The word "Christian" means "follower of Christ" or "ones like Christ." This term was used first in Antioch as the Bible clearly tells us. Today, the terms is so very loosely used to describe anyone who remotely has a connection to Christianity. So, the question on my heart is... are these people that we now refer to as Christians really anything like Christ? Do we use the term far too flippantly? I believe that most "so called" Christians aren't really like the true Christ. Perhaps more like the Americanized Christ that we've reshaped to wink at greed, enjoy entertainment in His house, the Christ who promotes a Christianized version of the American dream, and one who no longer is known for judgement and justice but only for His love.If we will read the gospels and the book of Acts we will clearly see a different version of the Messiah... a far different version than that we have made Him out to be in America.
In America, we think church has to be on a grand scale with a huge chandeliered auditorium. If we go to church, we go to be entertained, not to study the Word of God. Yet, Christ had an inner circle of 12 disciples, a few hundred dedicated followers, and thousands that would come to hear Him... but no building...no fancy speaker system, no band, no chandeliers, no choir, no special music, and he didn't even wear a suit.
We think Christ is happy for our self sufficiency, resourcefulness, and our self reliance. You know, the big house, two cars, 2.5 children...or the big church building, the large crowd, the gorgeous carpentry, the awesome choir...all meant to please us and not God. Where is the sacrifice, the dedication? The Son of Man had only the clothes on His back and even encouraged those who sought to follow Him to sell all that they had and give it to the poor.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not telling you that you shouldn't care for your family, have a job,or that you should be homeless. Yet, there is so much waste in our lives and our churches. I love America and what it was founded on, yet what it has become today is a gross deformity of what it once was. In the process, the church in America has also lost its salt. "Christians" are living lives no different from the unconverted. Our churches are decreasing in number, yet those churches abroad who daily suffer persecution are growing.
So, what is a real Christian? Are you still unsure? Read the book of Acts to find out!
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