24 April 2015

This 'n' That

Follow the Good Shepherd.
I was reading an article this week, presumably written by a believer, that presented a rather lengthy description of a Christian. "Jesus-following, church-going, Bible-believing Christians…," it said. At first I thought little of it, but then it hit me…is there any other kind of true Christian?

Is there a Christian who does not follow Christ? No, there cannot be:
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me… (John 10:27)
Is there a Christian who does not seek to fellowship with his brothers and sisters in Christ? There should not be:
…and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24–25)
Is there a Christian who does not believe the Bible? It is through the Bible that Jesus Christ is revealed, and it is only through Jesus Christ that men can be saved. A Christian must by definition believe God's Word precisely because it is God's Word:
All Scripture is inspired by God an profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness… (2 Timothy 3:16)
So why is it that we feel we need to qualify our definition of a Christian? Aren't these adjectives more than a little redundant? Or does it reveal a deeper problem? Does it mean that we are accepting of those who don't believe the Bible, and those whose lives don't demonstrate the regeneration of the Holy Spirit that results in a life of following Christ? Things to ponder.

But while you ponder, why don't you multitask and also peruse through your week in review (kind of):
  • "Too many pastors use illustrations as a substitute for exegesis, rather than as something that illumines or applies their exegesis."
  • I think I've asked this before, but how do we get Roma Downey to stop?
  • I've had the privilege of sitting under the teaching of Dr. Greg Harris, and, even though I do not have nor plan to have children, I still especially enjoyed this article where he shares what he prays for his children
  • "Pope Francis...will pray in front of the shroud [of Turin] on June 21." The blind continues to lead the blind.
  • Really, why has it taken the medical community this long to accuse Dr. Oz of being a quack?
  • Why is John MacArthur #82 on this list? Also—Gavin MacLeod? The Love Boat captain? (HT to Ray for this one.)
  • Oh, brother. Creflo Dollar says the devil is stopping his dreams of owning a private jet. Do people like this ever actually hear the ridiculous things they say?
  • The lordship of Christ is essential for salvation.
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • The seeker-driven movement has rejected sola Scriptura.
  • My church had the privilege last weekend of welcoming Pastor Steve Kreloff of Lakeside Community Chapel and Verse by Verse ministries to preach at our Spring Bible Conference. We were immensely blessed by his preaching and I knew I wanted to add him to the roster of preachers featured here each week. I think you'll agree with that choice:

8 comments:

  1. Absolutely on the term "Christian." It's time we take back the term and use it for what it means - all of things you mentioned. Assume it means those things and quit having to say "Jesus-follower," etc.

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  2. (sorry if duplicate. Looks like original didn't post. I agree with you that many on the "Christian leader" list shouldn't be listed because they are not one or the other or both. However, if I read your comment correctly, you seem to be saying that John MacArthur is the only one who should be on the list? Even with men such as Franklin Graham? Bryan Chapel? (I am in the same denomination as Dr Chapel and disagree with him on points, but do not doubt his faith.) Richard Land? Dan Cathy? How are you defining "Christian leader" that would not include men such as these?

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    Replies
    1. I've altered the language on this point, Tom. It wasn't my intention to distract from the broader point, namely that a great number of the names on that list are peddlers of a false gospel.

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  3. Jesus-following, Church-going, Bible-believing Christians"...I'm finding it more frequently necessary to specifically qualify the components that make up a true believer. Too many call themselves Christians who are happy to dispense with any of the aforementioned appellations

    --Jesus following...not a DIFFERENT Jesus but "this same Jesus"
    --church going...some have said to me that they never go to church, but still say they are Christian
    --bible believing...depressingly, so many who claim to follow Jesus and attend church dispense with large parts of the Bible.

    I personally know of someone who says "I just take most of the Old Testament with a grain of salt" and openly scoffs at the miracles of the OT like Jonah and Methuselah's great age, yet he is a deacon/leader/teacher in a conservative Baptist church. He is called Christian by many, but is he? I do not believe so. If I was to challenge his stated stances, I'd be called a non-Christian

    I agree with you that it reveals a deeper problem. It means that we/they/church members are accepting of those who don't believe the Bible, and those whose lives don't demonstrate the regeneration of the Holy Spirit that results in a life of following Christ. In so doing, we are losing the meaning of what a Christian looks like. There are so many of the false, that when a real Christian comes along who really DOES believe the bible, attend church, follows Jesus (to the point of self-denial) we look like goofs and fraud compared to the rest.

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  4. This list of "Christian Leaders" from NewsMax is utterly ridiculous and meaningless. It could be easily cut in half if not more just to begin to approach a neighborhood of having true Christian context. Instead we have a parade of wolfs mixed with some sheep to camouflage the predators.

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  5. Erin I just wanted to thank you for putting up sermons and teachings by John MacArthur. It is a blessing to so many of us. Thanks.

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  6. !!! I just looked at the Top 100 "Christian" leaders list. What a mess! True believers and wolves, saints and rank heretics, all lumped together, as if they all believed and stood for the same thing. And we wonder why the term Christian is watered down, and has to be prefaced with "Bible believing, born again, church going, Jesus following", etc.

    -Carolyn

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  7. Usually when someone has that kind of list in defining how "good" of a "Christian" they are--starting with "Bible-believing", I find that more often than not, it's just the opposite. They turn to not actually believe the Bible. Just see how they deal with the Bible when it comes to rejecting all forms of feminism and women teaching men, abolishing all abortion without qualification, the Genesis account of a literal six 24 hour day Creation week and thus rejecting all forms of evolution theory, rejecting all forms of sodomy, and lordship salvation.

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