"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”. (2 CHRONICLES 7:14)
In today's political charged world, one may wear many labels. If you lean to any religious point of view, you may then be labeled religious or even noted as a Christian. So, what does these special titles mean and what had you rather be called ?
Religion is a striking subject, which sometimes seems to be rather controversial. To some, Religion may be interrupted as meaning "made in nature" as it is widely claimed to be related to gods and deities.
One need only to pick up a Bible to see many examples of false gods and false deities
"Finally, the Lord said to Elijah (as translated from the original Hebrew by Helen Spurrell), "I have remaining to me in Israel seven thousand, all whose knees have not bowed unto Baal, and all whose mouths have not kissed him" (19:18).
God was saying, "I've got 7,000 hidden ones, Elijah, men and women who haven't given in to the spirit of this age. They're growing in my Spirit. And they all share the same burden as you
" For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship this is what I am going to proclaim to you" ( Acts 17:23).
And, Paul confirmed that many gods were worshiped in his day.
So, what is Religion, and what is it's realities, all about ? Is its concept it with or against the Bible(Scriptures). Well, religion is a rather broad term, as there are many religions throughout the world. Some of which embrace God's theology while others do not. I have even heard it said that some go as far as to embrace the wilderness and trees as their God's.
The title of Christian has been a very good example of the follows of Christ, from its very inception within the early Church. The Bible manuscripts were written in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic originally, not English, as English did not exists at this point. The Greek word for Christian found in these passages is "Christos" (Christ). The early day Christians never had any formal "name" for themselves but were later called Christians by the Romans.
• Acts 11:26, "and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And it came about that for an entire year they met with the church, and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch."
• Acts 26:28, "And Agrippa replied to Paul, "In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian."
• Peter 4:16, "but if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God."
In this political correct current world, the title of Christian seems to have become rather revolting within certain circles. Much like the title of policeman, if a Christian Minister, or a well known Christian Layman, succumbs to a sinful act, the very first media headings are scoped by the word "Christian".
Should we Christians best be known as a "follower of Christ" rather than be called a "Christian", based on today's political environment ? Reason for this being, if known as a "Christian, then the general population would be enticed to label us, according to certain political connotations. And, also would feel needed to treat us a certain way. According to this interpolation, evil would then possibly limit our ability to speak a certain way. Thus, tend to hurt our Christian testimony.
However, if known as a "follower of Christ", then we are obligated according to the scripture, to display our true Christian character to those around us. In other words, to live daily like our blessed "Lord".
"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel". ( Philippians 1:27)
But wait a minute, what does the scripture tells us about our boldness as Christians ?
The Old Testament is full of these real life examples. What about Samson pulling down the temple? What about the three Hebrew children refusing to pray to a false God? What about the profit Daniel in the lion's den? And on and on.
Then, turning to the New Testament. What about the boldness the Disciples and the early church displayed, as the church was growing in its infancy ?
This old gospel song says it all, don't you think ?
I'll Stand For Christ and Christ alone
A midst the tempest and the storm
Where Jesus leads, I follow on
I'll stand, I'll l for Christ
"You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.' "( 2 Chronicles 20:17)
So, the world culture may be changing but I am and will always be a Christian, a true follow Christ Jesus.
" And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak".( Ephesians 6:19-20)