Christianity 201

June 29, 2019

Do “Sunday Christians” Actually Exist?

Six months ago we introduced you to Rebecca LuElla Miller, a freelance writer and editor who has appeared in many different publications. Her site is, A Christian Worldview of Fiction. Click the header below to read at source.

Sunday Christians

Sunday Christians may not be Christians. Only God knows. A couple of the pastors I listen to on the radio when I’m doing dishes or the like, repeatedly challenge their congregation—and by extension, those of us listening to the broadcast—to examine our hearts to see if we are of the faith, because it’s too, too easy to sit Sunday after Sunday in a church service and not actually be saved.

But how is that possible? someone may ask.

One way is to sit under the instruction of false teachers who “tickle our ears.” Of course, no one forces us to choose false teachers. This is something we do because we like it that way: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,” (2 Tim. 4:3)

In other words, these false teachers are giving people what they want to hear, but it’s not the gospel.

Another way people calling themselves Christians may not actually be Christians, is if they see their “religious activity” as their ticket to heaven. In other words, going to church is just one activity on a list that they can check off and add to the “good deeds” side of the ledger. In their mistaken way of thinking, as long as the good outweighs the bad, they can bank on heaven for their future home. It’s sort of like depositing money in your savings account so when it comes time to buy a new house, you have a sufficient down payment.

Sadly, for these folk, salvation doesn’t work that way.

There’s a third category, and of course, there well may be Christians in this group. Only God knows their hearts. These are people who come to church, listen, say they believe, and then go away and live their lives as if they are just like everyone else. In other words, their Christianity does not inform their daily lives—what they say, how they work, what they do on their free time—none of it.

Some actually think this is a good thing. The more they can blend in with society, the better they think it is. They don’t want to look too radical, too focused on “just Christianity.” They want the empirical data to govern their every-day lives and the Bible to govern their spiritual lives—never the twain should meet.

What I don’t see or understand is how this approach fits in with the Lordship of Jesus Christ. He told us that we who would follow Him should take up our crosses daily. We are to die to self, and we are to live for Christ. This approach requires a total reordering of our lives, our priorities, our purposes. Can a person be a Christian without such a renewed approach to life?

Maybe. God only knows. I mean, none of us enters the Christian life as fully formed, mature believers with all the right priorities. We talk about growing in our faith because we do need to develop from little seedlings into more sturdy plants, on our way to fully developed trees that will withstand the storms of life. We simply don’t start there once we acknowledge our need for a Savior and turn to Jesus for our redemption.

The point is, can a person be saved and still look like pretty much everyone else? Maybe. Maybe the Holy Spirit hasn’t convicted them about things others see in their lives. They might think there’s nothing wrong with porn, for example, because the world tells them nothing is wrong with porn. But at some point the Holy Spirit will convict a true believer and they will deal with that sin in their lives.

We all face this sort of roller coaster experience in our Christian lives. We repent and then find ourselves needing to repent all over again. To repent means to turn from, but our turning too often seems like a U-turn. We can’t seem to continue on the path of righteousness that God would have us walk. We want to. We pray to. And we see our baby steps taking us along the way more and more, but not all at once. Never all at once.

So who’s to say that another person is a believer or not?

Of course if they say they’re not, they’ve answered the question for us. If they think they are, but are sitting under false teaching, that’s pretty easy to see they have deluded themselves. Same with those who think doing religious duty is the same as following Christ.

Truly, becoming a Christian requires us to declare who Jesus is, what He’s done, why we need Him.

Who is He? Jesus is God’s Son who died for the world, to pay they penalty for our sins which we have no way of paying for on ourselves. He is Lord—not only in a future sense when every knee will bow to Him, but now, in my heart.

What has He done? He’s stepped in to do what we could not do for ourselves. He’s become the Mediator between God and humanity. He’s made it possible for humans to see God and to know Him and to enter into a relationship with Him.

