The Top 10 Reasons that you might not even be a ‘Real Christian’

In addition to the person of Christ Himself, mankind has always deemed it necessary to add on something that the ‘real believer’ ought do, say, feel, or think in order to be included amongst the true believers.

The following are some of the things that many people believe you need (in addition to Jesus)

#10 You don’t “Speak in Tongues” as proof that the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in your heart.

I do believe that some people can actually speak in tongues. But I believe that many people just babble because others around them are babbling and because they won’t be considered a ‘real Christian’ if they can’t exhibit this behavior. St. Paul told us that the important thing about the ‘gifts of the Spirit’ is their use. I fail to see any great utility in the speaking of tongues. But then again… I may not be a ‘real Christian’.

#9  You haven’t received the “Fifth Annointing” of the Holy Spirit. Or the Fourth Annointing…or the Third Annointing. I don’t even think I know what they are, all I know is that I haven’t received them yet.

#8 You haven’t had a real “Spiritual Experience” that you can point to as evidence that God has made you one of His own.

#7 You haven’t made a “Decision for Christ”. You haven’t publicly announced your decision to follow Jesus and make Him your Lord and Savior. You’ve never recited the ‘sinner’s prayer’. You’ve never walked down the aisle at an altar call, and if you did it didn’t stick because you were not really serious about it in your heart.

#6  You don’t believe that the “Bible is Inerrant”. You don’t believe that every jot and tittle of scripture fell from heaven on a silver platter. While you may believe the ‘message’ of the Bible is inerrant, that is not quite good enough, after all, if the Muslims can have a text that is perfect in every way, why can’t we?

#5 You do not believe in “Free Will”. If you do not believe that we have the capability of choosing God as we can choose whether of not we eat Chinese or Mexican food tonight, then you really do not understand how God operates.

#4 You do not believe in the “Historic Episcopacy”. If you think that the power of God is totally sufficient in His Word alone, and where it is present, alone, and that the power of Bishops that were supposedly touched by other Bishops going all the way back to Christ is nothing more than superstition and tradition…then you may not be a ‘real Christian’. Besides, how can we know that there is any real power in the sacraments then?

#3  You believe that Christ is really present and active in “His Sacraments”. This might show some bias on your part towards God and His action, while taking away from ‘our faith’. After all, the important thing in this whole Christian enterprise is our faith, is it not? That God has to give us this faith and keep us in that faith somehow, takes a back seat as we need to get on track ourselves and show that we really are serious and worthy.  

#2 You do not have a “Pope” as one who can decide on all matters of faith and life, and accurately interpret scripture for you. I know this related to #4, but I wanted to drive the point home that you say you are a Christian, but if you are not deferring to a higher power on earth that  will distribute God’s grace to you on the basis of your worthiness then you are just kidding yourself. And if you are outside of that system then you are more than likely just playing church. For the Pope IS the ‘real church’, here on earth. And don’t you forget it.

And now the #1 reason that you may not even be a ‘real Christian’ ….(drumroll please)…..

you may not even be ‘a real Christian’ if you are  not exhibiting the ‘Fruits of the Spirit’.

That’s right. You thought that you were trusting in Jesus Christ alone and His death on the cross and his resurrection from the grave, but it is quite obvious from your lackluster performance that you do not trust Him. You flat out refuse to do things He tells you to do. You talk a good game, but are you going out of your way to help the poor, the needy, the outcasts in society? Are you walking the walk?

Are you living on a thin margin of income, eschewing the baubles and bangles that extra money above subsistance might bring, and giving the rest to the Church for mission, or to help feed the hungry?

Do you visit nursing homes and prisons on a regular basis, instead of watching television, or going out to dinner, or going on vacations?

Are you attending Bible studies enough? Are you reading your Bible and praying enough? Are you involved at church like you ought?

Are you getting a handle on your sinning? Surely to exhibit ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ you cannot be sinning the way you used to.

Not exhibiting the ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ is ‘THE DANGER SIGN’ that you may not even be a ‘real Christian’ after all. But any or all of the above add-ons will work to let you know where you really stand with God.

I know I left some good ones off the list. Can anyone think of another?

13 Responses

  1. Hello Steve:

    in “real” life, I have actually encountered out there people telling me mostly number 10, 8, and 7.

    The big one, the NUMBER 1– I do to myself. — Maybe I should be. ? It brings me back to seeing the beggar, that I am.

  2. Brigitte,

    So they call you on 10, 8, and 7, huh?

    They usually get me on 1 – 7.

    But for all of these folks, it just seems that Christ is just never quite enough. There always seems to be one more little thing, left undone, or not believed, that would put us over the top.

    This is the ‘Christ plus’ syndrome.

    Now, I believe the opposite of those 1-10 add on’s, but I would never say that those that adhere to those theological ideas are not Christians.

    God loves sinners. We are not saved by our good theology…but by Christ, who gave His life for a motley bunch like us.

    Thanks Brigitte!

