Posted by: the warrioress | March 14, 2013

Christians First

Jesus with sinners

Walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and humility, with long suffering, bearing with one another in love; being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” Ephesians  4: 1-3

Now I beg you, brothers, through the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 1 Corinthians 1:10

Whether we be Conservative Republican, Independent Moderate, or Liberal-leaning Democrat, we should all understand that we are Christians first. Have you forgotten?

Christians can get so caught up in politics that we become worldly and allow ourselves to act out of the flesh. We forget who we are. We allow this world and the concerns of the world to divide us within the body of Christ. We get tired, grumpy, angry, and stressed. We lose faith. We burn out and become a shadow of who we once were in Christ as we allow worldly and political cares to drain and anger us.

Though the world may choose not to know God, God is still on the throne and in command. We have to believe, trust, and not be overwhelmed or overcome with fear as we look at the worldly chaos all around us. Politics aside, we are brethren, sanctified by the salvation of Jesus Christ. Our differences are cast aside and unimportant.

This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:17-18

We have to take care of ourselves as Christians. We are “stand-ins” for Jesus Christ. We are living representatives of Christ in these earthly bodies and when we open up our mouths, cyber or otherwise, we demonstrate Christ. Are we doing this in our daily living experience?

God said we are all part of the body of the Christ — family.  He didn’t care for division within the body. Take care of the temple of the Lord and show Christ well in your lives, today and every day. Treat all of your brothers and sisters in the Lord as the family they are.

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Responses

  1. It’s posts like these that give lie to the Christian claim of humility. The entire piece is infused with the sense that Christians are a special class of people who live above the everyday goings on of the real world that the rest of us have to deal with.

    All this talk of the “world” as a badly behaved, depraved place, is exactly what the phrase “holier-than-thou” was invented for.

  2. Hi Keith,

    From the perspective of the bible, Christians are frequently admonished to remember that we are brief visitors here and are set apart in what is expected of us behaviorally and spiritually-speaking. The “world” is a place that is said to be under Satan’s reign and it is often a very badly behaved, depraved place. I don’t think I need to give yet another accounting of statistics to try and persuade you to this fact.

    Christians are hardly “holier than thou.” We strive to deal with sin and human shortcomings through the guidance & direction of the Holy Spirit, with the help and wise words of Jesus and His apostles,and other biblical authors; there is nothing holier than thou in this effort.

    We’re told that the world will continue to decline morally and in every way. Based upon statistical evidence I’ve already presented in prior posts, this is foregone conclusion. So this posting is a merely gentle reminder to not allow ourselves to be distracted from what God expects while we reside upon this earthly planet for the short time that remains. We are to be united in our purpose and not become divided and distracted by politics and other temporary, transient, earthly matters. Thank you for your thoughts and comment as always.

  3. Warrioress: Perhaps it’s just the tone of your post that comes across as holier-than-thou. There’s nothing wrong with exhorting one’s allies to behave well, and if that’s all you’re doing then all power to you.

  4. Keith, yes, that’s all I’m doing. I owe you a visit on your site and will be over there as soon as time allows. 😉

  5. Really, “Christian first?”. CS Lewis argued against you on this point. He felt that a good Buddhist could be much closer to God than many Christians and thus he was a follower of God first, and of the label “Christian” (decided by confession and belief) was much lower on his list.

    Again, as you worship the Bible, you also attached to the label “Christian” and don’t see deep in people. If their is a God, I am sure he sees much deeper than books, beliefs and confessions.

  6. Interesting thoughts here, Sabio.

    I believe we’ve got the label “Christian” because of the following of Jesus Christ, through the salvation of Jesus Christ. Pretty much everything with God hinges upon this salvation. Without salvation, the bible tells us, we cannot even stand before God in His presence. We are not holy enough to do so. Jesus makes it possible for us to be accepted by God, forgiven, and made blemish-free. We really cannot get into a deep relationship with God without Jesus Christ.

    Yes, God sees more deeply into people, but if we want to really know God deeply, there is only one way to get to Him. We are told that Jesus Christ is the way to the Father. This could be a problem for those who do not believe in Jesus Christ, or accept Him and the sacrifice He made for each one of us. While I believe that God will relate to each person in a way of His choosing, I also believe that without Jesus, such a person will be crippled in his or her attempt to know God.

  7. Hey W,
    Really? You know that people who are called “Christian” or call themselves “Christian” are following Jesus? How do you know that?

    And just believing a story makes you able to “stand in front of God.” Seriously — that is one superficial god — sounds very man-made to me — not to you?

    I was a Christian, did I know God deeply? And now? To me it felt like absolutely nothing changed.

    For such a smart gal, your generic parroting of such stuff seems like you have protectively turned off part of your mind.

    And yet, ironically, you think it is poor me that is so handicapped at both real deep meaning in life. Interesting, no?

  8. […] Christians First (lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com) […]

  9. Sabio said:

    “Hey W,
    Really? You know that people who are called “Christian” or call themselves “Christian” are following Jesus? How do you know that?

    And just believing a story makes you able to “stand in front of God.” Seriously — that is one superficial god — sounds very man-made to me — not to you?

    I was a Christian, did I know God deeply? And now? To me it felt like absolutely nothing changed.

    For such a smart gal, your generic parroting of such stuff seems like you have protectively turned off part of your mind.

    And yet, ironically, you think it is poor me that is so handicapped at both real deep meaning in life. Interesting, no?”

