Christian Character

January 2, 2008 at 12:03 pm | Posted in Christianity | 4 Comments
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I’ve been thinking about something and just wanted to put it up here for you. It is something that bothers me and has affected me more than once.

What is the true character of a Christian? What does a real Christian look like? How do they act? How do they talk? How do they think?

The quick, Sunday school answer is: “like Jesus”.

I know that this is the answer, but it just leads me to more questions. How did Jesus act? Was it just love the He walked in, or was it holiness, justice, and righteousness too? How did He talk? How did He think? Are Christians today acting like, talking like, and thinking like Jesus?

Sadly, I can say that many Christians are not. We call ourselves Christians, but we hardly look like Christ at all. We lie, cheat, and steal. We grab for power in the church. We talk nice to people in their company, but when they aren’t around, we talk bad about them. We misquote scripture, if we even know it. We have a self-centered view of Jesus, and the sad thing is, if our Jesus doesn’t match up with the real Jesus, we cling to our Jesus.

I know many Christians who are nice people. They would give you the shirt off their back or their last dollar. But does that make them Christians? I know many who can quote scripture and expound on it to great degrees. Does that make them Christians? I know people who have made it their lives to study the love of God and try to walk it out, but does that make them Christians? I know people who can pray long and loud and do it with fervor and fire and passion. Does that make them Christians?

The funny thing is, if I were to ask these people if the things that they do make them Christians, every one of them would say “no” without hesitation. But their words and their actions don’t line up. These are the same people that I’ve seen do the things above that definitely don’t look like Christ. These are the same people that I’ve seen shake hands with someone and hug their neck and then just a few hours later turn around and talk bad about them. These are the same people that I’ve seen talk about purity and dress like harlots. These are the same people that I’ve seen smile and say “I love you” and then completely betray the people they supposedly love.

Is it really that hard to understand why many people don’t come to church with all this two faced stuff going on? When the church says that they are different from the world and they treat people just as bad (or worse) than the world does, what are the unsaved supposed to think?

There is a façade that the church has put on and it is about three feet thick. If you ever get past the façade, you’ll be surprised at what you see. It is like what Ezekiel saw in chapter 8 of his book. He was talking to the elders in his own house and had a vision from the Lord. In it, he was at the wall of the temple and saw a hole. He dug into the wall and found a door. When he entered the door, he saw a hidden room where the same elders that he was sitting with were worshipping idols, each with his own censer. Unfortunately, it seems that the church today suffers from the same thing. We have churches that see 50,000 people every Sunday, and yet the teaching is far from what Jesus taught. They teach about love and life and happiness and peace. They have singles groups and young married couples groups and seniors groups. They have “events” and “rallies”. But is Jesus in any of it? The first thing that Jesus preached after coming out of the desert was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. I am of the impression that the church needs to repent and do it quickly, especially in America. We have become a 10 second sound byte church. If the sermon isn’t done in thirty minutes and we are eating by exactly twelve noon, then we’ll go somewhere else. If the preaching doesn’t entertain and tickle our ears, making us feel good and giving us “life tips” but neglecting the truth about hell and judgment, then we’ll find another place to go.

In 1 Peter 4:17, God says that judgment starts at His house. In the chapters that follow Ezekiel 8, the vision continues and shows Ezekiel even worse things. He sees women weeping for another god. Then he enters the inner court and discovers the priests worshipping the sun. What an abomination! But is the church of today any different? We may not worship the sun, but we do worship money, power, fame, numbers and many other things instead of God. After God showed Ezekiel the priests in the inner courts, he went to the threshold of the temple and the glory of God was there and it called out to the destroyers. With them was a man with an inkhorn. The man with the inkhorn was commanded to go out and mark those who sigh and groan over the abominations being committed. These were men and women who knew what was going on and were burdened heavily with it. The six destroyers were told to follow the man and strike down anyone without the mark. They were not to have pity and were told to destroy all men, women, and children without the mark. Then God says something that is both saddening and frightening. He says, “and you shall start in My sanctuary”.

It is saddening and frightening that the body of Christ, the tabernacle of the God of the Ages, has been defiled and filled with abominations. And most people don’t even seem to recognize the things that are going on around them. I can’t even begin to tell you how much that bothers me.

I pray that those who profess Jesus will wake up and start living like they are supposed to. That they would not just give the Sunday school answers and go on their merry way, but that they would realize that they are mocking God Himself and storing up His wrath for their lives. I pray that the church would stop worshipping idols and start living the truth, regardless of what they lose, or how many people they have, or how different they look from the world.

Do you live up to the character of Christ? Do you talk like He does? Do you act like He acted? Do you think like He thought?

So, what is the character of a true Christian? I would love to hear what you think.

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4 Comments »

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  1. The answer is the character of Jesus. We all need to spend more time in the Gospels and find out about Jesus and his character, then by the grace of God begin to model Him. We all have things that we can work on and should.
    By His grace, as we work out our salvation.
    Richard

  2. Thanks for the response Richard!
    I agree with you, but I have to wonder if that’s the direction most churches are going? Do most Christians even understand the character of Jesus? Do they worry about it? Does it bother them if they misrepresent Him by living in a way that contradicts the Word? I definitely agree that we all have things we need to work on, but at what point should there be a visible difference between those in the church and those in the world? If we’re teaching the gospel and telling people the truth, I would like to think that the difference should be apparent immediately.

    Looking at the messages of some of the most popular preachers right now, it really makes me wonder what they believe and what direction they’re leading people…

    Mike

  3. Amen. I agree. We have lots to pray for, and about.
    Richard

  4. great questions!! I have wondered about this myself. I beleive it is getting in His word listening to his voice and sumbit to His will. Christian character doesn’t happen overnight especially those of us who have been in the worlds mess for over 20 years of their life. God is the potter we are the clay we must allow Him to mold us and change us.
    I agree I think alot of us christians are a mess. The American church needs to turn to the Lord get on our faces and cry out for forgivnes for all the times we have been bad witnesses for Him. When we lie steal gossip tell dirty jokes watch ungodly tv we are griving the Holy Spirit. Stay in the word pray that we will obey Him and allow Him to do his work in us. Praise God that you are seeking rightousness!! not many people are these days!! God Promises he will reward those who seek Him with all of their hearts


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