Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Who is a Christian?

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A recent senate hearing, intended to confirm or reject President Trump’s nominee for the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, had an interesting exchange between the nominee, Russell Vought, and Senator Bernie Sanders.

Vought had written an article, defending the college from which he graduated, regarding their statement of faith. Concerning Islam, he wrote, “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”

Sanders objected to the nomination of Vought, based on this statement. He described the statement as, “indefensible, it is hateful and Islamophobic, and an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world.” He told the committee chairman, “this nominee is really not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about.”

Setting aside the fourth amendment; setting aside the religion of Islam; setting aside any political grandstanding; the exchange raises an interesting attitude present in the world today about the Christian faith. It seems that Sanders and his ilk have no problem with Vought and others being Christians, as long as they (we?) do not hold to the fundamental Christian doctrines!

Most people have little or no practical understanding of who is and who is not a Christian. When a religion is expanded to be inclusive of those who diametrically oppose its tenets, it becomes an absurdity. And yet, that is what Christianity is believed to be in our day and time.

Homosexuals claim to be faithful Christians, despite Paul’s declaration of their sin: “who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:32). Modernists call themselves Christians despite denying the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty” (1 Corinthians 15:13-14). One large church in Canada actually is debating whether to continue to accept into their “Christian” fellowship a pastor who has become an avowed atheist! “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good” (Psalm 14:1).

The issue is simply answered. Jesus told the apostles in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Here Jesus clearly defines what a disciple (a learner, an adherent, i.e., a Christian) is. He is one who observes, “all things that I have commanded you.”

No man or woman can rightly call themselves Christians unless they are seeking to keep all of Christ’s commandments. It may be that self-identity is all the rage in our day and time, but it is Jesus Christ who identifies who are His. Not we ourselves. Remember, the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).

The atheist can’t be a faithful Christian. Nor can the modernists, the homosexuals, or any others who reject the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Those that refuse to do so are not His!