Which of these would you say is a Christian?
Which of these would you say is a Christian? How would you know? Is there a way of telling? Take a look and see what you think...
So which of these would you say is a Christian? Perhaps you will feel a little duped by my answer. But the answer is: those who are trusting Jesus and know him.
I have been thinking about how we can make many judgements about what a Christian is. This can close us off from receiving others as brothers and sisters. But it can also make us blind to seeing what real faith is.
For example, we might look for the label. 'What kind of Christian do they say they are?' These are all terms that we deal in from time to time, but ultimately this is of little use.
We might look for the credentials. 'What have they done for God to back up this claim?' Maybe they have served God in incredible ways. But what you have done does not make you a Christian.
We might look at the appearance. Statistically the church is getting older in our nation, so maybe the older person is more likely to be a Christian? Maybe you are less likely to be a Christian if you like boxing or do boxing?
I would say I have got to know people of a range of backgrounds and appearances and found faith in Jesus in surprising places. I have also met people I thought would be bound to be keen Jesus followers- because of my own mental tick box- and have found it not to be the case.
Did you know for instance that there are many people of Jewish background who trust in Jesus as the Messiah and continue to live out their Jewish heritage?
The Bible talks about the Christian life in rich and descriptive ways and it is true that not every life style is compatible with true Christian faith- I am keen to say that!! But what I am wanting to do here is challenge our stereotypes. And perhaps even our own complacency regarding our own spiritual standing.
A Christian is not someone who looks a certain way or ticks certain boxes. A Christian is fundamentally someone who trusts in Christ and knows him. Is that you at this moment in time?
'God does not show favouritism, but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.' Acts 10:34-36