Who is a Christian?

I started this blog in the hopes of building relationships with Christians and non Christians. I wanted something I could use to lead people to a relationship with Jesus. But I have found something in the Christian community that bothers me. Recently I have come across some Christians that insist that a person couldn’t be a Christian if they were baptized in any denomination other than theirs .

For example, because I was baptized in a Southern Baptist church, I am not a Christian-even though I repented of my sins, prayed for God’s forgiving grace, got baptized (by immersion), and live a life that (I hope) reflects Jesus. I follow every command that Jesus gave, which is why I was baptized (because He commanded it). I do my best to carry out the Great Commission (I’m a bit shy). I serve the Lord in my church. I love Jesus more than anything. I don’t understand why some believe that where I attend church could possibly determine my relationship with God. Do I have to believe that the water in the baptismal washed away my sins? To me that is blaspheme. To me that would imply that the work Jesus did on the cross was not enough. Is baptism optional? NO! And there is no baptist church I know of that would teach such a ridiculous idea.

As Christians we are to be obedient, that means being baptized, that means being obedient to everything He said. Can you find scriptures that say to believe and be baptized? YES. Can I find scriptures that say we are saved by faith only? YES. What does that mean? I DON”T KNOW. But I was obedient. That is what should matter. We can not understand everything. All we can do is continue to study His word, fellowship with each other, love one another, help one another, serve Him faithfully – until He returns.

What is the ONE church? For me it is not a building, nor any denomination – it is ALL of us. All of us who believe and are baptized, are the church. Over 70% of Americans claim Jesus as Lord, but we spend so much time bickering over little differences in understanding, that we have let the liberals take over the country. Now the minority are telling us what is good and right. The minority tells us to keep our Jesus to ourselves. What might happen if we stopped fighting each other and started converting the liberals?

Blessed is the nation whose god is the LORD!

Pamela, child of God, proud to be a CHRISTIAN

31 thoughts on “Who is a Christian?

  1. Couldn’t say it better myself. Those that say a person is not a Christian because they have been baptized in a certain denom or not in a certain sect or what have you, really do not understand basic Bible reading. No one is perfect and thank God for His mercy and grace.

    I myself go to a Christian Church(Independent) but also, like i said in another post, Christ has his followers in other places.

    Nice post 🙂

  2. Having been mixed up with the very group you are talking about, I can tell you that they ( many in the church of Christ, the ultra conservatives ) strongly believe that they are the only ones saved, and in your case, they would say your baptism was invalid, because you wasn’t baptized for the right purpose i.e., forgiveness of sins. Even if baptism is the point where God grants forgiveness…I don’t think Gods power is limited by our ability to understand the doctrine of baptism full and complete. This same group often forgets the remaining part of the verse ” and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” My point is that if they demand that everyone must understand baptism full and complete before its valid, then this also should apply to the remaining of the verse, but they never seem to address that part….

    Randy

  3. Thank you everyone for your comments. You are right that not all churches of Christ feel this way. Since my encounter with them I have done quite a bit of looking around the internet and have found that they are in fact a select few (albeit an annoying few). That is why I left the name out. Also, I understand, from some of the members of my church, that Southern Baptists haven’t always been innocent of treating other Christians with disdain.
    Thank you for the links, I’ll check them out when I get off work.
    Take care everybody and God bless!

  4. I don’t know if you will at least visist the Topix site and not post. I wish you would it would be nice for someone to hold me accountable for what I write . I actually pray for you. I needed fellow Christians to post the truth on this site. My heart was so heavy for the people in Royse City. I was becoming so weak with all the attacks and my flesh was also becoming weak I wanted to attack back. Yours and Nathan’s post help my faith become strong again. I just move to TX from CA . Not knowing anyone I felt all alone. You and Nathan reminded me that family is all around. When we are truly in Him then family is everywhere. I can’t wait to see what He has for me here is Royse City. Below is a post I wrote to you on Topix in case you don’t read it.

    Pamela,
    If you have read most of my posts on Topix I have had the same experience as you. I needed to take a break and find strength in our Lord. It was nice interacting with you and the cool thing is that I know we will meet each other in person if not on this side of heaven than when we are in heaven when we see Him face to face. When everything will become clear. I can hardly wait. I will visist you on your site and remember our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.(Eph 6:12) Your post was not in vain it brought fruit into my life and help me to fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regards to their faith. (1 Tim. 1:18)

    May God keep you and bless you always,
    PS23LAH

  5. To PS23LAH
    I’m joyed that my posts were able to give you strength. I will pray for you. You may leave me messages here anytime or you may write to me at
    churchsecretaryfbc@yahoo.com

    I have checked the discussion at topix occasionally. I found it amusing that Heath replied to my last post just as I said he would. You’d think he’s want to prove me wrong the one time he absolutely could. LOL

  6. Hi Pamela,

    The blog is looking great! I hope you don’t mind if I write a quick note to LAH here…

    LAH,

    I’m glad that I have played a part in encouraging you. I’ve wondered from time to time why I am spending my time running around in circles with these folks, but knowing that my time has been well spent – at least in your eyes – encourages me back. I wish I lived closer to TX so I could help you find a Church home, but I would encourage you to follow Randy’s advice from a few days ago. Sounds like he knows someone from closer by who has a good head on their shoulders.

