Christians Are …

What exactly is a “Christian” anyway?

That term gets tossed around rather loosely in the world today (and sometimes not all that nicely). I thought it might be useful to see how God defines it.

Here’s just a partial list straight outta the Bible. Pray through each precious word.

Losing Our Religion?

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)

According to a new study released yesterday, the percentage of Americans who call themselves Christians has dropped from 86% in 1990 to 76% today. The number of people who say they have no religion has almost doubled — from 8.2% in 1990 to 15.0%. The number of Muslims is increasing, as are those who believe in Scientology, Wicca and Santeria.

What in the world is going on? Great question.

Another recent study might provide some answers. Researchers from the Barna Institute asked young people (16 to 29-year-olds) how they view Christianity. A whopping 49% had a negative view. When asked to describe Christians, here were the most popular answers:

  • judgmental
  • hypocritical
  • out of touch with reality
  • boring
  • insensitive
  • confusing
  • more concerned with converting rather than loving
  • too political

So, what in the world should we do?

We should never compromise our beliefs just to be more popular. Jesus tells us that we shouldn’t be surprised if the world hates us. But the Bible also promises that if we let the Holy Spirit work in our lives, here’s what people will see (notice that it’s a slightly different list than the one above):

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • gentleness
  • faithfulness
  • self control

KEEP IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT

We Are Aliens

. . . you [are] aliens and strangers in the world . . . (1 Peter 2:11)

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20)

Aliens?

Think about it. We believe that:

  • We’re not really from here. Our real home is Heaven.
  • Our leader came down from Heaven to save His people.
  • He was mistreated by earthlings and killed.
  • He came back to life and then returned to Heaven.
  • He sent His Holy Spirit to continue His work on Earth.
  • The Holy Spirit lives inside us.
  • Our leader will one day return to Earth, we’ll meet Him “in the air” and then He’ll take us home to live with Him forever.

Sounds pretty freaky. But it’s true.

Christians should be different. We should stand out. We should be a little strange. We should be aliens.

So, what’s our mission here on Earth? To “live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2:12)

Want to really stand out? Love your enemies. Be joyful in tough times. Be humble. Be gentle. Be like Jesus.

REMEMBER WHERE YOU’RE FROM

Christians Are . . .

I did a Google search to see exactly what the world thinks of Christians. I typed in “Christians are . . .” and read the first few results. It wasn’t pretty.

That got me thinking. What if I searched the Bible instead to see how God describes Christians? Below is just a partial list. Kinda mind-blowing, actually.

CHRISTIANS ARE . . .

ONE
FREE
SAVED
CHOSEN
ACCEPTED
FORGIVEN
VICTORIOUS
BORN AGAIN
NEW CREATIONS
FISHERS OF MEN
BODY OF CHRIST
POWERED BY GOD
CHILDREN OF GOD
ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
SALT OF THE EARTH
LIGHT OF THE WORLD
CITIZENS OF HEAVEN
CHILDREN OF PROMISE
CLOTHED WITH CHRIST
BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST
GOOD SOLDIERS OF CHRIST
TEMPLES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
MINISTERS OF RECONCILIATION
SERVANTS OF THE MOST HIGH GOD

THAT’S WHO WE ARE. LET’S LIVE LIKE IT TODAY!

Unchristian Christians?

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Galatians 5:25

A fascinating new book entitled Unchristian takes a scientific look at how young people (16 to 29-year-olds) view Christians.  The results ain’t flattering.

In short, a whopping 49% have a negative view of Christians.  When asked to describe Christians, here were the most popular answers:

  • judgmental
  • hypocritical
  • out of touch with reality
  • boring
  • insensitive
  • confusing
  • more concerned with converting rather than loving
  • too political

Yikes. So, how on earth can we counter all those negative perceptions?  Maybe that’s exactly the wrong question.  We can’t.  God can.

God promises that if we’ll just let Him work through us, here’s what the world will see (notice that it’s a slightly different list than the one above):

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • faithfulness
  • gentleness
  • self-control

DON’T BE UNCHRISTIAN