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The True Christian™

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What do you do when you run into a person who has asked “Jesus into his heart” but still leads the life of Hitler?

How should a Christian respond to someone who says that they were born again at age three but their mug shot is on the post office wall?

How should a believer appropriately deal with a “cursing like a sailor” yet “Spirit-filled, sealed by the blood” follower who also owns a strip joint?

Simple. Don’t assume that they actually are believers.

Most likely they are false converts who believed that all they had to do was pray a “simple prayer” without any repentance. Or possibly, some well-intentioned disciples surrounded the poor pagan and “made” him “accept the Savior.”

Jesus says that a believer will bear “much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” There really should be evidence of a changed life when someone calls himself a Christian. If there’s no fruit, they are still in their sins and will end up in Hell if found guilty of breaking any of God’s ten commandments, like lying, stealing, lusting, or misusing His name.

John writes, “If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” (1 John 1:6) And “We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The man who says, ‘I know Him,’ but does not do what He commands is a liar and the truth is not in Him. But if anyone obeys His word, God’s love is truly made complete in Him. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:3-6)

Now back to that questionable Christian. He’s not so questionable now, is he? Although he says he loves the Lord, he still gets loaded, lies to his wife, runs guns to the Middle East and voted for the pro-choice candidate.

Don’t sweat it. Don’t argue about whether he’s truly saved or not. Treat him like a pagan by lovingly asking if he’s kept the Commandments, warning him about Judgment Day and Hell, then telling him about the Savior who died for poseurs as well.

The church can always use more ex-hypocrites!

*****

(For more Scriptural references about how to tell believers from unbelievers as well as the church’s mandate to judge believers…)
1 John 2:15; 2:19 3:10

Judging believers:
1 Cor 5:12-13b; 1 Peter 4:17; 1 Timothy 3:15; 2 Thessolonians 1:8-9

A good reason for judging believers: James 5 19-20

20 Comments

  1. I like this post. Hard medicine for some to swallow. Especially, for many of my friend I attended high school. They do the prayer then never have anything to do with church or the Christian faith unless it is to help build a home for Habitat, have Christmas planned for their kids, or say the Pledge of Allegiance.
    I know I was in the same boat execpt I was the fence rider. Have fun on both the dark and light side. Outwardly I looked human but like Luke as he almost started to turn to the Dark side he started to look more like a robot on the inside.
    It wasnt til I went thru my divorce that I instead of fence riding I fell and got nailed on the fence(if you catch my drift).
    So to say I cry out to God in godly sorrow and repented and put my faith(fully not half-halfheartedly)in Jesus.
    Not to say I never slip and fall.(Because I do.) I know the Holy Spirit convicts me hard on issues where I slip. That is when I realize it is daily repentance and ask the Holy Spirit to guide me and provide for me.

    There is therefore no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

  2. I find the whole concept of “false Christians” insulting. Just because someone has different beliefs than you doesn’t make them frauds. There are thousands of Christian sects, and I do not question the convictions of people within said sects even though they radically differ from my own. I challenge them, but I do not question them.

    Also, you might want to tone down your self-righteous attitude.

    “How can a believer appropriately deal with a “cursing like a sailor,” yet “Spirit filled, sealed by the blood” follower who also owns a strip joint?…

    Most likely they are false converts…

    Jesus says that a believer will bear “much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” There really should be evidence of a changed life when someone calls himself a Christian.”

    Really? REAL CHRISTIANS like yourself act better (and supposedly are better) than false Christians and non-believers? Get over yourself and humble yourself before your Lord.

  3. Debunkey: I’m only addressing false converts. Either they are or ain’t.

  4. Yep, I very frequently have to ask myself ‘this person is a Christian?’ There are so many out there that at the drop of hat will spit bile, lie and deliberately misrepresent others, it’s honestly quite shocking. I know being Christian doesn’t make you ‘perfect’. But there are so many that don’t even seem to try, or take it as an excuse to just direct their scorn onto ‘outsiders’.

  5. Too much ‘say a prayer and you’re saved’ stuff from well-meaning believers. I didn’t see evangelism training programs mentioned in the book of Acts but then, those people were already knowledgeable in their scriptures.

  6. Will the True Christian please stand up?

    More of the ‘no true Scotsman’ fallacy. I find it quite absurd when people declare, “I;m a Christian” as if that’s supposed to mean something. It means absolutely nothing. The label, “Christian,” tells me absolutely nothing about a person other than the fact that they consider themselves part of a very large and very diverse group of people that can be vaguely described as “Christians.”