    – Steve

  3. Here’s a couple I couldn’t keep from the UK (that actually got me banned from a church, and fired from a job):

    A Protestant Charity –

    1. You shall only use the King James version of the Bible.

    2. You shall treat Sunday as the Sabbath (in a Jewish fashion).

    A Charismatic (Restorationist) Church –

    3. You shall give full obedience to the leadership of this church.

    4. You will discuss any matter ruled on by the leadership – to do so is sin.

    5. You shall not evangelize without express permission of the leaders.

    A Reformed Church –

    6. You shall give full obedience to the elders of this church, and ascribe only to their teaching.

    7. You shall not hold to any view regarding renewal that refutes cessationism. To do so is wrong.

  4. Point 4, of course, should read ‘You shall not discuss any matter’…

  5. Bad theology endeavors to convince the isolated self to make room for Christ (the free-will paradigm).

    Good theology insists on giving Christ away to those who do not want him (the bondage of the will paradigm).

  6. Howard,

    It seems as though the trouble always revolves around our freedom and those that would take it away.

    You have enumerated some real doozies there!

    I guess you might say that even one small link of the chain (that binds) should be considered a doozy.

    It certainly is a shame what some people have done with the freedom that Christ has won for us.

    Thanks Howard.

    Bye the way… if you discuss this post with anyone without my permission …it is a sin.

  7. Pastor Anderson,

    Bad theology seems an easy fit for a creature hell-bent on exerting that so called ‘free-will’.

    It is God’s Word, and God’s Word, alone that can cut that free-will paradigm to the bone and bleed it to death.

    Can bad theology actually stop the gospel from getting at the heart of the sinner?

    Thanks Pastor.

    – Steve

  8. The timing of the Spirit’s work is a mystery but Lutherans have affirmed that when the Spirit works it is always through the Word.

  9. Where His Word is present, He is there also, working together all things according to His purposes.

    Thanks very much, Pastor Mark.

    – Steve

  10. “… when the Spirit works it is always through the Word.”

    One of our pastors was teaching on this point just last month…*: ) Her statement was that the Spirit never works alone, but with or through the Word of God. When considering this later that morning, the first thing that came to mind was when John the Baptist lept for joy and and was filled with the Holy Spirit while in Elizabeth’s womb…My “sharp” human intellect chimed in with…there wasn’t any Word there…The Holy Spirit immediately corrected my thoughts with the words…Oh, but there was…He was in Mary…He caused the event!

  11. Nancy,

    “Oh, but there was…He was in Mary…He caused the event!”

    He was surely there, creating fsith when amd where He wills.

    He is an amazing God, that’s for sure!

    Thanks for sharing, Nancy!

    – Steve

  12. Hmmm. Interesting. Sorry for dredging up a relatively old post.

    I do believe that a faith in Christ and Christ alone is what gives us salvation. There is no Christ and….anything.

    But there is a degree of proof of that faith that eventually gets lived out in our lives. There’s a fine line between knowing that a life of true faith will bring about fruit and saying that a person must have this “thing” or else they aren’t saved.

    #10-8 aren’t even listed in the bible, so those can go in the trash immediately.

    #7 I ‘m pretty sure that to be a Christian you have to make a decision for Christ. No where, though, does it say in what way that decision must be made. I personally never prayed the sinner’s prayer. There was a knowing in my heart that I needed, wanted and was asking for Jesus within my heart all in the same moments. But I still made a decision for Christ. Can’t follow Him if you don’t decide to.

    #6 2 Tim 3:16 does say that all scripture is God-breathed. That means I’m not going to make it my Ronco bible and take out words or phrases I don’t like and leave in what I do. How could I believe in a God who can’t put together a reading tool for me to use “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work.”

    #5 Last time I checked I wasn’t a robot. I have been given a brain and I use it. I don’t understand why anyone would believe that we don’t have free will.

    #4 I don’t know what to say about that one, so I’m gonna leave it alone.

    #3 and #2 Please refer to #10-8 above.

    #1. While we are only human and we can never be so perfect as to exhibit all the fruits of the spirit all the time, abiding in Christ will eventually bring about some fruit bearing. And sometimes I’ve gone through seasons of pruning where there is seemingly no outward evidence of fruit almost at all. But inwardly the work is being done and there are eventually seasons of fruit bearing.

    Again, a fine line between legalism and simple proof of a living faith. But I think that line is the Word itself. So many of the “proofs” of faith are manmade beliefs that supercede the Word or are still chained to the law. It is, of course, not about a religion, but about a real, living, breathing relationship with Jesus Christ.

    I will end with the words of James, “But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith from my works. You believe that there is one God, you do well; even the demons believe and tremble. But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (2:18-20)

    Thanks for letting me ramble.

    God bless,

  13. I read this and thought a lot about some of my experiences with many who have said those same things. They tend to come out of charismatic or pietistic tradition. I thought you might get a good laugh out of this.

    Modus Operandi of the Charismatic.

    Disclaimer: This writing is entirely satirical and fully marinated in sarcasm. I’d apologize to those of you whom this may offend but, it would merely be a polite yet hollow and empty mannerism. If you are afraid you may be offended by this I highly encourage you to keep reading and read fully; you may learn something.

