And They Call Themselves Christian
Yes, they are out there, millions of people that call themselves Christians. There is no doubt that you have heard them and seen them. They have all the right moves and say all the right words. These people are very convincing if you only consider the very surface of what they say and see the feigned mannerisms of what Christians are thought to be in a society that expects Christians to be the all-accepting, all understanding standing on nothing group of weak-kneed people that Christians are supposed to be. The problem is that these people that see Christians in this light are usually not Christians even though they may call themselves Christians for the sake of expediency.
Christians, by definition, are those that follow the tenets and teachings of Christ. This means that the Christian is one who has adopted a lifestyle of living according to the Word of God. Yet there some that choose lifestyles far from what is provided by God with excuses such as “God knows my heart” and “only God can judge me.” Well, with that being the case it becomes more than evident that those that choose to shack up rather than marry not only ignore the Word of God but also count God and His Word irrelevant and not a standard of morality for the day. Nonetheless Ephesians 5:3 addresses the matter of fornication among other things that were common then and now. The words, “but fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not once be named among you, as becometh saints” paint a clear picture of things not condoned by God yet are common practice for some that call themselves Christians.
And the discussions of sexual sins are rightfully abundant among Christian circles yet there are other discussions that need to take place that are not often heard. Consider for a moment some that choose to fight with the people of God. The fight need not be physical yet harm can be brought to the people of God in words and in deed. This is a very dangerous place to be in if you are the one that chooses to not only fight with but also to antagonize the servants of God. With this the principle found in I Chronicles 16:22 remains applicable today in that the text urges that the anointed of God be not touched and that the prophets of God be not harmed. Now, the anointed here is specific to those that God has placed in kingly authority such as David. The prophets are those that present the Word of God by preaching, teaching and prophesying. To harm any of these in any way can prove detrimental to the offender. Consider the account of Elisha in II Kings 2:23-25.
The list of issues that purported Christians bring to the table is certainly enough to fill a book. Many have forgotten that to be a Christian takes much more than a casual statement of belief in God. The fact of the matter is that mere belief in God is not the same as a Christian life. James states this clearly in James 2:19. The fact is that belief in God should be more than head knowledge rather the entire life of the Christian should be congruent with the teachings of Christ. This lifestyle includes not just what is done but also what is said. There are many that call themselves Christians that have no control over their tongues. James also addresses this matter by showing that “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain” (James 1:26). The Carter Translation (this writer) would say that if any pretend to worship God and will not cease from cursing and profanities then there is really no worship of God.
The fact is there are hosts of people that hold their hands high during Sunday morning worship services yet their lives during the rest of the week is somewhat lacking. Scripture provides no recourse for lack of dedication to the Word of God. Instead Christians are called to holiness. Holiness is not the negative attribute of being better than others with uplifted noses rather holiness is the state whereby one’s lifestyle is wholly different than non-Christians. Christianity is not a popular movement backed by the mantra of political correctness. Instead Christianity is a way of life that exemplifies the incarnate Christ. With that if one does not adhere to the standards of the Word of God while calling himself a Christian it might well be suggested that this man’s religion is vain.