To Be a Christian

The world is wicked. Recent events have ripped away the veneer of decency from our rulers and our civilization, revealing a world of corruption.

In the Bible, God tells us that wickedness has always characterized the world, and it tells the individual what he must do in response: Believe in Jesus Christ, and be saved.

Christian salvation is independent of the conditions of society. Patriots may one day be able to restore social order, or society may continue to decay. Christians, if they have the skills and the opportunity, do not violate God’s laws if they work to improve their nation. Since a properly-ordered society is one of mankind’s greatest needs, God is pleased with genuine efforts to improve our country.

As men of the West, we note that Western Civilization achieved its greatest glory when it was Christian. This strongly implies that Christianity is necessary for the restoration of our European-based nations.

But we cannot know when, and if, order will be restored. We can know that God calls us to repent of our sins and believe in Jesus and his teachings. This will not directly heal our land, but it will lay the groundwork for national restoration and, most importantly, it will save our souls.

*

This work makes its case by quoting the Bible. Indented texts are Scripture, except for parenthetical text identifying chapter and verse, occasionally accompanied by short commentary.

This work does not attempt to describe Christianity completely, but only to introduce it. Its main goal is to show that Christian salvation has a specific nature and a specific content.

*

Preliminary

* God created the universe, including you. Therefore, the world – – including your life – – is not meaningless. God has authority over the universe, and over you:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth… And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.  [Genesis 1:1 and 1:31  ESV]

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers. [Psalm 24:1,2 ESV]

* God communicates to mankind in the Bible. Since God is its ultimate Author, whatever the Bible says is correct. Therefore, mankind can know the truth about God and about everything else of which the Bible speaks. Church officials and religious organizations can be corrupted, but the written word of God is unchanging.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.  [II Timothy 3:16,17, ESV]

God is not a man, that He would lie,
Nor a son of man, that He would change His mind;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? [Numbers 23:19, NASB]

* As is the case when reading any ancient text, the reader of the Bible, in order to understand the Author’s intended meaning, sometimes needs additional, specialized knowledge that comes from scholarship of the original languages or of the cultures of the ancient world. Early, extra-biblical Christian writings also shed light on Scripture. But once this background knowledge is in place, the Bible is a non-mystical, non-esoteric book. At the time the original texts were written, the Bible’s intended readers included unsophisticated persons:

The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple. [Psalm 119:130 ESV]

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  [II Timothy 3:14,15  ESV]

* You cannot be wise unless you believe in God and believe what the Bible says:

But [Jesus] answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” [Matthew 4:4 ESV]

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. [Proverbs 9:10 ESV]

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. [Romans 1:18—25 ESV]

Main Event

* God is holy, meaning supreme and perfect. Therefore man’s highest act is to honor God:

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. [Colossians 1:16, 17 ESV]

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. [I John 1:5 ESV]

This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. [Psalm 18:30 ESV]

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  [Matthew 5:48 ESV]

* Sin is disobeying and dishonoring God. The penalty for our sin is eternal conscious torment in Hell. All human beings except Jesus Christ are sinners by nature, meaning that we cannot by our own efforts stop sinning. Therefore you must learn how your sins can be forgiven, and implement the remedy.

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. [1 John 3:4 ESV]

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 6:23 ESV. A “wage” is what one deserves, as opposed to a gift.]

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. [Revelation 21:8]

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. [1 John 1:8—10 ESV]

* Forgiveness is only found through Jesus Christ:

This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.  [Acts 4:11,12 ESV]

* Jesus is able to save you because he is God:

a) Jesus claimed to be God:

The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” [John 10:31—33 ESV]

b) Other persons familiar with Jesus claimed he was God.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.  [Titus 2:11—14 ESV]

Addendum: There is one God, but in the Bible three persons are called God: the Father, Jesus who is the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit. This is called the Trinity of God. Mankind cannot understand how such a thing is possible, but in the Bible God teaches us that it is so:

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. [I Timothy 2:5,6 ESV]

[Note: The above Scripture refers to the man Jesus Christ. Nobody doubts that Jesus of Nazareth is a man. What is not obvious is that he is also God.]

And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”  [Matthew 3:16, 17 ESV]

* Jesus is able to save you because he paid the penalty for your sins when he was crucified. What you must do is repent of your sins and believe in him, especially believing that he paid for your sins. Therefore not all are saved:

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit… [I Peter 3:18, NASB]

Then [Jesus] opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. [Luke 24:45—47 ESV]

And [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. [Mark 16:15, 16 ESV]

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  [John 3:16 ESV]

* Even though your response is required, God is the author of salvation. Therefore, mankind is never able to defeat the plan of God. God controls salvation:

a) God predestined those would be saved:

And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. [Acts 13:48 ESV]

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will…  [Ephesians 1:3—5 ESV]

b) God actuates his plan of salvation by taking people who are dead in sin (i.e., unable / unwilling to respond positively to the message about salvation) and making them become alive (i.e., able and willing to respond):

[Jesus speaking] No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. [John 6:44 ESV. In the original text, written in Greek, the word translated “draws” means “compels.”]