    I don’t know if people who are calling themselves Christian are really following Jesus, but when their behavior resembles Jesus in no way at all, yeah, inwardly I wonder.

    As far as believing a story, I don’t consider the bible to be just a story. I think the bible is inspired by God. I believe what Jesus did so that we could stand before God. You consider it a story but I consider it the truth and historical. And no, it doesn’t sound “man-made” to me at all.

    Sabio, I don’t know how deeply you knew God. How could I know that? What I don’t understand is that if you did truly “know” God, then I’m not sure how you could reject and turn away from that relationship. Care to share how that happened or link to one of your already-written postings that answer this question? Was there simply no real “relationship” there between you and God?

  10. Sabio said:

    “Really, “Christian first?”. CS Lewis argued against you on this point. He felt that a good Buddhist could be much closer to God than many Christians and thus he was a follower of God first, and of the label “Christian” (decided by confession and belief) was much lower on his list.

    Again, as you worship the Bible, you also attached to the label “Christian” and don’t see deep in people. If their is a God, I am sure he sees much deeper than books, beliefs and confessions.”

    The reason I say “Christian first” to other Christians, is because of the awful propensity to be unloving and judgmental of others, aka “legalistic,” instead of Christ-like. These people are so caught up in politics that they’ve lost what it means to be a Christian. I don’t think there would be a problem seeing deep into people if they saw people as Jesus sees them.

  11. Of course it is a story. After all — the four gospels tell it differently and in some places very differently. And it is obvious if you’re not sloppy, but read them independently, that the story according to the author of John viewed it very, very differently that Mark’s story did. They are stories.

    Sure, you may feel that something true lies behind them, but they can’t all be true — well, I guess Bible worshippers feel that way, but many, many (probably the vast majority) of Christians don’t.

    It is interesting that you would question “How deeply I knew God.” — Just as all the conservatives are wondering about you. That is a common ploy. We can’t all be as preciously close as you. A good way to comfortably package up former believers is to assume they must not really have known God, for why would they ever have left? I hear that a lot. Very generic reflex.

    The process was simple, I started seeing what my mind and heart were doing — I started being honest.

    Remember, believers in Krishna, Amida Buddha and more have deep personal relationships with their Gods like you and can’t imagine turning away. The same phenomena. If you are thinking about one as being deceived by the Devil or a selfish heart or something. Then it shows that though you may have convinced yourself that you know the heart of the creator of the world, you don’t understand people.

    I had a very deep relationship with God — it is just that I slowly started to see what that really was. That took years.

  12. Sabio said:

    Of course it is a story. After all — the four gospels tell it differently and in some places very differently. And it is obvious if you’re not sloppy, but read them independently, that the story according to the author of John viewed it very, very differently that Mark’s story did. They are stories.

    Sure, you may feel that something true lies behind them, but they can’t all be true — well, I guess Bible worshippers feel that way, but many, many (probably the vast majority) of Christians don’t.

    Got any stats to back that up, Sabio? Vast numbers of Christians believe the bible is just a bunch of stories? I disagree. They may feel that there are parts of scripture that are parables or metaphorical, and they are, but the entire bible isn’t.

    You said:

    It is interesting that you would question “How deeply I knew God.” — Just as all the conservatives are wondering about you. That is a common ploy. We can’t all be as preciously close as you. A good way to comfortably package up former believers is to assume they must not really have known God, for why would they ever have left? I hear that a lot. Very generic reflex.

    I think it’s possible that people think this because of what the bible implies and infers. There are examples like the prodigal son — there is also the possibility that the person has rejected God’s Holy Spirit and has become “reprobate,” or of a reprobate mind. There is the possibility that the person never really experienced salvation at all. There are ex-Christians who claimed Christianity but never really experienced a relationship with God at all.

    It’s pretty normal that conservatives might wonder about me because I’m going against their politics and challenging their set in stone perspective/interpretation of scripture. Christians are so accustomed to questioning and scrutinizing others in order to tell the true from the false, that it’s probably a given that they would wonder about me. I wonder about them!

    You said:

    The process was simple, I started seeing what my mind and heart were doing — I started being honest.

    Remember, believers in Krishna, Amida Buddha and more have deep personal relationships with their Gods like you and can’t imagine turning away. The same phenomena. If you are thinking about one as being deceived by the Devil or a selfish heart or something. Then it shows that though you may have convinced yourself that you know the heart of the creator of the world, you don’t understand people.

    I had a very deep relationship with God — it is just that I slowly started to see what that really was. That took years.

    I understand that everyone feels that their personal intimate belief is the right one. Someone is wrong, though, aren’t they? We can’t all be right. You say you started to see what your deep relationship with God really was, and what was that?

  13. @ W:
    Yes, I hear you trying to neatly figure out how someone could be an “ex-Christian”. For certainly, someone could not have had a deep-personal, heart-to-heart relationship with the perfect creator of the universe and just leave it, could they unless:
    – “reprobate”
    – “never real”
    – self-deceived
    – false god
    – hardened heart

    I’ve heard them all before. We are an uncomfortable lot for you folks. In order to keep your imagined universe making sense, you have to explain us away — have to!

    PS — I can only hope by occasional comments, slowly, your world will become a little wider and your comfort zone will enlarge. But I am sure others just feel I am the deceptive voice of Satan.

  14. Why would they leave a relationship with the Creator of the universe if it weren’t for something negative, like those things you’ve mentioned, Sabio? Why would anyone leave the Creator of the universe?


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