What is a Christian?

This will probably turn out to be the longest post I have ever made. Having seen recently several so called Christians doing things that are absolutely not Christian I wanted to answer the question "What is a real Christian?" Unlike most of my other post this one is meant mainly for those that call themselves Christians. However, if your not one please do me a favor and the next time a supposedly Christian is not following the practical part please point them to here.

What is Christian Theological?

By this I mean what is the very minimum that a Christian must believe.

  1. Virgin birth of Jesus. I know some people laugh at this idea but if you are going to be a Christian you have to accept it. What this simply means is that Mary was surrogate mother of Jesus. God did not have sex with her. It was necessary for Jesus to come in the form of man and this is they way God planned it.

  2. Deity of Christ. This is dependent on #1. The second person of the Trinity veiled his glory so that he could take on our form but in no way while he grew from the womb to the cross did he ever stop being God. While Mary held Jesus in her arms, Jesus held Time and the Universe in His.

  3. Sacrificial Atonement on the cross. Jesus' physical death has a real impact on your life. He is the substitute so that all who believe in Him may have eternal life. He died for us while we were still His enemies so that our sins could be forgiven.

  4. Resurrection of Jesus. I don't even understand why some one would not believe this if they believe the 1st three. Never the less you must believe that Jesus was physically resurrected from the grave. For as the Bible says if this ain't so then none of it is so. So if you absolutely sure this did not happen then there is no need to worry about an afterlife.

  5. Physical return of Jesus. Since Jesus affirms the other points and he promised He would return you must believe this as well. One day Jesus will return. Now a lot of people get all wacky about his return and make a lot of claims on when and how. I choose to speak no further than what is written in the Word which I believe is the proper course of action. Quick summary: No man knows when! Everyone will know it when it happens! It could happen before you finish reading this! It could be 10,000+ years from now!

Now these are just the basics and there is a lot of Bible that adds depth to each of these as well as entangles them more with each other. You must believe all unless you redefine the terms but then you are still not believing them. So if you do not believe these please stop calling yourself a Christian.

What is Christian in Practice?

Even if you believe these five that does not make you a Christian. There is a practical side to being a Christian. A Christian is characterized by love. God takes a chapter to just explain the definition of love. Love is supreme to all things a Christian does. Assuming that you understand that love is a choice let me list three areas where Christians are commanded to love.

  1. Love your brother. This is the love that all Christians should have for each other. They help, encourage and share with each other.

  2. Love your neighbor. This is the love that all Christians are to have for those that are not Christian. In practice it is helping, encouraging and sharing with their neighbors so long as it does not cross a command of God. I will gladly help my neighbor rebuild his house after a fire but I will not help him steal a replacement TV.

  3. Love your enemy. Christians should not have enemies of their own making but some people don't like Christians just because of their faith (probably driven by the fact not all C's are C's). If my enemy is hungry I will feed him but I will not sit by while my enemy rapes my neighbor.

Like the first five the Bible give a lot more depth and breath to these. But if you don't practice these three commands then you are not a Christian. You may think, " but I believe the first 5 things." Yes, but if your belief in the 5 has not caused you to live the 3 then you only have an intellectual understanding and not a new heart. I would be glad to have private conversation with you if you need help in understanding.

Also this kind of love means that genuine Christians don't bully people, don't burn crossed in people yards, don't burn books in public display, don't paint graffiti on peoples houses, don't hang nooses on peoples porches or anything that is spewed forth from hate in the heart because Christians don't have room in their heart to hate people. The Bible is clear the fruit of the spirit is love and if your fruit is hate please stop calling yourself a Christian. You are giving us a bad name.

One last thing about Christians is that we don't perfectly do what we know is right. We are hopeful that as we mature in Christ we will do better. But sometimes we fall, sometimes we loose our temper, but when we realize it we confess it to those that we wronged and seek their forgiveness.