Defining true Christianity is as difficult as diagnosing causes of problems in this world. Yet all problems are the opposite of what True Christianity stands for. Ideally, practicing true Christianity implies levelling up the resources, so that in a particular grouping, there would not be found the very rich, being compared with the very poor (Acts 4:32). In this post the existent confusion is exposed, helping those needing light on their survival pathway.
Jesus stated: “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John” (Matt 11:11-13) KJV.
To the Pharisees, He said:
Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the Kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it (Luke 16:15-16) KJV.
The above two scriptures expose religious treachery. John the Baptist was the greatest among the bygone prophets, who were highly regarded in Jewish religion. But Jesus states that the least among us (Christians) is greater than John the Baptist. This is not intended to raise the Christian ego, but to expose the treachery of all time. True Christianity is the only one that reveals the Characteristics of God’s Kingdom, as established by Jesus Christ.
But what is the violence that Jesus talks about? (Matt. 11:12). Here comes religion at its worst form of violence: Jesus Christ was nailed on the cross, at the instigation of religion (Jewish). Before Agrippa, Paul confesses how he had been religiously strict (Acts 26:5). Yet having seen the light, he suddenly became an anathema to his Jewish counterparts.
In other words, religion maintains the need for do’s and don’ts in the name of God. This is as we know of the violent groups within Islam. However, the emergence of Pastors, Bishops, Reverends and whatever other Christian leadership title, seeking to “control” the so-called laymen, is intended to ensure that people are in line with God’s instructions. Those regarded as not conforming to leadership are condemned. Such religious leaders actually fulfill what we covered in our previous post, (Rev 12:10).
Christ said a true Christian is greater than the prophets of old, including the greatest among them—John the Baptist. Christians are not controlled by religion, just as the prophets were not controlled by religion. They are the children of God. I simply use the term “Christian” to describe them, but they are the children of God, known only by their Father in Heaven. This world cannot know them, just as the world did not know Jesus Christ.
True Christians do not seek human reward in their Christian conduct, just as Christ never sought to be rewarded in His ministry. Below are some but not all of the characteristics of practicing true Christianity:
1) They are fearless. (Matt 10:28)
2) They are grounded in the faith (Rom 8:31-39).
3) Like Christ, they are not obsessed with leadership tittles (Matt 23:10-12).
4) They treat all humans as equals (Acts 10:34) (Matt. 5:43-48).
5) They act according to what is designed by grace, not by men (Rom 12:3-14).
6) They hold no grudges, even against those persecuting them (Matt 5:38-39).
7) They rejoice when offence is directed at them (Matt 5:10-12).
8) They are peace-makers, where problems of disagreement arise (Matt 5:9).
9) They are not law-keepers, but identify with humility (1Cor 9:19-22)
10) They are willing to change when proven wrong (Acts 17:11-12).
11) They are charitable, yet without seeking praises for practicing charity (Matt 6:2)
12) They are hard-working, but not for purposes of prosperity (Matt 6:25).
True Christians may not necessarily be popular, as to be appreciated according to worldly standards. But they are gentle, without discriminating against anyone.
Below are some of the false Christian practices, as highlighted in the Bible:
1) They are so fearful as to compromise their integrity in face of intimidation.
2) They value Church Governance, yet Christ taught against it (Matt 23:10-12).
3) Those “promoted” are revered and viewed as spiritually better than the ‘laymen’.
4) Ranks structures are in accordance with corporate business world (James 2:2-5).
5) They appear Godly to common men, yet denying the power of Christ (2 Tim 3:5).
6) Pastors are meant to protect the flock against those disagreeing with leadership.
7) Those not towing the line are “disfellowshipped” (used to anathematize the rebels).
8) When handling issues of disputes, they seek to find and purge the wrong-doers.
9) They are strict, as not to tolerate any dissension (see Matt 13:24-30).
10) Anything, though true, is wrong, if against the group’s doctrinal position.
11) Charity and other goodly acts serve as proof of good Christian standing.
12) Prosperity is also dangled as proof of Spirituality.
All these are mere characteristics, not intended to suggest condemnation against groups identified with such negative practices. True Christians can be found within the negative environment. Just as false Christians can also be found within the positive environment. It is the individual him/herself who takes the responsibility to walk according to Christ’s teachings, regardless of the doctrinal pattern of the denomination concerned.
In short, a true Christian is the one who takes full responsibility, when led by God’s Spirit without considering what others around him/her say. Being “disfellowshipped” for what one considers as truthful data, may be a blessing. But the first port of call is to seek peace, pursuing it earnestly; yet standing firm on matters of conviction. We are called by Christ as individuals, seeking to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).
Generally, true Christianity is not for purposes of feeling good. It is more to do with sacrifice, unconditionally serving others, even dying without receiving recompense (Rom 12:1). It is basically following Christ’s examples and teachings without compromise.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, which lays down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into becoming a model to other countries worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social instability. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabwean readers should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.