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What Do We Call Ourselves? 

(this blog is longer than normal, but it’s important)

 Acts 11:26 

26 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.

Yes they were first called Christians in Antioch.  It was a very mixed group of people - from Jews who believed in Jesus, to Gentiles who also came to faith. They were known by what they preached, and their message was Christ. 

Today, however, it is more difficult to identify what you mean by Christian. There are groups of people who formulate Christian churches who don’t believe in the Bible, they don’t believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation, and they don’t believe in the moral values of the Bible. Yet they call themselves Christians. Jesus told His disciples to go into the world and teach what He taught them and make disciples based upon His teachings. This is why they were called Christians in the first place, they taught the teachings of Christ. 

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”   -Matthew 28:19-20

Today you can go into some churches and it seems like they are filming a segment for Dr Phil. A ‘Finding Your Best Life Now’ series would be in full swing in those churches.

In other churches you would find the ‘Dream A Little Dream of Me’ crowd, where visions and dreams guide the crowd in a mystical environment. New visions every week keep the crowd guessing and coming back.

And in other churches you would find the social justice mantra where Jesus is an activist for those who fundamentally want to change everything that’s wrong about America. 

Here is an article from Religion Magazine that is an example of what I am addressing. 

A diverse group of evangelicals is joining forces to reclaim a faith tradition it says has become dominated by older, conservative white men who are blindly loyal to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Thirty-nine evangelical leaders released a declarationon Wednesday that attempts to disrupt the narrative that evangelicals as a whole are white, right-wing Trump supporters, who are indifferent about social justice.

In fact, the leaders say, many evangelicals of color and younger evangelicals are fiercely committed to combating economic inequality, defending immigrants and refugees, resisting racism and patriarchy, and caring for the environment.

This is an anathema to God. They are using Jesus to further an agenda. Once again the cart is before the horse, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to stop it. ‘Good things’ replacing the message of the cross. It is no different that the old argument where someone says, “but I am a good person, why can’t I get into heaven?”  These social justice themes are good themes that help bring equality to our world, so why isn’t God for it?  Simple! You have replaced Jesus for your social justice agenda. You have violated the first three of the Ten Commandments. These people are not bringing healing or hope - they are bringing division and deception. 

I am so disappointed in the evangelical community. We have seen good pastors give in to the seducing spirits of our age. Andy Stanley is confusing people by suggesting there is no need for the Old Testament and the Virgin Birth is not important. 

 “Christianity doesn’t hinge on the truth or even the stories around the birth of Jesus. It hinges on the resurrection of Jesus.”  -Andy Stanley

“[But] not Christianity. The Bible did not create Christianity,” Stanley adds. “The resurrection of Jesus created Christianity and launched Christianity. Your whole house of Old Testament cards can come tumbling down [but] the question is: Did Jesus rise from the dead? And the eyewitnesses said He did. I know that’s a little disturbing for some of us. I know for many of you, this is liberating. -Andy Stanley

This is not an attack against Andy Stanley, yet how can such a gifted man go down this path of thinking? Does he have a new revelation, or does he not understand that the whole Bible is God’s Word - it didn’t start at the resurrection, it started in Genesis. 

I know I have readers who have been influenced by Stanley, but if he believes the stuff he has been saying lately, this isn’t a healthy teacher of the Word of God.

I have said for years that we are in for a big surprise in the body of Christ. We haven’t seen anything yet. We have seen the evangelical church accept homosexuality, we have compromised on abortion, we have ignored Biblical prophecy, and the list grows every day. But here is my reminder to you: It’s only the beginning, so you had better beware.  Everyone tells me “Larry, give us some hope”, and my response is “I am”. My hope is in Jesus Christ, and nothing the Church or this world tells me will replace it. The Church is backslidden for the most part and the world/culture is controlled by the evil one. And people are upset if they don’t get coffee and donuts when they come to church. My years of being a Christian (46) warn me to prepare. Test everything, and I mean everything.

So what do we call ourselves?

I call myself a follower of the Biblical Jesus, period. I don’t even want to be called an Evangelical or a Christian anymore, because there is too much baggage in those titles. You may think I have gone off the rails, but after reading the article linked to this blog I can only say, “GOD HAVE MERCY.”

That article is just the beginning.  In an upcoming broadcast (Oct 20, 2018) Jan Markell tackles homosexuality and will illustrate how some pastors have compromised Biblical truth for the respect of our culture. 

So if you are looking for a nice, kind, sweet Christianity, it doesn’t exist in the Bible. The Bible is a revolutionary book that changes the heart of a person into a God fearing and God honoring human being. The Bible requires faith to read it and faith to believe it, and God accepts nothing else. 

Living by faith is swimming upstream and you had better prepare for this upstream journey as followers of Jesus, because it will not get easier. 

So when you go to church Sunday, I hope your pastor drives a nail into the coffin of the sweet and nice Jesus kind of Christianity, because He is not coming back again to be sweet, He is coming for a Church who will stand and fight for His right to be heard in the land. He is coming back as King, and everyone, whether they like it or not, will bend a knee and confess Him as Lord at His appearing.  

Regardless if you think I am nuts or not, consider my words, because the Bible confirms it gets tougher before it gets easier.  But know this, our hope is only in Jesus Christ, and nothing else.  Just saying….

Keeping it honest and truthful…K  

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