‘For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.’ – 1 Corinthians 2:2 (ESV)
Christianity, and what makes someone a Christian, has been in the spotlight recently with the TV show Christians Like Us, and the blow-up following rugby star Israel Folau’s social media posting of a truth from the Bible.
What this shows is that the world around us, and sometimes even those who call themselves ‘Christians’, reduce Christianity to a system of ethics. So, a ‘real Christian’, for argument’s sake, is a person who hates homosexuals. Or, on the contrary, a ‘real Christian’ is a person who loves and affirms everyone regardless of their sexual orientation or their faith system.
Let’s be clear, Christianity does follow an ethical system. That system is instituted by the Creator himself, revealed in his Word, and distasteful to many, sadly even to some who call themselves Christians.
But being a real Christian, at its core, is about crying out to Jesus Christ as Saviour, and surrendering to Jesus Christ as Lord. And into the confusing noise about Christianity in the world around us, we must take our cue from Paul and be bold to move the conversation to Jesus. Our eternity is not decided on what we think about homosexuals or other religions, it’s decided on what we do with Jesus (John 3:36).
When someone asks you, ‘Do you believe gay people go to Hell?’ or ‘Do you believe Muslims go to Hell?’, respond by saying, ‘I believe that people who reject Jesus go to Hell.’ What you have just done is moved the conversation to the heart of the matter. From there we can move to talking about who Jesus is, why he came, and what he has done. While the ethical questions, are important, we must start with Jesus.
It may seem too simple, we may not feel like it will help us win an argument, or prove Christianity, but the truth about Jesus Christ is the power of God to save sinners (Romans 1:16. 1 Corinthians 1:24).
– Clint Lombard