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Christians on the Eyes of the Beholder

Christian and the Stereotyping.

Christians already have an identity and many Christians like non-Christians are trying to attach an identity after identity to other Christians by individuals or by groups of individuals. This could be the work of judgmental Christians, gossipmongers who enjoy talking about other people’s private lives.  There are Christians that do not believe that Jesus was and is a fully man and fully God, while other Christians believe that Jesus was and is the Creator and the Savior, thereby forgetting and omitting the work of the Father God.  These are just a few to name many groups of Christians trying to stereotype other Christians.

Paul appeals “to watch out those who cause divisions and create obstacles… avoid such persons they do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites…” Romans 16:17-18 (ESV). We do not judge but we help those inside the church and God judges those outside…” 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 (ESV).) “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel…” Romans 14:1-5 (ESV). “Preach the word… with complete patience and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2 (ESV).”

We are commanded to love one another and we can show this love by not giving up to some Christians who need more spiritual guidance and reprove, rebuke, and exhort, then with complete patience and teaching. Through showing humbleness, we can redirect their path to righteous Christian living, devotion, and commitments. Many Christians thought to be a Christian is good enough without understanding the responsibilities and the empowerment put on their shoulders.

Sunday Christians

A Sunday Christian refers to someone who typically attends Christian church services on Sundays; while some Sunday Christians refuse to be a member of a church, act as just a plain observer, a part-time believer, non-committal, and pot luck lovers. These are members considered as guests. Though they are not registered members some small churches consider them as members. Sunday Christians do not participate even in local missionary work like evangelism, visitation to poor areas to extend help, but their presence in Sunday’s service is good enough.

Cafeteria Christians are those who cherry-pick the doctrine.   They will follow and sometimes they do not. It is more of a convenience than the full acceptance of the codified belief of a certain group of Christianity. It can also be called with another term as selective Christians, wherein the doctrine lies more on ethical than moral issues. This combines the attitude and behavioral issues of existing personal opinion by individuals’ base entirely on their situation.

Cafeteria Christians is a self serve Christian religion that matches our taste of the profile of people around and the demand of being recognized or given attention in every appearance in the service. Self-centeredness, egoistic attitude will be too much but at the end of the day, they are still Christian that maybe in the long run may be corrected. We also have to consider that there are religious Christians that are individualists.

Being selective and put the believers’ doctrinal views away with the majority of Christian’s beliefs; but, do they care if protecting their interest comes first? It could not necessarily be about wealth, it’s about their priorities how to live their lives away from a dictated and invented doctrine; “this is bad and that is bad, and do not do that and do not support that it is a sin” but, look who is talking! They can see others that miss the mark but themselves.

Oneness Pentecostal Christians- are easy to distinguish when you happen to have a conversation with them. “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”—Col 1:13-14, “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”—1:19-20. The Oneness or Jesus Christ only believers depend very strong on these verses also, John 1:2, 14, declaring him; The Savior, The Creator, the Alpha, and the Omega, the I Am, and many things about Jesus that omitted the Father’s glory.

When Paul commented about “others” preaching about another Jesus whom he did not preach, he added that “we are so willing to listen” it means that we are giving up easily—2 Corinthians 11:4. This is another scripture that they depend on. I and the Father are one John 10:30. This scripture is almost the center of their belief.

Trinitarian Christians – The Christian doctrine of the trinity believe that God is one God, but three coeternal consubstantial persons or entity—the Father (God-LORD-SAVIOR), the Son (Jesus-Lord-Savior), and the Holy Spirit (Third person or entity-lord)—as “one God in three distinct Divine persons.” The KING, the King, and the kings; three in one Spirit.

Grasshoppers Christians are the term they use to call believers that do not stay in one church, with little annoyance they depart so quick. They jump from one church to another when they feel uncomfortable. When a Pastor responds to this kind of Christians that there is no perfect church, the Pastor indirectly answers that their church is not the one that Jesus established. It is true that there are no perfect churches but there are churches with too many imperfections.  

The truth is the church that Jesus established is our body (Body of Christ) centered with his teachings about the Father and the kingdom of God. If we will only focus on these two teachings of Jesus Christ and at the same time applying his commandments of Love, we will never go wrong. We cannot enter into communion with God except through Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit.

As the second millennium already draws to an end, the mission entrusted by Jesus Christ to the church which is our body is just beginning, and to others, there still resistance and hasn’t started yet. Upon completion of our mission, we may feel the emptiness or lack of joy due to our ignorance about the kingdom. Our mission is to establish the church within us and accept the indwelling of the Holy Spirit among us and begin to rule our domain within our community (family).

Self-awareness is very important. How can you rule your own domain when you do not know yourself? Knowing yourself leads to spiritual growth, maturity, and empowerment. When one of Jesus disciple addressed him lord and teacher he even commended the disciple calling him a teacher, totally different from other people to this date that thought that Jesus claimed to be God.

Jesus said we can be gods and he referenced it to the Hebrew scripture, and yet his accusers have no understanding of their Bible continued to charge him with blasphemy that led to his pain and suffering till his life ended on the cross.

Christ is the revelation and incarnation of the Father’s merciful act towards his creations. Salvation is given to those believers accepting the mystery of the Father of his love and goodness, through His Spirit, He made manifest in Jesus with His Spirit. God has chosen it this way that His kingdom is fulfilled: the kingdom brought by Christ which was proclaimed to be at hand for all the people of the earth—the Church.  In which Christians must work very hard to bring evangelization to work for Christian who walks away from the faith, lukewarm, and for non-Christians who are part of the world that needs to bring to the knowledge of God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Son? Only then we can accomplish a perfect and definitive realization of the mystery of Christianity in our lives.

They can name-calling Christians the way other Christians and non-Christians want it. For those Christians who don’t care to be called and just ignore it is more rewarding than talking back and be at the low level as they are. As long as nobody gets physically hurt. The bad treatment hurts but will not draw blood. We know who we are and our relationship with the Godhead is personal. Our righteous walk in Christian living is enough to claim to be God’s children and we are confident that we are protected.

In the Old Testament, God chose to adopt the people of Israel as His own unique people to represent Him and carry out His Purpose and Will to the world and through them, blessings will be extended.—Genesis 12:3. Israelites elections’ will be the gateway for other nations to be adopted sons in the family of God.—Isaiah 2:2-5; 25:6-8; 60:1-6; Jeremiah 3:17; 16:19).

In the New Testament God chose the Son Jesus of Nazareth to bring His plan to fulfillment. After receiving the Holy Spirit at his baptism, Jesus began his ministry “preaching the Gospel of God and saying: ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel”—Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 4:17; Luke 4:43.

The ministry of Jesus is not about the end of the world but the beginning of the Kingdom.  When described that the kingdom of God is at hand, many didn’t understand it and they remained focus on the promise of his 2nd coming. The kingdom which Jesus described is the kingdom of God. Jesus himself revealed God and addressed Him (God) Abba, which means Father an intimate term to address an existing Father and Son relationship.

The kingdom will grow as every person draw near to God. “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16). He is a merciful and graceful Father, and our prayer will not come back void, because He listens. When Jesus reconciled us to God we are given an opportunity to rule our domain—our kingdom.

We are the kingdom under the government of God.

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D., Bishop Emeritus

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