Christians in name only

By Dave Welch

One of the most massive and widespread occurrences of identity theft has happened, and it is not even attracting the attention of local, state or national leaders. This particularly insidious method targets a minority group, stealing their most precious possession, and yet even more compelling is that the perpetrator assumes nearly permanent “residency” in the victim’s identity.

The mastermind behind this worldwide ring has cells in every city and town in America – including operatives in many unsuspecting homes. The evidence of this outrage is right before our eyes, but we have simply chosen to ignore its existence, pretending that the consequences will be insignificant.

The “victim” is biblical Christianity, and the operatives of this fraud are millions of Americans, both clergy and laity, who are walking around using that identity with no right to do so. The consequences are a nation without the spiritual, moral, social and political anchor that held us firm through over 400 years of tempests and storms.

Maybe President Obama wasn’t so far off when he gushed to Islamic leaders that, “…we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation. … we consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values. I think modern Turkey was founded with a similar set of principles.”

His confusion in comparing American ideals – which have led us to fight, bleed and die to free others – with Turkey’s – which have led them to slaughter, oppress and persecute non-Muslims – is understandable. Why do I make such an outrageous claim?

Why have today’s churches become largely irrelevant? Read “God’s Got a Problem” and find the solution

Many will insist that we all have the right to practice Christianity as our conscience dictates. Wrong. We have the privilege of living out a faith based on absolute truth as given to us by the Author and Finisher of that faith without error or omission in His written word. If we want to invent our own religion, we are “free” to do so, “free” to reap the consequences and “free” to call it anything we want – but Christianity.

Former President William Jefferson Clinton may have had a difficult time defining the word “is”; however, we must have no hesitation defining what “Christian” is – and exposing the counterfeits.

For example, among the most recent illustrations of this crisis is a survey by Barna Research in which six out of 10 Christians surveyed believe “that Satan ‘is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.'”

In addition, only 25 percent strongly disagree that God the Holy Spirit is “a symbol of God’s power or presence but is not a living entity.” The coup de grace of this snapshot of anarchy is that less than one-half of Christians strongly disagreed that “Jesus Christ sinned when He lived on earth.”

The first of those beliefs reflects either complete ignorance or rejection of Scriptural truth, while the second and third are clear heresy against orthodox Christian doctrines of the Holy Trinity and the sinless nature and life of Jesus Christ. Those are “deal breakers.”

These are crises of orthodoxy – what we believe – and are the core of other sequential crises of belief that have destroyed the common principles that were essentials in creating our constitutional republic. The nation that has produced the greatest good for the greatest number is teetering on the precipice of civil tyranny and moral anarchy because, foremost, we have rejected the only Source of freedom, His sovereignty of all of His creation and the absolute truth revealed in His Son and written word.

In British scholar Harry Blamire’s “The Christian Mind,” he asserts:

For the secularist, God and theology are playthings of the mind. For the Christian, God is real, and Christian theology describes his truth revealed to us. For the secular mind, religion is essentially a matter of theory; for the Christian mind, Christianity is a matter of acts and facts. The acts and facts which are the basis of our faith are recorded in the Bible. They have been interpreted and illuminated in the long history of the church.

If 50 to 70 percent of students consistently fail to pass their exams, if professional sports teams lose most of their games and if corporate businesses regularly go deeply in the red (at least once upon a time prior to Bailout Mania), we expect the teachers and principals, coaches and CEOs to be reprimanded or replaced. When the vast majority of Christians – real and perceived – do not grasp and cannot explain or defend essential doctrines, the moment has arrived to challenge every pastor in the land to reassess how we are “doing business.”

Pastors, in this poll we are observing the SAT (Spiritual Aptitude Test) results of our congregants, and they – as well as we, their teachers – have failed.

It is obvious that the Christianity of our fathers has become an endangered species even as compared to 1892 when the U.S. Supreme Court declared in the Church of the Holy Trinity v. U.S. opinion that, “We are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines or worship of those imposters.”

Conservative Republicans coined a term for those who claim affiliation with the party but do not adhere to any or most of the platform principles: RINO’s (Republican In Name Only). CINO doesn’t have quite the same ring; however, the application is the same.

Don’t tell us how much someone “loves the Lord” (including the president) if he or she denies “all that I commanded you.” Don’t call yourself a Christian if you are going to deny essential doctrines.

For the rest of us in pulpit and pew, we must reassert those truths FIRST if we want the power of God with us in the battle to rebuild the social, cultural and political foundations of this great nation.