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"People love power
and glorify. It is a part of human nature to seek power and glory.
As a result many people have used Christianity to gain power and
glory for themselves. They may be calling themselves Christians,
but their actions are not those of a Christian." - S. Hudgik
why do you call me 'Lord,' when you won't obey me?"
(NLT) - Luke 6:46
can call themselves a Christian. But does calling oneself a Christian
mean everything you do is a Christian act?
me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what
I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe
(NIV) James 2:18-19
What James is
saying is something we all know to be true--your actions speak louder
than your words.
You can call
yourself a Christian, you can even believe in God (the prince of
evil, Satan, believes in God), but your actions will reveal who
you really are.
believe there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe --
(NKJV) - James 2:19
are not perfect: However, Christians sometimes make mistakes.
That is also a part of our nature. We all make mistakes. Even when
we are doing our best as Christians, we make mistakes. We are not
perfect. We are sinners (yes, Christians are sinners) who continually
stray from following Christ.
can honestly be trying to follow Christ and trying to do what the
Bible teaches, and be doing evil.
It seems that
I have just contradicted what James wrote--that we can tell who
is a Christian by their good actions. Or have I?
do we tell the difference between those who are truly Christians
and those who profess to be a Christian, but have not truly accepted
Christ in their heart?
One of the most
famous quotations from the Bible is, "Judge
not, and ye shall not be judged"
(KJV Luke 6:37). This quotation is frequently taken to mean
that we should not judge others in any way whatsoever. But that
is not what Jesus is saying here.
What Jesus is
saying is that we should not judge the hearts (motives and character)
of other people. Only God can see into people's hearts, and only
God can judge whether someone has truly accepted Christ as their
Lord and savior.
judge others? Yes! We should judge people's actions--judging between
good and evil. And we must judge, based on their actions, whether
other people are true Christians. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, "Do
not be yoked together with unbelievers." (NIV)
In answer to
the comment, "I see Christians doing evil things, so Christianity
must have some problems. It is not perfect. It is not the true religion."
There are two points:
1) It is possible
that someone claims to be a Christian, but is not truly a Christian.
2) It is possible
for someone to truly be a Christian in their heart, but make mistakes
in their actions.
In either case,
do not judge Christianity based on the actions of people. Judge
Christianity on the actions and person of Jesus.
More about judgement and tolerance.
More about, loving everyone but hating sin
don't most American Christians act like Christians?