Archive for February, 2011

Test the genuineness of Christians

Inspired by Dan’s comments on a recent post.

The next time someone tells you that he is a Christian but disagrees with your moral perspective on politics, first find out the genuineness of that objector’s Christianity. The word “Christian” doesn’t seem to mean much in modern culture. Ask the objector if he actually believes that Jesus is his savior, and that Jesus has thereby given him eternal life which cannot be lost, based simply on faith in Jesus. I suspect that the majority of “Christians” would answer no to at least some part of that question. For example, they might say that hell does not exist so we have no need to be saved, or that Jesus was just a good man, or that Jesus was indeed God but that we must live a moral, perfect life in order for him to “save” us. If so, point the objector toward John 11:25-27:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”

Alternatively, if the objector does agree that Jesus is the Savior, then ask him whether he also believes that the Bible is the Word of God. Jesus did, and stated in John 10:35 that “the scripture cannot be broken.”

If the objector then agrees that the scriptures cannot be broken, then ask him whether the scriptures don’t also define government as “an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4).

You might also point out that our nation was founded on Christian principles, as referenced in the Declaration of Independence. You might point out that inalienable rights come from Christ, that Christ oversaw the divine providence which created our country, and that Christ was the eternal judge who adjudicated our dispute against England. But in many cases, I doubt you will even get that far. You will often find that the objector does not even believe that Jesus saves all who believe on him, and so he lacks any real foundation to get to those more complex, political matters.

By contrast, if the objector is only a liberal Christian, he might agree that Jesus is the Christ, but will disagree on the authority of the Bible. In such cases, he might theoretically be called a “Christian,” but he certainly isn’t much of a Christian.

Finally, I suppose it is conceivable that you might find a Christian who really has Jesus as Savior and really believes in the authority of the Bible, but simply disagrees with moral political principles. In such cases, the problem is basically that the Christian has not read the Bible, and that should be your recommendation to him.