- Religion and Philosophy
True Christianity in the Modern World
The Term "Christian"
The modern world’s usage of the term “Christian” is turning out to be rather derogatory in the sense that the true meaning of the word has with time been so distorted with obvious intents to discredit the followers of Christ in the public eye. It is a calculated attempt to dissuade aspirants from joining the league. A look back at the source of the term “Christian” reveals a very scanty usage of the term in scripture, which is attributed to its pagan origin when it was laced with slight, malice and derogation towards any follower of Christ with serious intentions to belittle. Such followers were deemed as fitting punishment or persecution. This word was first used at Antioch as expressed in Acts 11:26 “….And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch”. Act 26:28 “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian”. 1Peter 4:16 “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf”. Those who didn’t ascribe to Christ’s teachings always sought to lessen his claim to authority and dignity by use of smear campaigns that lowered his reputation through the expression of negative opposing opinion. One thing the world forgets is that God does not persuade anybody to follow him. He lays facts bare before all for you to decide independently. He is too gentle to coerce you into the path.
Modern day Christianity has actually turned into a fad such that, it seems to be trendy to visit church each Sunday, not necessarily with divine intentions or needs. Original teachings have been watered down to suit man’s tastes such that we want to hear summons that are tailored for our personal needs, preached by a hand-picked messenger. Many despise preachers who call a spade a spade. The ordination of homosexual prelates and bishops was the last nail in the coffin of Christianity. This marked the devil’s milestone victory of turning Christianity into a world religion. Religion is basically described as man’s attempt to reach God, which may not necessarily be the right approach. It has been reduced to a practice instead of a way of life as was intended to be at the beginning. There are more church goers in church than there are believers.
The World’s view of Christians
With apostasy being the order of the day, the world views Christians as a small disoriented, miserable, disillusioned lot who still pursue after an absent, unseen, inept God who is judged through the amount of confusion in our midst, and who only responded to human cries in the days of the old testament. There is no room for God in modern governance and society judging from the shunning of God from our daily practice and educational institutions. We forget that our laws were initially fashioned from the Holy Scriptures. Every Tom, Dick and Harry who has been baptized in church claims to be a Christian. The world believes that church membership and a simple water baptism turns you into a follower of Christ. They forget that matters of the heart are solved spiritually. Baptism only makes you a wet sinner. The real implication of the term “Christian” to the world is that of an amorphous organism that has no direction and yet professes to follow the God of Israel. The true meaning of the word has been greatly diluted.
Who is a true follower of Christ’s teaching? A true Christian is a devoted follower of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ’s teachings dictate that his followers hear his words and obey him. Which words turn you into a true believer?
John 3:16 tell us that “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. The key is in believing what Jesus said. One thing he urged us to do was to believe in what he said and by so doing we would actually acquire eternal life. He firmly explained the process while talking to Nicodemus in John 3:1-11 which says “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, we speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness” (KJV).
Note Nicodemus’s protest due to misunderstanding and the response from Jesus who emphasizes that he knows what he has seen and hence speaks with authority and certainty. Those of us who have tasted and discovered the Lord’s goodness will affirm this.
The message in the words of Jesus is clear and to the point. It is of course difficult to be married to better person when you are married to a bad person whom you know as a drunken fool. The lord is categorical about this when he states “Do not be surprised that you must be born again… in order to see or enter into the kingdom of God”. There are no two ways about this and this is what salvation is all about. True Christians get to experience the ten benefits of salvation and much more. The so called Christians got the nick name for doing, speaking and behaving like Jesus Christ to the point that they were easily recognized in a crowd. True Christianity is therefore not a cult or religion, but a way of life in and with Jesus Christ when He comes into your life and Holy Spirit guides you in all that you do.
A sound word of advice – Don’t repulse, discredit or run away from Christianity in a self defeatist manner, rather, try to prove to be a better Christian by example.
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