    Now back to Pamela,
    Do keep checking topix, and let me know if I cross the line with “the one whose name shall not be mentioned.” 😉

    Nathan
    http://answeringchurchofchrist.wordpress.com

  7. By the way, I really dig the Star Wars blog on your blogroll. Did you see that R2D2 knitted cap? I’d LOVE to have one of those.

    I am officially a geek.

    Nathan

  8. Nathan, you can’t be more of a geek than I am. I love scifi, video games, computers, and guys that are geeks. I didn’t see the cap but I’m a HUGE Star Wars fan, so I guess I better get over there and look.
    God bless,
    Pamela

  9. About Royse City TX I really hope that a certain someone has not gave you a bad taste and thoughts on Royse City. It is a small little town with folks that in most part care for thier fellow citizens. I have run across some awesome Bible believing Christians that don’t even know who you know who is. They have never heard of him. When I do come across people who have meant him in person says he is a trouble maker not a peace maker. I just hope when you think of Royse City you have good thoughts not bad thoughts.

  10. PS23LAH,
    I figured people like “you know who” couldn’t be a majority. Most Christians I’ve met don’t behave like him or believe the things that this particular group of CofCs believe. This group of people (as far as I can surmise) also deny the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for Christians today, they don’t believe that the Holy Spirit can effects us or communicate with us through anything other than the Bible, they don’t believe in secure salvation (one can never be sure he is saved), they seem to preach hate more than love and, in my limited experience, they seem to hate Baptists most of all. I feel sorry for them because they seem to lack the joy, hope, love. I wonder if they spend anytime trying to reach those that have never heard the message. This particular group seems to be more concerned with attacking other Christians and attracting those who are already part of the Body (even if THEY don’t believe we are all one body.) I pray that one day they will experience the JOY of Christ. By the way, I’m still watching you guys at topix and I have to say, good job. And to answer your question about water baptism, no, Jesus talks about baptism of the Holy Spirit also.

  11. Sounds like you know these guys quite well. I was mixed up with this group and you are fully right about the way they act. Sad, but true…I regret ever geting mixed up with them, but there are some Church of Christ people that do NOT believe or act this way. Shawn at Topix is a rare breed and these types are fading out and to be honest most people in Texas Church of Christ dont know him…

  12. Pamela,
    Have you notice no one has answer that question about baptism. LOL I’m getting pretty weak again. I spent some time by my pond looking at the sunset listening to worship music and wondering what the heck am I doing this for. It is sucking the joy out of me. I have left that site for weeks but I find myself coming back. I miss your post but I certainly understand why you will not debate with them. Where is Nathan? I could use some help. I don’t have all the answers and will never claim to know it all. Please let me know if I’m in off base in these debates. I will check back here or shoot me an email.

  13. Hi LAH,

    I’m still here (there) – but just on a different schedule of posting.

    I’m also trying to maintain my blog, too.

    Ya’ll be good! And keep up the pressure!

    Nathan

  14. Your last post burdens me ( as in my soul is burdened for you). If the discussion at Topix is sucking the joy out of you then you need to stop. If it takes away your joy then it is something that separates you from God.

    Philippians 4
    4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
    5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
    6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication,
    with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
    7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

    I worry also for Nathan ( 🙂 love ya Nathan) because he talks about it being addictive. I had to do an extensive study on worship last year because I was given the task to start designing our worship services. One of the things I learned is that being addicted to something is like worshiping it. Our focus becomes what we are addicted to; whether it be drugs, alcohol, or debating; instead of on God, where it should be. Over at the Topix forum it’s hard to see that the focus has been taken off God because it seems as if we are talking about God. But that is not the case, we are not talking about God, we are talking about who is right or wrong. At first it seems as if we are “fighting the good fight” but what are we accomplishing? We will not change their minds. You have made some very good points and showed plenty of evidence and they don’t accept the truth. Jesus tells us to dust the dirt off as we leave the town (or forum) (Mark 6:10-11). You will do more by spreading the good news. Also, prayer works. Pray everyday for these people. This will lighten your burden and it will help the Holy Spirit work on their heart. Have faith in God, He sees everything and uses all things for good, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Please keep in touch, I will be praying for your strength and your joy. Let me know if there is anything else you would like prayer for.

