Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

The Marks of a christian

02/05/08

As I have previously noted, preachers often speak of how, if one is a Christian, there will be some evidence in the way one lives. If that is true, what actions would then demonstrate true Christianity? From what we hear out of the church, things like tithing, attending frequent church services, praying out loud before each meal, ending each public prayer with the expression "in Jesus name", trying to convert our neighbors to our church's concept of Jesus, refraining from prohibited activities, reading the Bible daily, opposing "evil doers", and never questioning any church doctrines would appear to be the evidence that the preachers want to see. For the most part all these suggested signs of true Christianity are either acts of public piety which encourage a show of righteousness or simply a demonstration of unquestioning allegiance to church teaching and tradition.

On thoughtful examination, neither of these categories of evidence appear particularly noble or enlightening to the observer. Mostly missing from this list of "fruits" are those proposed by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 5:22. Instead of evidencing one's commitment to Jesus by practicing His exalted message of Unconditional Love and Brotherhood in relation to our fellowman, the church proposes one's loyalty to its doctrines as the true mark of Christianity. This is true despite the obvious fact that Jesus condemned public acts of piety and loudly denounced those in His day who set themselves up as the religious leaders of the people.

The entire idea of gaining and maintaining the status of Christian by adhering to
right church doctrine instead of by how one incorporates the counter intuitiveness of Jesus message on how to treat one another is completely misguided. In the church's view salvation is an exalted status before God to be gained, whereas Jesus instead offered salvation from an erroneous state of mind concerning our relation to one another and to God.

 

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