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved… [Ephesians 2:1—5 ESV]

c)  God uses the hearing of Scripture to give people faith. Not all respond with faith, but God never intended all to be saved:

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. [Romans 10:17 ESV]

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. [John 20:30,31 ESV]

d) God justifies sinners, i.e., makes and then declares them to be not guilty, on the basis of the finished work of Jesus, not because they are do-gooders. Our sin is transferred to Jesus, who fully satisfies the anger of God for us. The term for this is “propitiation.”

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.  [I Peter 2:22 ESV]

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  [I John 4:10 ESV]

e) Jesus came back from the dead. This proves his godhood and secures our justification:

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. [Matthew 28:1—6 ESV]

…and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,… [Romans 1:4 ESV]

[Jesus] was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. [Romans 4:25 ESV]

f) Only those who have faith in Jesus are justified, and therefore saved. It is not enough to practice “works of the law,” that is, be morally virtuous:

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. [Romans 5:1 ESV]

And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he [God] counted it to him as righteousness.  [Genesis 15:3—6 ESV]

And [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. [Mark 16:15, 16 ESV]

…yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. [Galatians 2:16 ESV]

*Although God declares us not guilty (justifies us) on the basis of our faith alone, those who have faith show good deeds. Therefore the absence of good deeds shows that the individual actually has no faith in Christ.

And by this we know that we have come to know [Jesus], if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. [I John 2:3—6, ESV]

What use is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? In the same way, faith also, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. [James 2:14—17 NASB]

* God sanctifies (i.e., makes more holy) those he has saved. This is a lifelong process:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. [II Corinthians 5:17 ESV]

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. [Philippians 2:12,13 ESV]

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  [Philippians 1:6 ESV]

* Christians must not be pushovers. Christians may fight for their interests and the interests of their people, as long as it does not lead them to sin:

For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. [II Thessalonians 3:10 ESV]

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. [I Timothy 5:8 ESV]

And the Lord turned to him [Gideon] and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.”  [Judges 6:14—16 ESV. Whether in Old Testament times or contemporary times, God is pleased when His people defend themselves.]

* Christians must meet regularly with other Christians for worship of God, study of the Scriptures, and prayer. The believer in Jesus must join a church:

And with many other words he [Peter] bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  [Acts 2:40—42 ESV]

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. [Hebrews 10:24,25 ESV]

* But not all groups that call themselves Christian churches actually follow the teachings of Jesus:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. [I John 4:1 ESV]

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.  [II Corinthians 11:13—15 ESV]

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. [II Timothy 3:1—5 ESV]

*****

The acronyms ESV and NASB identify specific translations of the Bible:

ESV = English Standard Version.  NASB = New American Standard Bible.

Note: Comments will be moderated rather strictly. Make a useful contribution or go away.

20 thoughts on “To Be a Christian

  1. Good introduction to the faith. Not sure it is a useful contribution since I do like the brevity of this introduction that covers many important points, but wondering if more could be said of love God (maybe cite Matthew 22:37 in the section on honoring God), love your neighbor (same as prior suggestion), baptism (mentioned in the cited Scripture but maybe note that as part of joining a church and doing as our Lord commands is to be baptized and receiving the benefits of that baptism), and the Lord’s Supper (same as prior suggestion).

    • Christianity is huge. I wanted to give an introduction that was brief enough to be easily read, but detailed enough to start giving the reader a sense of the whole. Also, I wanted to minimize controversy at the outset.

      • I think you’ve done well at that, and it is helpful. It all reminds me of pondering what sort of catechesis Phillip took the Ethiopian through in such a short time. Thanks for the post.

  2. @Alan – What you say follows, given your assumptions. But other kinds of Christian have other kinds of assumptions – for example concerning metaphysics used to explain Christian (very neglected topic, this one!); the nature of the Bible, and how it ought to be read; concerning how to settle ambiguous, disputed, or un-understood matters – also the significance of personal revelation and intuition; and the relative importance of tradition, theology, scripture and revelation – who/ what the ultimate authority and why; how to deal with disputes among ultimate authorities etc etc.

    There is plenty of room for legitimate disagreement among Christians!

    That is where the real disagreement among Christians lies; and indeed it is a stumbling block for would-be converts not to have these assumptions set out – including the fact that they are assumptions. To do otherwise is too obviously a circular argument – to the deep-dyed modern atheist (such as I was).

