It is human nature to want to classify others conveniently into little boxes that are manageable and subject to the interests of the one doing the classifying. There is a bumper sticker that I’ve seen before (and should probably get for my car) that says something to the effect of “Jesus is not a Republican or a Democrat.” It is a statement that says so much and, I believe, a statement that is far more on target than some folks would like us to believe. But, this idea transcends politics and bleeds through denominational Christianity as well. One of the biggest points of Christ’s ministry on earth was that social class, political affiliation, gender, and race are all pointless classifications when it comes to the saving and unearned grace of God. I firmly believe that, because “getting in” will have very little to do with what particular man-made religious rituals one participates in, there will be a wide variety of people in heaven. Catholics, Presbyterians, Baptists, Seventh-Day Adventists, among other denominations, along with plenty of people who never aligned themselves with a particular man-made classification of Christianity, will all mingle together in the world to come. Nobody has merit without Christ, but, all have the opportunity to ride his coattails into eternity. What matters to Christ is the heart of man and nobody has a clearer view of who has and who has not accepted the grace of Christ than Christ Himself.
Well said! I think it’s so easy to lose sight of things.
I absolutely agree!!!! Great post! I wish the word Christian would go back to its original meaning, i.e. “follower of Christ”! The body needs to edify itself, not argue. We need to disagree with respect and love, if we are to disagree. Please check out my blog, as it talks a little bit about the same thing your’s does.
Great post! I’m kind of in limbo about my religious beliefs these days, but I truly believe that only He can see into our hearts and ultimately judge us and accept or deny us eternal salvation.
While I commend your posting regarding Christianity’s relationship to American politics, but you are guilty of committing the same error vis-a-vis your ecumenical grouping of “…Catholics, Presbyterians, Baptists, Seventh-Day Adventists, among other denominations, along with plenty of people who never aligned themselves with a particular man-made classification of Christianity…”
While true Christians may exist within these denominations, much of these denominations’ theology is out of line with Biblical Christianity, and since the Word of God provides us with all sufficient knowledge (2 Tim 3:16-17) to know about Him, anyone who does not run from their sin nature and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation as found in the Bible is not a true believer, and will be judged accordingly. Mere temporal knowledge of Jesus is not sufficient, nor is belonging to one church or the other. The Lord said in Luke 9:23,
“Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'”
While works do not merit us our salvation, they are an outcropping of our love and thanks for Jesus Christ who redeemed us. Mere assent to facts about Christ or “hope that He will look into our hearts” is not saving faith.
Please read John MacArthur’s “The Gospel According to Jesus”. It goes into much greater detail, and will help you to clarify statements such as the one made in your blog entry today.
I do believe, very much, in what you have said. It falls well within the bounds of my beliefs. However, the focus of this post was on the overemphasis of man-made rituals and procedures that work to choke some of the most authentic and sincere Christians. Christ’s message is very simple and can’t be confined to a specific set of social standards within a specific culture. God is love. Those who know love, know, at least in part, God. Again: What matters to Christ is the heart of man and nobody has a clearer view of who has and who has not accepted the grace of Christ than Christ Himself.
A prior post related to this topic…
“…I understand your view on politicizing the faith, but…”
Jason, you’re still missing the whole point of this post and I really don’t want your over-emphasis on the man-defined exclusivity of religion to detract from my intended message that Christ is the ultimate judge. Thank you for your comments.