Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Are you really a Christian?

“Are you really a Christian?” An alleged friend asked me. We were discussing whether or not “getting to go to heaven” is the primary goal for Christians to live toward.

I, of course, was against this idea. Jesus spent a lot more time teaching people how to access and live in the presence of God here and now than about where you go after you die.

This column is not about eternal destination, however. This column is about my friend’s question. Upon my disagreement with her on what is apparently a “deal-breaker” in her mind, she leapt to the conclusion that I might not actually be a Christian.

Had I any doubt about my relationship with God being secure, I would have felt threatened or, at least, offended. As it was, I felt pity on a person who had such a shallow grasp of the Christian faith.

If that weren’t enough, though, as I sat there on the receiving end of the doubter’s mind, I realized that I have spent many years on the other side. I admitted to myself that once upon a time I spent way too much energy doubting the salvation of others.

For those of you who might think I am digging myself deeper into the hole of liberalism or universalism, hear me out. I still accept that as Christians we are to share the good news of Jesus Christ with everyone. Many will not hear unless we tell them.

What I have come to understand, though, is that this good news is not so much about acquiring a list of things to believe as it is about getting to know a person and following him.

Getting to know Jesus and following him is what really matters. Having it all figured out would be nice, but have you ever had an earthly relationship in which you “had it all figured out”?

Are you getting to know and learning to follow Jesus?

5 Comments:

At 8:16 PM, Blogger J. Scott McKay said...

Are you a Christian? That question haunts me sometimes as well. When I read about the Wesleys and so many other giants of the faith, I feel so much the beginner.

Knowing Christ is one of the essentials for sure. But I look at myself and wonder if Christ would recognize himself in me?

 
At 6:51 AM, Blogger Allen Grant said...

It seems to me that the Christian world has gotten caught up in some really bad theology that says you aren't a Christian if you don't say the "right"words or have the same experience as everyone else. Jesus never did that, why should we? Keep up the good work Steve, I'm with you. Allen

 
At 10:09 AM, Anonymous John B said...

How can a person know if s/he is a Christian or not? If the word "Christian" is not defined by some perimeters so that it may mean whatever any individual decides s/he want it to mean, then it means nothing.

 
At 6:57 AM, Blogger Dave said...

Watch out Steve.
You're on a road that may lead you to be called a "heretic".

I've actually been thinking a lot lately along the lines that your on on this post. Last week's reading from Acts opened my eyes.

Like Mr. McKay says up above, would Christ recognize himself in you? Hopefully so.

I think he would be po's at all the inter-fighting over doctrine & dogma. I am starting to understand why it's so hard to enter the kingdom.

How many Christians are living, let alone creating the kingdom here on earth?

 
At 8:19 AM, Blogger Steve Heyduck said...

Thanks, Dave. I've had "someone" calling me a heretic for years now. Sometimes I wear it as a badge of honor.

This post follows well, I think, on the previous one "The more I know, the less I know." The more I know, the less I know and the more sure I am that I can find my rest in the arms of the Lord.

 

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