Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"Christ Followers" Don't Want Jesus To Be A Stumbling Block

Mat 1:21  "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." 

1Pe 4:16  but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 

Many hip, Post-modern, pagan-friendly pastors and churches use  the term "Christ follower" instead of “Christian” for themselves as a way to not drive away the "unchurched" (the new term for an unbeliever), so they can have an open door. 

These pagan friendlies don't want Jesus to be a stumbling block, even to professing Christians Christ Followers.  As some have noted, Christ becomes a mere example to "follow" and usually it has to do with their wrong view of works (social justice/works righteousness). Airo's article which I have linked to below, makes a good point about this versus the reality of Jesus Christ living in a believer through the second Person in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. In other words, one is a mere social notion, the other is a reality of the very God of this universe indwelling and abiding with a biblical Christian.

But the thing is, Jesus is The Stumbling Block.

But He is and always will be.

It is HIS name, "Jesus" that is above every name, not the title of "Christ". There are many 'christs" as Jesus said would come (Matt. 24:5), but only one risen Lord Jesus Christ. New Ager Marianne Williamson for example believes that all have a "christ within", so we can see that the term "Christ follower" is one that even pagans are happy to use without offense. 

Act 4:10  let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead--by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 
Act 4:12  "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.

1Pe 2:8  and, "A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. 

Php 2:9  For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 
Php 2:10  so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 
Php 2:11  and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

And while "Christian" means "Christ follower", the term, "Christianos", not its meaning, is used as a suitable label for disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes true Christians are followers of Christ. He is the Great Shepherd and His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. But "Christ" is not His name, and we are called by His name for His name's sake. Moreover, those who distance themselves from the term "Christian" also distance themselves from dogmatic teachings and words like: sin, repentance, lordship, crucifying the flesh, false teachers, wolves, hypocrites, church discipline, etc. Instead they are all about social justice, they are "missional" and "intentional", and their "worship" is incredibly worldly and caters to the flesh and the world.

In other words "Christ  Followers" are usually the ones who buy into the Post-Modern culture of vague notions of right and wrong, good and evil, black and white, and find truth in everything and dogmaticism or antithesism in nothing. Yet Jesus Christ was dogmatic and taught antithesis all during His earthly ministry, not to mention in the rest of Scripture.

Below is what I consider a very good excerpt from an article on this issue:

Here's the answer I came up with after reviewing the sermons preached at these seeker-driven / purpose-driven churches over the last 24 months:
Christ Follower: Someone who has made the decision to be an emotionally well adjusted self-actualized risk taking leader who knows his purpose, lives a 'no regrets' life of significance, has overcome his fears, enjoys a healthy marriage with better than average sex, is an attentive parent, is celebrating recovery from all his hurts, habits and hang ups, practices Biblical stress relief techniques, is financially free from consumer debt, fosters emotionally healthy relationships with his peers, attends a weekly life group, volunteers regularly at church, tithes off the gross and has taken at least one humanitarian aid trip to a third world nation.
Based upon this summarized definition, I've come to the conclusion that the world is full of people who can fit this definition but who've never repented of their sins and trusted in Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins. This definition could easily apply to Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. In fact, it could apply to Emergent Heretics, Unitarians, Muslims and practicing Jews. The reason why this definition of a Christ Follower could be applied to those outside of Christianity is because this is a definition based upon deeds NOT creeds. 

Interesting that they don't call themselves Christ Slaves either, which would be very accurate as Jesus Christ is Lord. Paul often called himself a slave  (dulous) of Christ (Rom. 1:1, Gal. 1:10; Col. 1:7 of "fellow slave"), Titus 1:1, and James did too in James 1:1, Peter in 2Peter 1:1, Jude in Jude 1. and John in Rev. 1:1.

From G1210; a slave (literally or figuratively, involuntarily or voluntarily; frequently therefore in a qualified sense of subjection or subserviency): - bond (-man), servant.

To be called a slave necessitates a master who owns you now. And the problem with these Post-Modern "Christians" is that they will not have King Jesus, the Lord Jesus, rule over them. They don't want a theocracy (kingdom), they want a democracy where they can have a vote, but such is not the case in the kingdom of God. 

For more on the term "Christ follower", go here.

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