    But I don’t really care much about these matters! Because it has never been easier to see who is a real Christian and who is not. It has become almost a no-brainer – such is the ‘polarization’ of the world between God and Satan here and now. And this only gets more extreme – and easier – with every passing week.

    • My position is that in the Bible, God is communicating to us a fairly specific system. That is my primary presupposition, which I stated. Some Biblical doctrines are clear, and the Christian ought to hold to these clear points strongly. Others points are less clear, and the Christian ought to extend charity to those who disagree.

      This essay is intended primarily for the sympathetic non-Christian, and the somewhat-confused Christian. I appeal to such persons to consider the meaning of Scripture as a way to break the logjam of competing sub-biblical authorities.

      • @Alan – I think the Bible can still effect marvelous conversions approached in this way – but mostly people are pre-immunized against it, in multiple ways.

        If someone ignorant was to pick up the Bible and start reading – either at the beginning, or at the start of the New Testament (begat, begat, begat!) or randomly – they might well stumble on one of the many passages that (to put it gently) require a great deal of context, a special way of reading, interpreting etc which is no longer implicit but must be taught.

        re; The Bible I would give the specific advice ; get the Authorized Version (which is divinely inspired) and read and re-read the Fourth Gospel – on the assumption that it contains everything essential. And pray about it, and meditate on it. That’s it.

      • There are many biblical passages that are very clear, for example John 3:16.

        If a reader of the Bible finds other passages difficult to understand, he has to make a decision: Will he give up trying to understand the Bible (or incorrectly believe that it contains nonsense), or will he seek the help of those more knowledgeable than himself? If he chooses option # 2, he will find that Christian authorities disagree with one another. This, in turn, necessitates a second decision: Will he give up and declare that nobody can know the truth about the Bible, or will he try to learn how authorities can be tested and evaluated? The second option involves thinking like a scientist (in the good sense of “scientist”): Assuming that there is truth out there, if you can learn how to find it.

        (Or he could choose a third, mystical option.)

        My experience and intuition tell me that Christian truth exists, and one can learn how to evaluate Christian authorities.

  3. “You cannot be wise unless you believe in God and believe what the Bible says”.

    Care to clarify that one? Would you seriously say there were no wise Greek pagans? Or do you have an idiosyncratic definition of “wise”?

  4. But that’s not what you wrote. You wrote “you cannot be wise”. Implying you cannot be wise at all. You also wrote “what the Bible says”. Implying you cannot be wise if you are unaware of the Bible. This goes against what most Christian thinkers have believed. You can say something like “Plato and Aristotle didn’t possess the fullness of wisdom” or whatever, but that isn’t what you wrote.

    • Now that I clarified my meaning, you know what I meant. And if the God which is described in the Bible really exists, mankind needs to acknowledge Him, or else they are missing the most important knowledge.

      Are you a Christian?

      Note to readers In an unpublished comment, Mr. Smith has revealed himself to be an enemy. He is now banned from this thread.

    • These little disputes always bring to mind Francis Bacon’s famous quote wherein he wrote that “reading makes a ready man, speaking a steady man; but writing maketh a man exact.” Or something like that. Well, Sir Francis, writing might indeed make a man exact, but never exact enough for certain personalities always hovering around, looking to ‘make a mountain out of a mole hill.’ The great lexicographer, Noah Webster, originally defined Wisdom thusly:

      1. The right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and of the best means to accomplish them. This is wisdom in act, effect, or practice. If wisdom is to be considered as a faculty of the mind, it is the faculty of discerning or judging what is most just, proper and useful, and if it is to be considered as an acquirement, it is the knowledge and use of what is best, most just, most proper, most conducive to prosperity or happiness. Wisdom in the first sense, or practical wisdom is nearly synonymous with discretion. It differs somewhat from prudence, in this respect; prudence is the exercise of sound judgment in avoiding evils; wisdom is the exercise of sound judgment either in avoiding evils or attempting good. Prudence then is a species, of which wisdom is the genus.

      Webster also wrote (in Letters to a Young Gentleman, Commencing His Education) that ‘reason, unaided by experience and by revelation, is a miserable guide; it often errs from ignorance, and more often from the impulse of passion.’ Revelation doesn’t come from the accumulation of lots of information. I believe it was Prof. Cocks who recently wrote (in How to Approach a Philosophy Class downthread) that (to paraphrase) wisdom is not knowledge or the acquisition of lots of information; that, information is plentiful [albeit not necessarily accurate] on Wikipedia pages, but Wiki pages are not “wise.” This aligns of course with Webster’s advice to the young man mentioned above, and the two align because we’re talking about similar worldviews in the two philosophers (Webster & Cocks).

