Saturday, September 02, 2017

BIBLE-BELIEVING CHRISTIANS?



The more I talk to Christians the more I start to notice how often certain phrases reveal a belief system that’s just under the surface.

For example, the other day I shared something on Facebook about an infamously anti-Christian celebrity who had posted a video on their wall which suggested they might possibly have turned to Christ. 

Some people were genuinely excited that this man may have found faith in Christ. 

Most, however, were angry that I had shared the video at all. 

Still others doubted the legitimacy of the man’s conversion because he was not a "Bible-believing Christian” and that got me thinking about another famous person who wasn’t “Bible-believing” but most certainly was a Jesus-follower.

Gandhi, who would never have called himself a “Christian” and most certainly not a “Bible-believer,” was a Jesus-follower. By that I mean, for the last several years of his life he read the Sermon on the Mount every day and tried to put it into practice.

What would you call someone who did that? Possibly not a “Bible-believing Christian” but at the very least, a “Jesus-follower” would be an accurate description.

Now, I'm not saying that Gandhi was a Christian, or even that he placed any faith in Jesus beyond the the teachings he read in the Sermon on the Mount. 

But, the funny thing is, I hardly know any “Bible-believing Christians” who read the Sermon on the Mount every day and then try to live it out in their daily lives.

Do you?

I think we should be more alarmed at the fact that there are apparently many more “Bible-believing Christians” in the world who don’t read the words of Jesus daily or try to put His teachings into practice.

Isn’t this exactly what Jesus was talking about when he rebuked the Pharisees saying:

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. [John 5:39-40]

It’s not in the Bible that we find life. We only find life in Christ. He is the One we need to go to and follow if we want eternal life.

Maybe we need to move beyond the idea of "Bible-believing Christianity" towards a "Jesus-following Christianity"?

Because believing in something is worthless if you're not actually putting it into practice in your daily life. 

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." [James 1:22]

We need more Jesus-followers and less Bible-believers.

Who's with me?


-kg

5 comments:

C J Garrett said...

Looks like you were burning the midnight oil last night, and for good reason. The Spirit has testified to my spirit that you and I are spiritual siblings. I'm so glad to find Christian ministers who put the Bible in its proper context. Keep up the good work! God is blessing your courage and insight.

Kirk Leavens said...

Two things happened appx 150 years ago that ruined the Sermon on the Mount and the beatitudes for fundamentalists: Dispensationalism and the social gospel of liberal Christianity. Dispensationalism taught that the sermon on the mount was primarily for the Jews, that they rejected it and we moved on to a new "dispensation" of God's dealing with the Gentile church. Although modern Dispensationalism has largely distanced itself from that view, the damage was done. Coupled with the liberal theology that pushed for a social gospel that roughly followed the Sermon on the Mount and the fundamentalist rejection of all things "liberal," the sermon has fallen into disuse.

Brian Schwartz said...

I'm with you all the way

Anonymous said...

I sat one Sunday and listened to a preacher gently scolding the community for celebrating Christmas because it wasn't a proved birth day and it shouldn't be reserved to a single day anyway....That Sunday was Either Christmas day or Christmas weekend I can't remember. My mind could not think of anything else but why in the world would you want to take a single day of the year where vast quantities of people may be thinking of Jesus more than any other day of the year and tell them they are just people behaving badly!?!?...I thought the same thing when I saw a internet post about the "myth" of the Laminin protein molecule....And the great interest and enthusiasm created by it. Dear Father I pray no one needing or clinging to slim hope sees discouragement, Amen. The wise man finds ways to turn hope into a funnel for belief rather than a filter.

T Aagard said...

"We need more Jesus-followers and less Bible-believers."
To me the desire of God is for more Jesus-followers who are Bible-practicers.
You don't want more people claiming to follow or believe who do not practice.
Like Ghandi, many who may have claimed to follow Christ are selective in what they will follow or practice. This doesn't match up either.
In my perspective a key corruption in the current normalized practice of following Jesus shuts down the full practice of "the new and living way" that "Jesus opened up for us" with "his blood". Hebrews 10:19-25. This is a summary of Christ's path to "the holy place", struggling to "hold fast our confession of faith" and preparing to "stir up" and "encourage believers in "one another" dynamic to increase "love and good works". Facing a pulpit to hear a Bible lecture from one believer is such a complete corruption of God's instructions the fallout of failure by God's people is staggering.