good the structure is you build on it, it will crumble when the time for testing comes. Faith alone is not a solid foundation, because faith is just a shadow of something else. If you place your faith in the path of Nirvana, in the day of judgment your faith will only have the strength of Nirvana. If you are wrong (and I believe you are), your foundation will fall and your castle with it. When the winds come and the storm waters rise, only the God who created the universe is a strong enough foundation to hold you firmly. Consider the words of Christ again:

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall."

(Mat 7:24-27)

Tomorrow come back for a discussion of why Christianity is the only foundation - that Christianity is a way is logically sufficient to show it is the only way.


  1. Good post my main man.. keep it up

  2. Please clarify something for me:
    I have been taught that salvation is the only way to heaven. But the quote-
    "...he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter."
    -seems to add onto that. Is it just that salvation is in God's will, or is it actually doing the things He would have you to do, as well as salvation?