Introduction: Jesus and His apostles often warned of men preaching “another Jesus” and “another gospel” (2 Cor. 11: 4, 3, notice allos, same sort, not heteros, different sort; a “Jesus” closely resembling Jesus, yet subtly and importantly different, vs. 4; Gal. 1: 6-10). They warned that we must abide in the original gospel, the doctrine of Christ (Gal.1: 6-10; 2 Jn. 9,10, Rev. 22: 18, 19). Much is changing in the religious world about us. We must wisely choose to get back to the biblical patterns. The early church is described for us in the New Testament. There are modern forms of “Christianity” that do not fit the biblical pattern.
I. Psychological Christianity.
A. Feel good about yourself pep-talk religion.
a. Seek religious attitude adjustments for tension and frustration. Connected to the health and wealth gospel of most Tele-evangelists. “Send me more money and you will get more back in monetary wealth”. Sin is a minor concern if ever mentioned at all.
b. The gospel pertains to the mind, but not in the sense just noted (Phili. 4: 8, 13).
II. Social Christianity
A. Club privileges, facilities, social-recreational emphasis with a little
a. A good time religion with special appeal to those who cannot get into lodges, clubs, or the society column. This form of “Christianity” offers and provides for social-recreational desires of the club (church?):
1. Gyms, kitchens
2. Theater, plays, parties
3. Day-care, Mothers-day-out, etc. (Cp. Acts 2: 46, 47, 44).
III. Political Christianity.
A. Campaigns, rallies, political marches to influence government to clean up
B. Early Christianity was separate from government, as such (Rom. 13: 1-7, cp. with prophet under old economy, Jere. 1: 10).
IV. Emotional Christianity.
A. Thrives on emotional hype, looks for guidance in life through emotional
“signals” that can be imagined as one wants.
a. Looks for experience with God through emotional signals that are easily imagined.
Thrives in church atmospheres staged for a high amount of hype and pep-rally
emotional boosts. Does not get its energy from “learning from Jesus”. Teaching alone is
dull and inadequate. A team with a great emotional pep-rally will still lose without knowledge
of the game and a clear game-plan. Likewise, a team with a great knowledge of the game
and a clear game-plan need to add some pep to the plan. Many churches are 90% pep with
a dangerously low percentage of knowledge. They pep themselves to do the
wrong things (Rom. 6: 17, 18).
V. Sacramental Christianity.
A. Loyalty to certain rites or ceremonies that are believed to give one a
“pass” to glory.
a. To some it is the “supper”. The mere partaking of the supper keeps their
passport ticket up to date each week (cp. Jn. 6: 51, 53-56; 66-69). These have “a form of godliness” but deny its actual power (2 Tim. 3: 5).
VI. Theological Christianity.
A. Intellectual, smugness in factuality with little emotional connection with
a. Cold acceptance of some facts makes a “sacrament” out of the mere
knowledge of facts. Know a man who can argue very intelligently with the liberals about
biblical authority, but he does not attend anywhere and actually serve the Lord (cp. Rom. 6: 17, 18).
Conclusion: True Christianity is: Factual (Acts 2: 36, 37 ff. “do”); life-changing (Acts 2: 38, 41, 42); emotionally satisfying (Acts 2: 41, “gladly”); and obedient (Acts 2: 41). We need to seek to let the gospel work in us in the same way it did in the early disciples. We need to be sincere and honest before God and let Him live in our heart, soul, mind, and way of life. Our interest should not be in what will please ourselves. True Christianity is described for us by God in the New Testament. Let us be Christians of the New Testament pattern. Nothing more; nothing less.