Are you doing what is sufficient? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in one side of Christianity and think that’s where the real Christians are. I recently had to read a book on missions for a class and I remember at one point, one contributor (Each chapter written by another person) was talking about the people who go on missions and saying “These are the people who are really living out the gospel!”
So, everyone who has not been on a mission at all, you are not living out the gospel apparently.
Now I am going through one on evangelism and when talking about evangelism, well this is what real Christians have been doing for centuries.
So if you struggle with doing evangelism, are you not a real Christian?
I could easily list other examples. Why, if you’re a real Christian, you will be speaking in tongues! If you are a real Christian, you’re fasting! If you’re a real Christian, you pay that tithe! If you’re a real Christian, this is how much you study the Bible every day! If you’re a real Christian, you can pray for this long every day!
Also, yes, this includes my own field. It can be tempting for someone like me to say “Real Christians devote themselves to studying apologetics.” I’m sure at some points in my life I have thought that, but the thing is, I know plenty of real Christians who don’t. Am I about to say my own mother isn’t a real Christian, for example? What about my Dad or my sister or her husband?
Speaking for me, for missions, I wouldn’t mind doing one someday, but when I was staying with a friend in Florida for a wedding once, I had to make arrangements based on my diet beforehand. Being on the spectrum, I’m awfully finicky. Before I go somewhere, I want to make sure I can handle it on the spectrum.
Look. I’m an exception in that I will happily stand before a crowd to do public speaking. I thrive on that. One of the great joys of the internet is that I can better communicate with people this way and share Christian truth with them. I have met more and more people I have been able to help on the internet. Get me out talking to total strangers though and I am completely quiet for the most part.
The problem with when we say that this is what real Christians do or serious Christians do, we marginalize those who don’t and can lead them to question if they are a real Christian. I am not saying that these things are necessarily bad things. I don’t agree with everything I have listed on the claims, but the mindset is pretty much always the same.
So what do real Christians do?
Well, John said we must walk as Jesus walked. That seems sufficient enough. I think I could say it this way also. We should at least be striving to do that. None of us will be perfect, but we will try.
So if you want to know if you’re a real Christian, what I would encourage you to ask yourself is this question. Am I living more like Jesus every day? Am I showing love to God and to my neighbor more? This doesn’t mean an emotional response, but how you live. Is your life lining up?
If so, then yes, you are being a real Christian. Now could you want to go on a mission? Fine. Go ahead. Do you want to go out and do evangelism with people? Fine. Go ahead. Can you pray for an hour? Can you study the Bible this much? Can you give away this much to the church? Fine. Do what you can.
But make all of those secondary to walking like Jesus.
As Augustine said, “Love God, and live as you please.”
(And I affirm the virgin birth)