Authentic Christianity

Many think detecting authentic Christianity difficult.

Unfortunately, no brand receives less protection than the brand, Christian. In comparison to authentic products, no great certification programs exist for Christianity. External forms, especially religious jewelry, T-shirts, bumper stickers, or nameplates offer little to help identify authentic Christians. Sometimes these things fool people. Sometimes they fool the people wearing them. Further, external forms of behavior designed for others to see compare to T-shirts in ineffectively identifying genuine Christians.

Clear and Recognizable?

Authentic Christianity should be recognizable, but not from my clothing, jewelry, signs on my car, or where I go to church. John 13:34,35 tells disciples to love one another. It emphasizes that the love I show for others, especially other disciples, identifies me as a disciple.

In my small group Saturday, authentic Christianity existed in how the group encouraged a young mother grieving and struggling through the death of her husband. At the hospital last night, authentic Christianity existed in encouragement and prayers for a friend. Only recent examples of the experience, not to brag, I did nothing. I was just there.

The clues to authentic Christianity exist in interaction between Christians. This will be how I make a difference, not in what I wear or what I say or what sort of contemporary worship I offer up. I demonstrate authentic Christianity in how I love others. I best express this with those physically near. In comparison, the digital world offers some opportunities to express love in how I use my words.

In the end, only God really knows the real Christians, the ones who believe in and about Him, as close to the truth as each can commit, living out the Creed. Generally I must trust a person’s words and observe their behavior. I can use the plumb line of love in circumstances, but sometimes only hard times and a long relationship proves out who really loves and who really lives as a disciple. My internal life with God, loving him with all mind, heart, and soul determines my walk as a disciple. This spills over into loving my neighbors. In contrast, deceivers exist who fake it for a period. Ultimately, they reveal their true character. Perhaps social media reveals true character more quickly.

Authentic Christianity Seems Rare in Some Social Media Dialogue

Sadly authentic Christianity is hard to find in some dialogue in the social media space. I see people who call themselves Christians Tweeting insults and rude dialogue that hardly even a pagan would say face to face to someone. If shame prevents me from speaking something to someone in person, then shame should prevent me from Tweeting rude excrement. Social media offers many opportunities for people to divide themselves and anger one another. Perhaps in the end, it serves to reveal the absence of authentic Christianity.

If I have been tweeting insults to people I don’t know personally; I need to stop, repent, and keep a vow of social media silence for a period. Because Christians serve the eternal King, no dispute between “Christian” strangers excuses rudeness. Sometimes the motive for the rudeness is pride. If I intend to be a disciple this must be remedied. In conclusion, if I detect a hint of pride, I should reflect upon these two posts, Naaman Complex and Is My Religion Classic Greek?

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