    There are over 30,000 different denominations of Christianity. Most of them declaring that they, and not all the others, are the REAL Christians, and they provide not a single piece of verifiable, testable, falsifiable information that can determine who is or is not a true blue. It comes down to just a matter of opinion.

    I, personally, just resign to — a Christian is anyone who calls themselves a Christian — just a very broad term that becomes way too messy when trying to pin down a definition. Like trying to nail jello to a tree.

    Perhaps one could be more specific — what kind of Christian are you? Which denomination? Whose interpretation of the Bible do you consider most trustworthy?

    I have never been a Christian nor a member of any religious group for one second of my entire life. I have never embraced a belief in a supernatural entity. So, the bottom line is — I don’t have to make any sort of decision about true Christian-ness. I don’t care — I don’t have to — I’m not a Christian.

    Now suppose I wanted to join this particular brand of fundamentalist, evangelical, Christianity and call myself a true Christian so I could pretend to be all superior and have a magic invisible friend who controls the universe.

    How would I go about this. Evidently I would have to oppose reproductive freedom. Would I have to be anti-GLBT rights as well? It appears that a true Christian could never vote for a candidate who supports women’s choice. But could I vote for one who supports the right to same-sex legal marriage? Would I have to be a creationist? So the master of the universe really cares who I vote for? Why? What kind of business I run? Why? I see that s strip club is out — what about a bar? Medical marijuana supplier? Casino? I see that supplying guns to the Middle East is out — what about a gun shop — is supplying guns to ANYONE against the will of God?

    Too many question that I will never get answers to — looks like this true Christian business is obviously not for me.

    • Actually, it isn’t True Christian; it’s True Christian™. How about if I answer your concerns later?

      • Sure Steve, no need to rush.

        But you just added another aspect to the post here — “True Christian™.” I thought that the “True Christian™” was sarcastic — because, of course, nobody can actually hold the trade mark on a major world religion, although there are those who behave as if they do.

        So, the result is that it’s difficult for me to determine, in this post, what you intend as sarcasm and what is supposed to be serious.

        When you say, “but still leads the life of Hitler” we can reasonably assume that you are being sarcastic. We can reasonably assume that your references to the Bible are intended to be taken seriously — the rest of your post seems ambiguous to me.

        Such as:

        “Don’t sweat it. Don’t argue about whether he’s truly saved or not. Treat him like a pagan”

        Is that serious or sarcastic?

  7. There is an excellent book, free download for kindle, called Weighed and Wanting Addresses on the Ten Commandments by Dwight Lyman Moody.
    There are also other excellent books by D.L. Moody, as well as Martin Luther, John Foxe, A.W. Tozer.

  8. Ah, the “no true Scotsman” rises again.

    Matthew 7:1-5

    • You could also go with “no true atheist” since trying to pin down an atheist on what “atheist” means is like trying to hold a greased pig. e.g., “It’s what I am not; it’s not what I am,” ad nauseum.

      If someone gets too close to your conscience, throw more negatives and grammatical tail chasing at them. That’ll show ’em who’s smartest!

      • Only because those honest Christians try and pretend atheism informs people beyond the scope of ‘I don’t believe in gods’ that we have to play those sorts of games.

        “Oh you’re and atheist, therefore you kill puppies…”

        “Oh you’re an atheist, therefore you worship Kim Jong Il…’

      • Or I could follow your lead and do failed mind-reading.

        Atheists don’t believe in gods, Glenn. It’s pretty clear cut. It’s only an issue when people try to push the burden of proof on us that the definitions start becoming important.

        No one here has ever gotten close to my conscience; my conscience is quite clear.

  9. Steve would that include shameless liars who’s posts have to be deleted to hide them away?

  10. Once again, the contradictory nature of your religion rears it ugly head.

    Your religion is not works-based, but here you are saying that works are part of what determine a True Christian. I’m sure your response will be that becoming a Christian magically makes you WANT to do everything dandy. But you alone Steve have proven this to be quite false via the times you have been duplicitous and shifty in dealing with us.

    • Garrett,

      It’s really quite simple and I am sure you do the same thing with people you love.

      Do I love my wife because I do things for her, or do I do things for her because I love her?

      There is a very big difference, and anyone can understand it with a little thought.

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