      There is wisdom, and then there is Wisdom. The SCOTUS (and the United States Congress, for that matter) is a good example of a body of (“learned”) individuals in possession of a large body of accumulated knowledge and experience, yet only a smattering of “wisdom” across the whole. A tree, as the Bible informs, is known by its fruits; if the SCOTUS were “Wise” as a whole, and in keeping with Webster’s definition above, its decisions would very often align with “knowledge and use of what is best, most just, most proper, most conducive to prosperity or happiness.” This being so often NOT the case, the conclusion is inescapable that the SCOTUS cannot be said to be “wise,” properly speaking.

      Worldview is everything!

  5. Forgive me but this seems to represent a specific protestant set of axioms. May I ask what denomination you belong to? That may be helpful for discernment of your readers.

    • I am Protestant; I currently attend a non-denominational Calvinistically-oriented church. I would feel most at home in a conservative Reformed or Presbyterian church, but life circumstances make that currently impossible.

      • I guess I am somewhat more curious about the purpose of the blog as an occasional reader – I was under the impression that the blog was loosely speaking “orthodox” which I take to be in some sense “catholic” – this does indeed seem idiosyncratically calvinist, which for an “orthodox” Christian would almost certainly be heretical and, in some sense, a falsification of the Faith itself. Is there some statement or reference to help square the circle here?

        Not trying to be critical or argue, just looking for understanding what the blog is about.

      • I am a charter member of the Orthosphere, and have always been Protestant. Kristor is another charter member, and was, as I recall, Episcopalian at the time. Now he is Roman Catholic.

        At present, I am the only non-Roman-Catholic writer here. Our statement of principles can be found here: https://orthosphere.wordpress.com/about/

  6. I was also a charter member of The Orthosphere, and at the time was en route to becoming (Russian) Orthodox.

    Since then my main church going/ support has been traditionalist Anglo Catholic (until they appointed a Zen Buddhist as priest), and then Conservative Evangelical Anglican – which continued up until that church (willingly, self-congratulatingly) closed itself a year ago and has remained almost entirely closed since (so I have withdrawn my support).

    I again sporadically attend an Anglo Catholic church with a good couple of priests (the serious Anglo Catholics have been the best among Anglicans for protesting church closures and re-opening churches).

    But I stopped posting here when I became theologically (but not as a member nor in practice) mostly CJCLDS/ Mormon (whose leadership have also advertised their fundamental unseriousness by their attitude to church closures) – therefore outwith the principles of this blog.

    However I continue to support the Orthosphere, as I do all serious individual Christian persons; although my definition of Christian is much simpler and minimalist than the Orthosphere’s, and I believe the true ‘unit’ of Christianity is the single Man – not any church*.

    (…Although churches may be, and often were in the past, of great and perhaps crucial importance to salvation and theosis – Yet they may also become net evil, and an enemy to Christ – an instrument of Antichrist – and that is the current situation, mostly.)

    As of 2021 I do not support any of the major Christian denomination/ church *leaderships*, because I believe they have all shown themselves to be primarily worldly and ‘healthist’ (i.e. leftist – which is secular, material, anti-Christian) over the past year.

    *This is what I believe the Fourth Gospel tells me, and it is – I believe – the primary and most authoritative source on Jesus’s teaching.

    • While I have serious disagreements with some of your theological musings, you have a Christian phronema, and your incessant, demanding searching for truth is quite beautiful. I do not doubt that you will find your way to the joy of your Lord and then be quite content to have found his domain, whether or not it was what you were expecting.

      Moreover, I’d rather have hostile atheists who seek truth than worldly, spiritually disinterested Christians who are indistinguishable from the swine before whom we should not cast pearls. So much the better with Christian allies, despite their (currently) heretical (waywardly “choosing”) tendencies! Seek, and ye shall find.

      In addition, there is something to be said for Christian poesis. Standard textbook Christianity starkly distinguishes divine revelation in the Abrahamic tradition from the pagan poetic tradition, where the poets expand on their traditional theology through musical inspiration. I believe that there is a place for such creative groping in the dark in Christianity, as well, though tempered by the received tradition. Christian poets — philosophically, mystically, or aesthetically inclined or not — serve their role in trailblazing new considerations, which then the people of God discern and judge. A bit of a twist on Rahner’s “revelation from below” — though not really below — but, then, nothing really is! In this way, you are a Christian poet. Many blessings to you!

  7. You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. [Matthew 5:48 ESV]

    This Scripture, in my opinion, “defines” the Christian so succinctly that its antithesis— you must be imperfect as your mundane father is imperfect — is the political creed of “woke” anti-Christianity.

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