The Most Important Thing (8/23/13)

Read: Job 8:1-11:20, 1 Corinthians 15:1-28, Psalm 38:1-22, Proverbs 21:28-29

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

Christian

Relate: What makes a Christian a Christian? Even a cursory glance at history or sociology shows that this question can be much more complex than what first seems. What resemblance today exists between a country pentecostal church in Alabama and the twelfth century Irish monks? What is the commonality between an Egyptian Coptic church today with that church of which Augustine said, “the church is a whore, but she is our mother”? Russian Orthodox, Latin catholic, American Methodist, Scots Presbyterian, Korean pentecostal… there is such a wide variety of culture and tradition and history and even doctrine that falls under the umbrella of Christianity.

Some of these might be very different from what I know, but I could still find a home in such a culture and practice very easily. I could see myself in some other era investing a lifetime in a monastery copying scriptures by hand. Others I would recognize as Christian but would not for a second feeling comfortable there, like the sixth century lavish iconography of the Byzantine churches in Constantinople. There are others who would like to call themselves Christian but I do not feel they have a right to the name. How dare the state churches in Nazi Germany try to call themselves followers of Christ? But with such a wide variety of history and culture, what is our litmus test? What makes a Christian a Christian?

React: The answer is actually easier than it seems. What will I do with Christ? Do I believe he truly died on the cross for my sins, was buried and rose from the dead on the third day? Everything else is peripheral. How they do church, what they think of the Bible, the rigidity or flexibility of their doctrine, their opinion of Mary and the saints, whether or not they worship with instruments or even which day the church gathers… as important as things things may seem, compared to the most important thing they are subsidiary. Who is Jesus to me? That is what really matters. That is what makes a Christian a Christian.

Respond: 

God, I am so thankful for the richness and diversity among those who call themselves by Your Name. I am so glad that there is no uniform box that all of us have to fit in with our worship to You. Help me to show a greater love and respect for each part of the body of which You are the head. Help me to remember to keep You the main thing. For that most important thing, Your death and resurrection, I am so grateful.

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6 thoughts on “The Most Important Thing (8/23/13)

  1. BJ: As Christians, it’s so hard to really live a Godly life. Though apostle Paul pursued the Gentiles who already followed Christ (not just the Israelites) to live Godly and steadfast on their faith. But in our time, it’s as if it’s so easy to label the real and fake Christians if we are only looking on their deeds, outward guise. Thus, this is not the way we’ll judge people on their faith, right? And since, we don’t and can’t judge others. If we will, then many Christians which may include the newly converted will turn away from their faith.

  2. Reblogged this on thedreamyactiveinertbrain and commented:
    As Christians, it’s so hard to really live a Godly life. Though apostle Paul pursued the Gentiles who already followed Christ (not just the Israelites) to live Godly and steadfast on their faith. However, in our time, it’s as if it’s so easy to label the real and fake Christians if we are only looking on their deeds, outward guise. Thus, this is not the way we’ll judge people on their faith, right? And since, we don’t and can’t judge others. If we will, then many Christians which may include the newly converted will turn away from their faith.

  3. Many have gone astray following people and not Jesus, they changed either because the person who got them saved has now backslided or the “very man of God” that they respected more than God, is no more a christian. The simple truth is that we are called to be “His followers” not followers of men, for men can change but Jesus can’t.

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