Many people in the world claim to be Christians; and the 2001 census recorded 41 million Christians living in Great Britain; making up almost three quarters of the population. (Information taken from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32722155). At a glance this is impressive and encouraging for the Faith in this country. But start scratching the surface and a very different story emerges.
It seems that many who claim to be Christians are really not sure what Christianity is or what it really means to be a Christian. Is it possible to be a Christian but not believe in Jesus Christ? No absolutely not; but apparently many say they are Christians but not only do they not believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and don’t know Him; but they don’t believe in the teachings of the Bible. They are happy with some bits and discard the rest.
In light of these revelations, let’s take a few moments to provide a simple definition of the meaning of Christianity. To be a Christian is to be Christ like, to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour, is the Son of the one true living God, Jehovah. It is a belief that Jesus came to die for the sins of the world and He will one day return to reward His followers and judge the rest of the world. Christianity is to live a righteous life according to the teachings of the Holy Bible and to have a real relationship with God.
Christianity is Not:
A fad, popular culture, or a new lifestyle choice. It is not just a spiritual experience that you can’t quite understand so you have decided to give it a label. It is not a belief in all the religions of the world; you cannot say you are a Christian, but you also believe in other gods and religions; as Christianity is a complete and total belief in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Professing to be a Christian on your own terms is damaging to the Faith and adds to the confusion causing a decline in the Faith with many turning to other religions or choosing to believe in nothing at all.
The term ‘Christians’ was first used in Antioch as told to us in the following scriptures:
Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
So we know this was the start of Christianity and the first church and this has continued through the ages to today. Christianity has taken many turns and directions, many ups and downs. Hundreds of denominations, inconsistent teachings and practices have caused much confusion in the Faith and decades later the world is more confused now than ever. Many have misunderstood the prophecies and revelations of the Bible, attempting to interpret parts by taking them out of context, embracing some teachings while rejecting others. They have mixed it with some man-made laws, traditions practices and cultures; not to mention the cults and newly emerging religious groups. Who can be blamed for being confused? A good rule of thumb here is to get to know the Bible for yourself, have a real relationship with the Holy Spirit so He can guide you and you will know in your spirit when a teaching is wrong and does not line up with the Word of God. (My Alabaster Box: A Simple Guide Through the Christian Journey).
You cannot say you are a Christian… but! There are no grey areas in God. We are either Christians or not. We are either like Christ or not! Believing that there is a god or something greater out there or you are spiritual does not make you a Christian.
If we say we are Christians, there are no buts; we need to know who we worship and who we are in Christ!