Nominal Christians and False Declarations of Faith

I heard a very famous pastor from a large local church on the radio the other day. He was speaking about a friend of his (who is now a pastor), recalling how in the early days of this man’s walk with God that he was a “nominal Christian”.

_DSC0048.JPG by Kutless Photos

I also know a couple of pastors who were discussing people’s “false declarations of faith”.

What I would like to know is just how we can know when either one of these scenarios is the truth about someone?

 

Is there any chance that some (or all) of those in the first photo, may not be Christians?

 

How about the guy in the second photo who is shooting up in the alley?

 

I am open to any thoughts that you might have on the subject.

Thanks.

 

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Are You ‘up to it’?

     Is anyone really “up to it”?First place winner in FUNNY KIDS by Johnny Bravo richard by JJ & Special K

 Personally, if I was honest about it (which I am on my better days), I’d have to say that I am not quite up to it.

The task of going out into the world (or just here on the net) and bringing the name of the Lord to a world that is starving for it…I’m not up to it.

I am not always “on fire for the Lord”. I am not always in the mood to talk to others. I am not always eager to serve. I often just want to laze around. I often do not want to serve. I often want to be served.

I don’t read and study the scriptures as I ought. I don’t read and study the Church Fathers, or the Lutheran Confessions like I ought.  I don’t pray like I ought.

I do not seek out those on the margins of life in order to make their lives better and to give to them the good news of Jesus Christ. Not all the time I don’t. Not even 10% of the time. I’d hate to tell you the percentage of my time and treasure that I put into that area of need. 

I’m not up to making time for those in my own congregation. Those in need of help, those that are sick, those that are hurting from the day to day pitfalls in their lives. I often don’t even take the time to pick up the phone.

I’m not really up to the task of fighting off the world, my own sinful flesh, or the devil…I’m just not.

When it comes down to exhibiting the bold,  exhuberant, life of one who has been given new life,  the forgiveness of his sins, and salvation…I’d have to say that most of the time…I’m just not up to it there, either.

But I do know someone who is!

I do know someone who fits the bill exactly…all of time, in every circumstance of life, who is never too busy or self absorbed. He is smart enough, stong enough, wise enough, powerful enough, loving enough, forgiving enough to get the job done….and perfectly…every time.

He is the One who hung on the cross for me and told me that He will never leave me nor forsake me.

He is up to it.  He is up to it for me,  and He is up to it for you. 

And He will fill our poor words and our poor efforts with His love,  His power, and with His purpose and will.

I don’t know about you, but He gives me strength to persevere when I know that I am not really up to any of this.

What do you say? 

Are you up to the task at hand?

The ‘fruit’ of the “fruit inspectors”

I’ve been working on the NAMM (International Association of Music Merchants) trade show in Anaheim, CA for about a week now. I work this one show a year and I have a good time, for the most part, and I mMike the Fruit Inspector  ake a few dollars, which never hurts.  I also get to see a lot of old friends and (ex)co-workers.

Last evening  I’m talking to a couple of guys about Jesus and I quote Luther,  remember, I said, ” the good you do won’t save you, and the evil you do won’t condemn you.”

“Well, that’s not true”, says one of the guys, who is an Evangelical Christian. So I said, “well, I sure hope it is true… and you ought to have the same hope.”

Then he launched into “fake Christianity and “walking the walk”, etc.                           I asked him if someone were to follow him around for one week, taking notes on all he did, if  that person would consider him to be a Christian. Of course he answered yes and didn’t even hesitate.

This is what happens when you get preachers preaching right out of the bible, line by line, without doing theology, without placing the cross of Christ in the center of the biblical narrative.

You get little Pharisees. Not so cute, ‘I’m better than you are, because I accepted Jesus’  and ‘I’m getting “better” all the time’ and you aren’t even trying ‘, little Pharisees. All snuggled in to their self-righteousness, little Pharisees.

I reminded him that Jesus told us not to judge anyone’s salvation, to which he told me that “that is not true” and he will “bring me many bible passages to prove his point.”

I’m sure he will.

What about it?   Is there such a thing as Christians that are not really Christians and they are easy to spot because thet are not walking the walk?

What if you can’t?

The New Year is a time for resolutions.

Resolutions of all kinds. Things to do. Things to stop doingNew Year's Resolutions  .

But what if you can’t stop doing something that has been harmful to you, and or others?

What if there is a sinful habit, a bad habit, an unhealthy habit or quirk (sin) that you’ve tried to stop doing over and over, and over again…but have failed? What then?

Or maybe you’ve tried to put down a specific sin and were successful only to find that another bad habit had replaced it.

Does this mean that you are somehow less of a Christian? Does this mean that you are still a Christian, but just a little bit lower on the obedience chart?

For the Christian, what are the implications of not being able to conquer sin? And what about not being able (or not wanting) to do all those things that God wants you to do?