By Ray Gooch
William Lane Craig
I've Been Thinkin' #1
By Chuck Patton
I've Been Thinkin' #2
By Chuck Patton
By Calvin Best
How does one live a truly Christian life in 21st Century America, especially when it seems that the Canannite lifestyle -- a way of living based on wickedness, convoluted thinking, naturalism, and selfishness -- is increasingly prevalent and openly celebrated? How, indeed! First, we need to discuss what being a Christian means. The word "Christian" is one of those terms that has been used so often and for so long that its clear, precise meaning may be unknown, even to many Christians. A way to think about this definitional dilemma is to consider briefly what a man means when he says "I love you" to a woman or vice versa. The term "love" can indicate any number of things, but what it really means in terms of a martial relationship is that the man (or woman) respects, trusts, and cares deeply for his or her partner and that a reciprocal, healthy friendship thrives between the two of them. It also means that a freely-committed fidelity anchors the relationship. With that in mind, we can argue that many people use the word "love" when they actually mean something else entirely even if they, themselves, do not understand their error.
We can apply that same approach to understanding what it means to be a Christian, as surely people also misuse and/or misunderstand that term. A Christian is someone who believes that Jesus Christ is who the New Testament says He is and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. A Christian is a person who also accepts that Jesus Christ is the one and only God-Man who has the power to forgive sin, and that Jesus died for the sinners of the world so that they, if willing to accept that free, unearned gift of grace and redemption, can be reconciled unto God and placed in the right relationship to the Creator of the universe. A Christian, furthermore, believes that Mankind was created in the image of God and that God was not created in the image of man. As importantly, a Christian understands that human beings, because they are created by God rather than by the accidental, undirected forces of evolution, are subject to external, non-human-in-origin standards such as the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes that cannot be compromised or rationalized away as mythological fables or the stubborn superstitions of an ever-evolving consciousness. A Christian also holds true that the only path to God and to eternal life is through Christ Jesus. A Christian, moreover, resists assertively the late 20th Century attempt by academia to maintain that we should all grow up and become cultural anthropologists who pity man's futile attempt to worship a creator who is little more than a misleading fairytale born from ignorance -- a tragic misunderstanding of first-principle questions about ultimate truths.
How, then, does a Christian live his or her life? In light of the previous paragraph, a true Christian, sometimes called an orthodox believer, participates in a process that, in turn, creates a new, regenerated person. The new man or woman enjoys an increasingly coherent, integrated character rather than a Jekyll and Hyde, compartmentalized one where he or she says one thing but easily (or even eagerly) does another. What does that mean in practice or in reality? It means at least these things: 1) The sincere, orthodox Christian actively studies scripture, both privately at home and at church through formal Bible study and worship; 2) The sincere, orthodox Christian pays attention to the God-made world that engulfs him or her, which means that he or she is a friend of true science since the latter only glorifies the majesty of God; 3) The sincere, orthodox Christian actively attends church and to that end spends considerable time in corporate and private prayer; and 4) The sincere, orthodox Christian conforms his will to the teachings of Jesus Christ in general but specifically to The Sermon on the Mount, for the latter (in combination with The Ten Commandments) is the mechanism or process by which a Christian man or woman has his or her character regenerated to the will of God. That counter-intuitive process is actually a way of life characterized by co-laboring with the Holy Spirit, the teachings of Christ in scripture and related scholarly works, and the aforementioned forms of study and worship, and it is exciting, joyful, and rich in meaning and fellowship! The freedom that results from this entire way of life is something that must be experienced rather than relegated to some kind of abstract ideology or sales pitch. True Christianity can never be an ideology because the latter is a belief (or set of beliefs) predicated upon abstraction and divisive stereotypes rather than experience and the application of The Golden Rule. Orthodox Christianity is a way of life -- a full, comprehensive, hands-on and minds-on reality based on the integrity of the Gospel and one's experience with the Irresistible, Existential Grace and Character Reformation that flows from it.
Christianity, however, is not just at odds with the world's tortuous, manipulative ways but is under attack from within the church itself. The reason we mention this is because a sincere, orthodox Christian understands that there are forces within Christendom that work against Jesus Christ. That process of corruption began in earnest with post-enlightenment Bible scholars through what's often called Higher Criticism. The latter is a process whereby "enlightened" scholars studied scripture, especially New Testament accounts, and determined to their own satisfaction what was actually true versus what was fabricated. That process eventually led to the condition we now see in many "Christian" denominations where Mary is no longer understood as a virgin, where God is real but a kind of aloof, deistic metaphor, and Jesus is a misunderstood but wonderfully nice, spiritual rabbi but no more than that. The Christian Church, following that three-century breakdown in Truth, is nowadays too often infected with a man-made spirituality that is predicated upon success or prosperity (get your blessing) theology, emotionality, moral indifference to the hard parts of the Bible, a watered-down, humanistic social gospel, and/or ritualistic inertia. It's a sad state of affairs to be sure, but the Orthodox Christian works joyfully to avoid those pitfalls so that he or she can thrive and prepare for the next life where both the Spiritual and Physical Kingdoms will be reality and where sin will exist no more. Final reconciliation between man and God will exist. The harmony of God's love and justice will prevail and truth will be the language. It's a difficult, perhaps even problematic path at first, but the Orthodox Christian lives his or her life full of a resilient hope, a sincere compassion, an uplifting obedience, and an enriching joy that just cannot be truncated or compromised! When we conform our free will to Christ's Beatitudes, we are no longer trapped in the entropy of sin and its resulting existential deterioration and disorientation; rather, we really are Born Again into The Great Commission, journeying forward by the illumination and steadfastness of Christ's Compass!
This web page is devoted to articles and/or other forms of media that support the Pilgrimage we face during the 21st Century, so look for many items to be posted right here that will be of help to us. This web page is also a place where we will post submissions from members of ABC. If you look back at the top, you will see the Christian Doves. Click on one of them to read what ABC members have already begun to share.
This Christian way of life beckons us all . . . please join us, as together We Are Pilgrims-21!
Christian Integrity vs