Why do I need Him? Because I’m a sinner and have no way to reach God on my own. I’m mired in the world system, entangled by my own evil desires. I need Jesus to rescue me from the “dominion of darkness.”

In the end, I don’t want to go my own way any more. But sometimes I do. I wish it weren’t true, but that’s the reality Paul described in Romans 7—“For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want” (v. 19).

So, do Sunday Christians exist or are they all pretend Christians who don’t exhibit a sold-out lifestyle?

I have no doubt that some are saved and some are not. God knows who’s who. My responsibility is to examine my own life, to lay it before God, and ask Him where He wants me to grow in order to become conformed to the image of His Son. I really have no way of doing that for anyone else.

May 24, 2014

Responding to Modern-Day Sadducees

Today’s article is taken from a new blog I discovered through the Fellowship of Christian Bloggers. It’s called History for the Christian Faith, and is a companion blog to Science for the Christian Faith.  Rick Habecker is a former TV crime reporter who became a private investigator.

There’s no key verse today, but instead allusions to many, many verses you will recognize. This information is very practical, and I hope you will allow these principles to become part of you so that you can respond to the modern-day Sadducees that we inevitably encounter.  While the text appears below as always, you’re encouraged to click the title to read at source.

Modern Sadducees & Taking the Holy Bible Literally

Even 2000 years ago there were those who declared portions of God’s law shouldn’t be taken literally.  They were the counterparts to today’s Liberal Protestants.  Who were they?  Why they were the infamous Sadducees!

They ran things in the Temple.  They were the money changers, wealthy and corrupt.  They outwardly hated the Romans but secretly cut deals with them.  They had a low view of the Hebrew Bible accepting only the parts of it they watered down.  They questioned or rejected the writings of the prophets.  They had a secret admiration for Greek philosophy.  In short they were the rationalist, liberal theologians of their day.  They didn’t believe in miracles, the virgin birth, the Christ’s resurrection, nor in angels, the Holy Spirit, or Hell.

Like the Sadducees modern day Liberal Protestants, or Pseudo Christians, teach that the bible is filled with myths.  They deny the infallibility of scripture and in effect undercut the authority of the Gospel they say they believe. They reject that Hell is eternal, or that non-believers will go there.  They promote universalism believing there are many ways to paradise which leads to things like abortion and homosexuality.

Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, despised and condemned them then as He will do to all like them now.  Don’t be caught dead siding or following anyone who calls or implies that God is a liar or believing their answer to the question: “Should we take the Holy Bible literally?”

Below are a few of the dominate criticisms to the word of God with all responses from Dr. Curt D. Daniel, pastor of Faith Bible Church, of Springfield, Illinois, faithbibleonline.net

“The Bible contains many errors. It is neither infallible nor inerrant.” But: Jesus said, “Thy Word is truth” (John 17:17) and “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).  The Bible testifies of its own essential truth. “The sum of Thy Word is truth” (Psa. 119:160). “Thou art God and Thy Words are truth” (2 Sam. 7:28).  It is the Word of “God who cannot lie” (Tit. 1:2).  Every Word of God is pure (Psa. 12:6), and “Thy Word is very pure” (Psa. 119:140).  It is “the Word of truth” (Psa. 119:43; 2 Cor. 6:7; 2 Tim. 2:15).  “Thy Word is true from the beginning”, that is, from eternity (Psa. 119:160).   It is purer than refined gold (Psa. 18:30, 19:8, 10; 2 Sam. 22:31).  God says of His Bible, “These words are faithful and true” (Rev. 21:5).  It is infallible and inerrant in all areas, earthly as well as spiritual (John 3:12). To deny the inherent truth and inerrancy of Scripture is to call God a liar (I John 5:12). Those who do are the liars.

