Once upon a time, I was a baby Christian. I didn’t read the bible or meditate on the scriptures. I didn’t “talk” to God. I didn’t listen to Him either, for that matter. I was a little lost and a little confused about where I stood on Biblical truths and principles. And there was one phrase I used a lot … “So-Called Christian”. I used it as a way to point the finger whenever a fellow Christian said something that I didn’t necessarily agree with. It was my go-to defense mechanism when something struck a chord with me. Something that, deep down, I was convicted about but I was so into myself and not into the Word of God that I wanted society’s approval rather than the Father’s approval. It was a phrase I heard a lot anyway, because I was (and am still) friends with several Pagans, Agnostics, and Atheists that use that phrase considerably. And … it was a phrase I heard from a lot of fellow Christians when they too didn’t agree with something that another believer said.
I was wrong to ever use that phrase. And if you’re using that phrase, you’re wrong too.
The phrase, “so-called Christian” is used primarily by other Christians to make fellow Christians feel bad about what they believe. It’s used to call other’s out on being judgmental, all the while being insanely judgmental in itself. It’s used to call out others’ sin – while hiding one’s own sin.
THIS IS NOT WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES US TO DO.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says that we should encourage each other and build each other up.
Christ tells us in John 13:34 to ” … love one another …”
And James tells us not to “speak evil” against our brothers and sisters in Christ (James 4:11)
Finally, Paul tells us in Romans that in order to be a Christian, one has to “confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead …” (Rom. 10:9) and that we are all sinners saved by Grace (Rom. 3:23).
To that end, anyone who believes in Christ and accepts him as their Lord and Savior IS a Christian. We Christians are called to love one another and to not tear each other down, but build each other up in the Spirit of the Lord. The use of the phrase, “so-called Christian” goes against every aspect of our fundamental beliefs as a Christian community.
We don’t always agree on certain principles that I won’t go into here. And that’s okay. We are human. Not one of us are divine. So we’re not always going to agree. But I think it’s important that we do agree on one thing – we are all followers of Christ. We might be in different places in our journeys. We might follow different doctrines or traditions. But the fundamental center and truth of Christianity is … well … Christ.
Remember that we are all to work out our own salvation through fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). It’s not up to us to lay judgment on our fellow Christians, and it’s certainly not up to us to question someone else’s walk or relationship with Christ. You don’t know where other’s have been, and you don’t know where they’re at now. What one person is convicted about might not be what you’re convicted about – and that’s okay. We’re not all going to agree. We’re not all going to have exactly the same beliefs. But we are all called to love and encourage one another.
Trying to tear each other down is exactly what the enemy wants us to do. He doesn’t want the Christian community to be strong and supportive of each other. He wants us to be destructive of each other’s hearts and purpose. Don’t let him win, folks.
We don’t always have to agree, but we have to stick together as a strong Church body.
It’s what we are called to do.