I’ve been writing about the persecuted church. Today I continue with Part 4.
When writing about the persecuted church it might be wise to take a step back and consider what church I am talking about. In this day and age the word church has become a huge umbrella that includes “Christians” that don’t really belong under that label.
So what is a Christian?
A Christian, Biblically speaking, is a person who:
- Has acknowledged he/she is a sinner
- Knows he/she needs a Savior
- Knows that Jesus Christ the Son of God died for his/her sin
- Knows Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead 3 days/nights later
- Has asked Jesus to save based on His shed blood and not his/her works
- Accepts the Bible as the Word of God
This is a very tight definition on purpose. Although I believe that the KJV Bible is the only Bible for English speaking people, nowhere does the Bible indicate believing in the KJV is necessary for salvation. God gave us a simple plan of salvation and we should leave it that way.
That said, there are many people out there who claim to be Christian. Look at them carefully and you will find they are not Christians. Mr. Romney can protest all he wants but Mormons do not preach or teach about the same God as found in the Bible. Mormons are very religious and try to live a good life, but they are not Christians.
The same can be said about other faiths that claim to be Christians but depart from one or more of the points made above. And while I’m at it, not all humans are the children of God. All humans are the creation of God; He’s the Creator of all. But to be a child of God requires a definite act; i.e.., being Born Again.
Once you have defined the Christian then it is easy to find the church. It is not a denomination. It is that body of believers who are born again. Since baptism doesn’t save it wasn’t listed above, but most churches require baptism since it is the first command to a believer.
I am going to all this bother because some of you may point to churches that are thriving and are not being persecuted. It’s possible that a church of true Christians hasn’t yet experienced persecution, but as mentioned in previous blogs persecution takes many forms and it may not be readily visible. But the pastors sense it!
It is also possible that a Christian church is not being persecuted yet because they try to “fit in” with the world. The job of the church is to tell the world about Christ being the answer to their sinful condition not to change the social/political world. It is the church’s job to warn of coming judgment not affect climate change or any other issue. That message brings condemnation from the self-righteous people who sound great but have bought into the world’s righteousness not God’s.
America has been spared the truly vile persecutions that have been seen around the world. Even European countries have started persecuting Christians. Why should we be surprised at that? Christians were persecuted there once before. Here, in America, we may still be enjoying the fruits of Christian churches that once shouted out the Word of God. But without revival I don’t see this lasting much longer.
It is a shame that Hollywood considers itself able to teach Christians about what is right and wrong. We need to get our doctrines from the Bible and not from the world. The Bible is the only absolute authority. And yes, there are still absolutes to be obeyed or followed.
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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.