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Three objectives for religious people

By no means am I suggesting that these are the only or the most important objectives. I do believe, however, they may be three of the more relevant ones to our religious environment.
Our current religious environment hardly resembles that found within the pages of the New Testament. Why? Well, slowly over the course of many years mankind has failed to maintain these three objectives. These objectives are the very things which will separate the true people of God from well-intentioned imposters (Matthew 7:21).

Simply Christians
The word Christian appears three times in the New Testament (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16). Notice that the word Christian has no qualifying description before it. Why? Because they were simply Christians! That’s it! Let me explain it this way. Let us say you are asked about what religion you are, to which you respond, “I’m a Christian.” From that response you will get this reply, “What kind of Christian?” This means of which denomination (Baptist, Methodist, etc.) are you a member? Should you say, “I’m just a Christian?” You’ll probably either get a puzzled or frustrated look. They want you to reply with, “I’m a Baptist (Christian) or a Methodist (Christian).” You need to distinguish your type of Christianity from others. However, in New Testament times there were only Christians. Where are all the human designations we use before the term Christian today (Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist)? Not there! In New Testament times there weren’t differing types of Christians, they were simply Christians. If such pleased God then, why not now? Wouldn’t it be great if we could do away with all the ways in which Christianity has been denominated (divided) and return to the simple unity of the New Testament? That’s the type of unity Jesus prayed for in John 17:20-21, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” The type of division we have now is what the apostle Paul condemned in 1 Corinthians 1:10, “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

No Creeds but the Bible
Someone might suggest we just drop all those names used before Christian and unite. While that sounds like a great idea there is more to our current state of division than our doing away with certain names. A Presbyterian Christian is one who believes the Westminster Confession of Faith; a Baptist Christian is one who believes in Hiscox Standard Baptist Manual; a Methodist Christian is one who believes in The Book of Discipline. The aforementioned works are nothing more than a man’s creed. Creed comes from a Latin word which means, “I believe.” Unity can not be attained by merely throwing off the names, we would also need to throw away the creed books as well and go back to the Bible and the Bible only. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to repeat the scene found in the city of Ephesus when the gospel was preached therein? (Acts 19:19) They burned their magic books and accepted only the gospel of Christ. If only we could get people to burn their creed books and accept only the Bible.

Bible names for Bible things
You may say, “Well, that doesn’t sound so hard.” No, it doesn’t ‘sound’ hard until one begins to realize the number of things we do which would no longer be acceptable since they are not found within the pages of the Bible. The observance of such things as Lent and Ash Wednesday must be stopped, not found in the Bible. The teachings of original sin and the sinner’s prayer must be stopped, not found in the Bible. The office of Pope and one pastor over one church must be stopped, not found in the Bible. Are you beginning to get the picture of just what it would take to simply call Bible things by Bible names? A number of things we do as well as the terminology we use simply aren’t found in the Bible. If God has given us all things needed for living godly (2 Peter 1:3) by revealing them to us in the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17) what further need do we have of anything else?
Imagine for a moment the unity we could enjoy if these three objectives became our goal? So what’s keeping it from happening? We must make the choice and then make the necessary changes. Will you do that?

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