“The Bible contradicts itself.” But: Truth never contradicts truth. There are many paradoxes and mysteries in Scripture (e.g., Mark 8:35; John 11:25-26), but not a single contradiction, either in doctrine, history or principle. God is a God of order, not confusion (I Cor. 14:33). Contradiction is confusion. Liberals are in mental confusion because they contradict Scripture and imagine contradictions in the Bible.

“The Bible contains myths, sagas, legends and fairy tales.  We need to de-mythologize the Bible”. But Christianity would be the true religion even if all of its teachings were non-historical myths.” But: This is the very heart of Liberalism, what Gordon Clark exposed as “doctrine without facts.” Scripture itself warns against myths (I Tim. 1:4, 4:7; Tit. 1:14; 2 Pet. 1:16). Scripture contains no myths or other such lore. It is all historically true. If it were not, then we would be hopelessly lost in our sins (I Cor. 15). Liberalism is the real mythology and we need to remove it from us.

“The Bible is a collection of old campfire stories told by old Jewish nomads,- retold and reshaped for centuries until someone wrote them down in a form vaguely resembling the original story.” But: The Bible nowhere teaches such nonsense. It is a total fabrication and romantic skepticism. The idea of “campfire stories” is that of myths and legends. Scripture also warns against “old wives’ tales” (I Tim. 4:7) – the gender equivalent of old men’s campfire stories. Instead, God spoke through dreams, visions and even angels (Heb. 1:1-2), not through the superstitious ramblings of desert nomads. By contrast, Liberal theories closely resemble those tall tales.

The use of the Bible as the final authority is bibliolatry (book-worship).” But: All theories are to be tested by Scripture and Scripture alone (I Thess. 5:21). The Bereans were commended for this (Acts 17:11).  Jesus Himself appealed to the Bible as the final authority of truth (Matt 4, 22:29; John 10:35).  There is no higher authority than God.  Since Scripture is the Word of God, it alone is the highest authority to which we can appeal. “Thus saith the Lord” and “It is written” settle a matter.  The Bible is no “paper pope”, as Liberals scoff.  It is the Word of God.

“The Bible contains the Word of God, but is not the Word of God itself.” But: This is not taught in the Bible.  The Bible says that it is the Word of God, not merely contains it.  A cup can contain coffee without being coffee.  The very nature of Scripture is that it is the very Word of God, not the word of Man (cf. I Thess. 2:13).

“The Bible becomes the Word of God when we believe it.” But: Scripture does not say that it “becomes” the Word of God.  It is already the Word of God whether anyone believes in it or not.  We merely need faith and illumination to believe what it already is (cf. Rom. 10:17; Eph. 1:17-18).  But our faith cannot make it what it is not already by nature.

“The Bible bears witness to the Word of God, but is not the Word of God itself.” But: This too is not what Scripture says about itself.  The Bible is God’s Word!  Liberals often say that God’s “saving acts in history” are alone the Word-of God, to which the Bible witnesses.  It is correct that in these special acts and miracles, God communicates to Man. But they are not verbal communication. Scripture alone is the verbal Word of God and takes precedence even over miracles (Luke 16:31).

“Jesus, not the Bible, is the Word of God.” But: It is not a matter of either/or but both/and: Jesus is the personal, incarnate Word of God (John 1:1, 14; Rev. 19:13).  But Jesus Himself also referred to the Bible as the Word of God (Matt. 4:4; John 10:35, 17:17). Jesus testified to Scripture, and in turn Scripture testifies to Jesus (Luke 24:44, 46; Acts 10:43; John 5:46).  Liberals would reject both testimonies.

“The Bible is ‘a Word of God’ together with preaching.” But: Only the inspired preaching of the prophets and apostles could ever be considered ‘a Word of God’ comparable to Scripture, and even then they based their preaching on special divine revelation. We do not receive this direct divine revelation any more (cf. Heb. 1:1-2), and so our preaching is qualitatively different from Scripture. It is used by God only insofar as it is faithful to the message of Scripture. Liberal preaching is not even that.