Example of a Word to Argue Over

Yeah, I’m tired of arguing, but not that tired! Here’s an example of speaking the truth when someone says something erroneous. What is Jeff’s response to this error I recently saw on a church’s website?

What is a “Christian”?

Simply stated, if you understand that Jesus was God’s son who died to pay the penalty for your sins, and have told Him so, then you are saved and are called a “Christian”.

This statement bothers me in many ways, not least of which is that the period should be inside the quotation mark. Here are my more theological problems with it, spoken with truth and love, I hope:

1) This definition makes no mention of faith!

2) It makes no mention of sin, repentance, dying to self, living a new life in Christ, the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification or anything else remotely touching on sin and its deleterious effects nor the life-altering effects of salvation.

3) It bases salvation on a one-time statement your mouth said when the Bible makes it very clear that what we say matters little and what we do is what judgment is based on.

4) Their basis for salvation does not even remotely come close to touching on any Bible verse. Show me one verse that says we’re saved by nothing but telling God something.

5) There is no mention of Christ’s resurrection, victory over death and sin.

It could be that they are giving a simple definition of what people call a Christian, it could be, if I gave them the benefit of the doubt, but even so, this definition is very misleading.

Is this worth pointing out? I think it is, because I know this church is not alone in this view of salvation and I have seen this view destroy people and blaspheme God and His Word.

It’s a subject that immediately gets me riled up. Blood rushes to my face when I read such things. I have discussed this sort of thing many times with people who actually believe it.

I have never been edified from such conversation, nor, as far as I know, has the other. Should I still point it out? I think so, but I also know enough when to stop. Usually.

One of the hardest verses to deal with on speaking truth is the annoying verse of Paul in 1 Corinthians 14, a verse that does not rear its head as oft as it should in our debates. Acting on this verse takes faith. Try it sometime.

“But if any man be ignorant,
let him be ignorant.”

Then apply this one:

“For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.”

Ignorance is silenced by deeds not words. Let’s remember this one!

6 thoughts on “Example of a Word to Argue Over”

  1. 4 Answer not a fool according to his folly,
    lest you be like him yourself.
    5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
    lest he be wise in his own eye
    I believe these verses are telling us we need to use discernment as to when to give an answer, and when not to.

  2. Another thought. Is is possible to give a concise summation of “What is a Christian?”: on a website? Whittle it down for us. Tell us what the answer should have been.
    By the way, I’m not messing with you. I really want to know your thoughts…


  3. You’re probably right, but “concise” doesn’t mean, “crappy.” They use 33 words, so here is my 33 word definition of a Christian.

    “Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to God through His death and resurrection and have come to Him to escape sin, self, death and wrath to live for Him.”

    There and I still have one more word I could fit in!

  4. Davy
    That was a good question (“What is a Christian”) you asked Jeff. Maybe others would like to give their thought’s (summations) on the same question in a few words (let’s say 33 or less ).

    Here’s mine.

    A Christian is a person that has the Holy Spirit dwelling and working in him…. How that happens is through the whole process of Christ.

  5. I think the more worrisome trend is how non-Christians have come to define Christians. Granted, we’re told that the world will hate us, but shouldn’t people be scratching their heads, asking themselves, “Why in the world would that person be so self-sacrificial, so loving, for Jesus?” Instead, they’re asking, “How can religion make this person so intolerant, mean-spirited, and hateful?”

    It’s confusing because in bringing the gospel to others (the good news), we first have to present the bad news. So that necessarily entails some sort of judgment – not on our part, but on God’s. But somewhere along the way, Christians have lost their identity as fiercely loving, self-sacrificial people.

    Most Americans have heard the gospel in one form or another; they may have even read the Bible. But how many of them have seen it lived out? They won’t believe these definitions you guys have mentioned if they don’t mesh with their personal experience.

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