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"Real Christianity"

     I don’t know what else Iris Murdoch believed or said but she was certainly right when in 1983 she wrote, “We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.”

     Do you think that what she wrote in ’83 is more or less true today, thirty two years later? It doesn’t take much to answer that question and if anyone answered “less true,” that person is living amongst the low-low information crowd or way out there in some fantasy world. If you’ve ever seen Waters World which is often part of the O’Reilly Factor on Fox News, you’ve been quite shocked at the extreme ignorance of the American people. For many who are all caught up in their hedonism, the words of the poet Thomas Gray are so true, “Thought would destroy their paradise. No more; where ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise.”

     For most, they live in a little day-by-day world and would rather not think beyond the basic needs and enjoyments. Millions are drugged by pharmaceuticals or self medicated with alcohol or more so today, high on marijuana. As our American debt just passed 18,000,000,000,000, few are truly concerned but they are quick to vote for larger entitlements from Uncle Sam. We, as a nation, are truly living as if we have forever to fulfill our desires and believe government will supply all our needs. When hearing of coming disaster, people quite often declare the messenger to be nuts or simply dismiss the warning. Concerning the day of the Lord, Paul told the Thessalonian Church that it “. . . will come as a thief in the night.While people are saying ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them . . .”(1 Thess. 5:2, 3).While this principle is true about the end times it is also true about the pending accountability for our lifestyles. We must live according to truth and not fool our own hearts.

     The world is always in delusion; the generations that are alive in America today have come to think that the seeking of fantasy is the meaning of life and greater emotional enjoyment is reality. When faced with the unquestionable state of things they quickly run to the refrigerator for another bowl of ice cream. That bowl, of course, is the innumerable distractions offered by the virtual world to suppress the actual. The description in the previous paragraph is our world, both secular and religious. Many live in a virtual reality in both of these worlds. Numerous religious practices have been developed in churches to salve the conscience so that the actual reality of people’s true condition before their Creator does not have to be faced, or so they think.

     Real Christianity is devoutly Bible Christianity where there is unquestioned belief in the Bible’s correctness and even its infallibility. The Scriptures, coupled with the Holy Spirit’s work, is the combination that brings truth and stability into the lives of God’s people. Paul wrote the following line to the Ephesian church about his prayer for them, “. . . that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you. . .” The great problem in much of Christianity is that Christians settle for less than God’s knowledge, neglecting His truth for the teaching or activities of some religious group or leader that may not be truly Biblical. Many are relying on the nice guy in the suit, who has eloquent speech, to be the source of their belief system. However, if his speech is not verified by the Word and that apart from his own claims to be Biblical, then be ever so cautious; your life or eternity could be in jeopardy. Look at the nonsense that appears on religious television. I don’t think there has been a conglomeration in one location of soothsayers and charlatans in all of history. Tell me, which “ministry” was I supposed to “plant my seed” in to get the healing or the big bucks? So many choices and all of them lies. Yet, the T.V. conman and conwoman dupe millions of dollars from misinformed, ignorant people, some of them claiming to be born again.

     The true Christian, the one that is serious about a right relationship with God and living in His will, must take responsibility for seeking and living in reality, that is Biblical truth and never settling for the counterfeit. It is so easy to pick up the habits of the surrounding culture and live far below God’s will for His children. James warns that the wisdom that is earthly is “unspiritual and demonic”(James 3:15). In chapter one he also tells us to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves” (1:22). John warns us as well not to “love the world or the things in the world”(1 John 2:15). You may not realize it but the world has overrun many churches that claim to be Bible centered. John goes on to challenge us, “do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets are gone out into the world”(1 John 4:1). We must not be simple minded but seek the true teaching of God in our personal lives and where we fellowship.

     As you’ve heard before, “all that glitters is not gold.” This saying must be applied to every area of our world-view including what we personally believe and practice, who our friends are, where we attend church, what we entertain ourselves with, etc. Gold or pyrite – which will it be? Will you seek the real thing found only in Biblical Christianity or pyrite with all its glitter, yet of no value? Paul says to the Corinthian church, “Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw – each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it because it will be revealed by fire and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.” Even though a person of saving faith cannot lose his salvation, his works will be judged. This should cause every Christian to do a serious inventory of their lives. If what we are believing or doing is not according to God’s Word, it must be put aside for the far more valuable things that God would have for His children.

- David Parker

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