    God bless,
    Pamela

  15. churchesofchrist,
    I have discovered that the legalistic group is indeed becoming a minority among churches of Christ, unfortunately, they seem to be the most vocal group. My concern is that the behavior of these few could hurt the evangelizing efforts of other Christians.

  16. From Pamela: I have discovered that the legalistic group is indeed becoming a minority among churches of Christ, unfortunately, they seem to be the most vocal group. My concern is that the behavior of these few could hurt the evangelizing efforts of other Christians.

    You hit the nail right on the head and this has troubled me much here lately. I dont understand why the Church of Christ who believe unlike Shawn will not be more vocal. There is one blogger ( very well known ) that holds the same views as Matt and myslef, but he doesnt address this and I wish he would. He is a preacher in the Church of Christ too….

  17. I’m baaack…

    Y’all check out my blog – I put a link for a CofC forum that is really interesting to read. They sound so nice until someone comes along with a different interpretation or opinion.

    Thanks for the concern, Pamela, but I’m okay. I didn’t go very much the last couple of days – life intervened and I just didn’t have much to say. And the “addictive” comment shouldn’t cause concern – I have an addictive personality when it comes to some things. This is why my children will never have a Wii or one of those console games. I would end up playing it for hours after they went to bed. The internet can be a problem, too. But, as I said, I’m okay. But keep on me!

    Have a great day!
    Nathan

  18. You may regret visiting it. I had to spam him as did Nathan from our blogs. Go ahead, but be prepared…he can be a bit rude at times.

  19. If I may say so,each alien sinner must come to a knowledge of truth before being saved. We see this in (1Tim.2:4) (2Peter 2:20) (2Tim.3:15) (Eph.3:3,4). To be baptized in water before one has the correct understand is to only get wet.

    Believe + Baptism = Saved – (Mark 16:16)

    One cannot believe error and be baptized correctly in the eyes of God. We learn that lesson in (Acts 19:1-5)

    Notice what we find in (Acts 8:12).

    when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized,

    We see here that there are certain things Philip knew he had to teach the people of Samaria before he could baptize them.

    Lets look at (Acts 16:32).

    32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

    Here Paul and Silas were teaching the people about the things concerning the kingdom of God before he ever took them to baptized them for the forgiveness of sins.

    This is important because the word of God is teaching us these things.We best understand these things and pass them on to other people who hunder for truth (2Tim.2:2) (1Peter 4:11).

    I pray that people will submit to the word of God totally. One is not freed from sin until they obey the word of God (Rom.6:16-18). To contradict the word of God is not pleasing to our Lord. (1Thess.4:1,2)

    (Acts 8:30,31) –

    30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?

    31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me?

    Only those in the church (body) will be saved (Eph.5:23). Question, do think the church is essential to salvation? The Lord says it is in (Eph.5:23). He is only going to save the church (body) (Eph.1:22,23).

    Thanks

  20. It seems people think they are entitled to become a Christian any way they wish. Some think it is insensitive or myopic to claim there is only one way to become a Christian.

    We must address the heart of the problem. And that is this,if one person claims they have been saved (cleansed of sins) before water baptism (and the Baptist do) that is one gospel. And another person claims they were not saved (cleansed of sins) until the point of water baptism (and the COC do),that is two different gospels.

    Here lies the conflict. (Gal.1:6-9) says there is only one gospel. We are to read the word of God and get the thoughts of God,understand them and without changing the thoughts of God pass them on to other people who are searching for truth. Any honest person would admit that the Baptist and the COC are teaching two different gospels. If they are not the same,they must be opposing messages

    My heart goes out to all the people who truly believe that they have obeyed the will of God,but just because they make such a claim does not mean they have actually obeyed the lord. Saul claimed he obeyed the Lord in (1Sam.15:20). He made this claim in the face of much evidence that he had not obeyed the Lord (1Sam.15:14).

    Saul finally confessed he had sinned. He accepted that he was at fault (1Sam.15:24). Many people today must do the very same thing. Let us all obey the Lord (Mark 16:16) (Luke 13;3) (1John 1:6-9).

    Thanks

  21. TW, you seem to be confused about what the Gospel is. Gospel means “Good News’. Simply put, the Gospel is that Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for sins so that all who call on His name may be cleansed of sin, and He rose from the dead that we may know that death is not the end.

    Gospel
    1.We are cleansed by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
    2.The resurrection is real.

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