Monday, November 1, 2010
Theology of the Nominal Christian Part 1: God in My Mind
Have you noticed when you preach the Gospel that you get the most opposition from the nominal Christian? Let me define my terms. The “nominal Christian” is the person who has some knowledge of God but it is not a saving knowledge. They have some idea of religion but they are not serious about God. They do not have any real belief system so by virtue of living in America and by being a “good person” they are Christian by default. They pray and say God bless you but they have no relationship with God.
Often times they have a Christ-less God. They believe in God but they do not believe Jesus to be the only way to God. In essence, they are unconsciously Gnostic or universalistic but by their own definition, they are Christian. They will paraphrase snippets of scripture if it supports their beliefs. Their Christianity has at its core a “live and let live” axiom. To the nominal Christian, the only real sin is “big” sin. The only sins are those that hurt other people (murder, rape and stealing). Their Christianity is based on humanism. They have rejected the “Old Testament angry God” and replaced Him with an all-benevolent Grandpa/Santa Claus god. God is there to help us and to give us what we want and he always loves us no matter what we do. They have a god created in their own image.
When the nominal Christian (who is not Christian at all) hears the Gospel they cringe. The idea of sin and repentance is foreign to their Christianity. Their religion is not really the old-school justification by works but new-age justification by attitude. They would never judge the behavior of another person or insist upon a standard of behavior for all people. Their Christianity is "libertarianism”- everybody doing their own thing as long as it does not negatively affect anyone else.
There is no Christianity apart from the sacrifice of Christ. There is no God outside of Biblical revelation. The god of their mind cannot save. Their only hope is the Gospel…this is where you come in.
Tune in next time when we’ll hear little Kenny say “It’s all about love!”