Here recently someone mentioned that the church I attended was not a Christian church. If you define Christian as someone who believes in the Trinity, lawlessness, universalism, and blind acceptance of any and all doctrines then no we are not your definition of a Christian church. The problem is that this is not the proper definition of a Christian church. People often give definitions to words that are not accurate, but far from the original, pure definition of the word. Such is the case at hand. What does the word Christian really mean?
The word Christian in our Bibles is taken from the Greek word Christianos literally meaning "a follower of the Christ." Noah Webster, in his 1828 dictionary of the English language defines the word Christian thusly under the first three headings:
1. A believer in the religion of Christ.
2. A professor of his belief in the religion of Christ.
3. A real disciple of Christ; one who believes in the truth of the Christian religion, and studies to follow the example, and obey the precepts, of Christ; a believer in Christ who is characterized by real piety.
What constitutes a Christian is someone who (1) believes in Yeshua the Christ, and (2) follows in His teachings. This is the correct definition of a Christian. Did Yeshua teach the Trinity? No. Did Yeshua teach lawlessness? No. Did Yeshua teach universalism - that every single individual could and would be saved eventually? No. Did Yeshua accept any and every doctrine that man had to offer? No. Yeshua was a strict Hebrew-Israelite follower of Yahweh. Those who truly follow Yeshua the Annointed (Messiah, Christ) are Christians.
I believe in Yeshua. I confess with Peter (Matthew 16:13-18) that Yeshua is the Christ, the Son of Living God; this means that I dwell in God and God dwells in me (1 John 4:15). I also believe in the God of Yeshua, Yahweh, and quote the shema with Yeshua (Mark 12:28-32). I believe in keeping His commandments to abide in His love (John 15:9-10) just as He kept His Father's commandments to abide in His Father's love. I believe that a person who claims to know Yeshua, but is not obedient to Biblical law is a liar, and the truth is not in him (1 John 2:3-4). I believe that it is only those who do the will of the Father that will be in the kingdom of Yahweh (Matthew 7:21), and that many who call Yeshua Lord, Lord will be cast away from His presence of people whom Yeshua never knew (Matthew 7:21-23).
All these beliefs stem from studying the Bible. They do not come from studying a man-made document, and ecumenical council, or a denominational handbook. These are Christian doctrines, true Christian doctrines.
I say to all those out there who may encounter others who falsely label you as non-Christian, let a person know what a true Christian is. Make sure you tell others the accurate definition of the word Christian. Don't let someone fool you into thinking a Christian is something other than what is found in sacred Scripture. Be Biblical. Look for a church that is true to the Scriptures. Look for a church who's thinking and thus theology is based upon what Yeshua actually taught. Read the gospels, believe Yeshua, and don't be worried if you end up in contradiction to the masses of people who claim to be Christian today.
"Whatever Yahweh pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. He causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries. Who smote the first-born of Egypt, both of man and beast. Who sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants. Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings." [Psalm 135:6-10 KJV]
I remember back on 2005 when Hurrican Katrina hit. I also remember doing some work for a woman shortly thereafter who said that she was so devastated that such a wonderful city with such a wonderful festival - Mardi Gras - had to undergo such a tragedy. I, on the other hand, firmly believe that the Hurricane was a small glimpse of the judgment of Yahweh. It was no coincidence that if the Hurricane would not have hit back then, the city would have held its "Decadence Festival." Decadence standing for lawlessness, licentiousness, the freedom to do that which you want; whatever is right in your own eyes.
Some people may read the above and agree, but I would urge the people that live in the area I do - Atlanta, GA - to not be so quick to judge the character of New Orleans. Yahweh could just as easily send a major blow to the city of Atlanta for it is just as wicked, lawless, and apart from anything holy. People haven't even begun to see what Yahweh does to those who refuse to listen and take heed to His holy law. We should not wonder why Yahweh would do such a thing to a city, we should rather be thanking Him for holding back His wrath on many cities in the world as of yet.
Rather than pray for the protection of the wicked, I pray that Yahweh's will be done in the current Hurricane, and that those who are righteous will be protected and spared. This is a Biblical prayer, patterned largely after the prayers of Prophet David in the Psalms. How do you plan to pray, or how have you already prayed?
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.