    Below is an 8 step guide on how to convert Christians into charismatics.

    Step 1: Attack doctrine. Say things like, “It’s not that important, but it is somewhat important…maybe.” To these charismatics what this means is, “If you go to scripture and teach it doctrinally, I am going to say it’s unimportant. When I (the charismatic) teach the scriptures doctrinally (out-of-context) it’s important”.

    Step 2: Look at the book of Acts as prescriptive instead of descriptive. You can also say there is no such thing as prescriptive and descriptive texts because, the Bible says that “all scripture is useful for correcting, teaching, and rebuking”. And by using this you can then take Acts and say we need to be like the Apostles. But, don’t ever use the Old Testament in this way, only use the Old testament to show that God spoke outside of the Bible lots and lots. Also don’t pay attention to the bad things done in the old testament because people may get the idea that we should also emulate that. This has to be done properly or else you will lose your audience. So spend enough time to get your points done and don’t take any questions.

    Step 3: Redefine the role of the Spirit leaving out any mention of the Spirit’s role and purpose in revealing Christ. What this means is making the Gospel into something ‘new’. Saying things like, “God has so much more for you.” And if anyone questions with, “what more could God have for me than Christ?” reply with “Why wouldn’t you want all that God has for you?” And if they reply with, “I’m content with my Bible and with Christ.” tell them they have a dark spirit of religion inside them. This makes them seem evil and they really have no way of responding to this ridiculous claim. In doing so you successfully disarm your opponent in the eyes of your crowd. Well done, sir. Well done.

    Step 4: Redefine faith as something dependent upon what you do so that if anyone in any way argues against this even with scripture, take Ephesians 2:8 “it is by grace you have been saved through faith not of your own doing so that no one can boast.”, and that, Hebrews 12:2 “God is the author and perfecter of our faith.”, If you redefined this properly they will only succeed in painting themselves in such a light that they are no longer considered to be ‘Christian’.

    Step 5: Tell an incredible personal subjective story that can not be refuted. All the while making this story seem like the Christian normative. This story needs to have some moral story behind it. For example saving a person’s life or pulling someone out of an addiction. Why? Because no one can argue against this and have a following. Imagine someone saying it’s not from the Holy Spirit because, it didn’t reveal Christ. This is a battle they can’t afford to pick. If you made it this far there is almost no stopping you now. You have them eating out of the palm of your hands and they want to know more. Which is where step 6 comes in.

    Step 6: Tell smaller ‘Holy Spirit’ stories to make everyone begin to see themselves and everything around them; life, church, etc to be Holy Spirit centered. This also gets people into the attitude that anyone who is not following ‘the spirit’ but is just looking at that dusty old book (the Bible) is not a true believer and desperately needs to get in tune with the Spirits direction.

    Step 7: Now you can begin to use scripture to teach your points. Because you now have the people thinking in your mindset. This way they don’t feel it necessary to look up the context of the verses you are using. They are already thinking like you anyway.

    Step 8: Now that you have successfully changed peoples views on out of context bible passages, you can begin to reaffirm the validity of the bible and the great importance of this new doctrine.

    Now not only is this good in converting believers in Christ to believers in the ‘spirit’. This is a good guide to determine if your instructor or pastor or whoever is teaching is a charismatic.
    Also if you are thinking, “What is the role of the Holy Spirit?” It is to reveal Christ to you, to counsel you in Christ, to bring you to Christ, to give you Christ. If you were ‘given’ anything else but Christ I would greatly hesitate to say it is of the Holy Spirit. After all we are Christians originally called ‘followers of the way.’ “Jesus said, I am the Way,”(John 14:6), Jesus. It’s all about Him.

    Thanks for reading,
    Kyle Letcher
    -Noteworthy Notes-
    *If you are wondering what to do when confronted with these teachings, the first thing that comes to mind is turn the other way and run! It’s also just common sense. If doctrine (teaching) is not that important, then who ever is teaching you doesn’t really have anything beneficial to impart to you. You may as well leave and do something useful like make kraft dinner.
    *In regards to the very detailed conversation in Step 3 the event occurred and was the dialog between one of these charismatics and myself.
    *In Step 2 a case can easily be made for God speaking outside of the Word. He spoke to the prophets. Because of this they will convince you, or try to convince you that this is normative. God speaks to all people this way. We are all prophets now…. This can be combated really easily by showing that God just spoke to the prophets not by their own doing, not because they were seeking a quiet place, but because He willed it. They will usually try to dodge it. Don’t let them, push this point till they make you shut up. This gets everyone else in the room to be on guard and alert because something is not right. You can also use scripture to show that God has spoken in the Word by Hebrews 1:1. I don’t know the effects of using this during a class with the teacher. With the indoctrinated charismaniacs they usually just say “Well I don’t know what that means but, I am sure God has spoken to me outside of the Word”. And the conversation is either ended or they try to convince you of the validity of their conversation with God.

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