May 272014 12 Responses

The Most Confident Christians

The most confident Christians may not be Christians at all.

Some confess their Christianity without any evidence of doubt. They shout their convictions, boast of their beliefs, and judge anyone who dares to disagree.

For many, these confident Christians are the poster children of faith.

Yet I often wonder if they truly know Jesus. (See: What I Mean When I Say ‘You Are a Sinner’)

While a Christian can be confident in Jesus, the teachings of Jesus do not give birth to self-confidence. And the ways of God are so unlike what comes natural to humanity that a Christian stands in constant surprise of the nature of God and what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

But some who claim to be Christians do not seem to have this sense of wonder.

They do not seem to be surprised by Jesus. They speak of him as though he is exactly what they expect him to be.

Their politics are his politics.

Their frustrations are his frustrations.

He loves what they love and hates what they hate. (See: Why We Don’t Like Grace)

They are so confident it never crosses their mind to think they could be wrong. They never change their opinions, never doubt their convictions, and are never surprised at what the Bible commands.

From where does this confidence come? Is it born of years of study and Biblical understanding? Is it a byproduct of a deep prayer life? Is it the result of a heart powerfully transformed by the gospel?

No.

The confidence is not born from a deep understanding of the Christian faith but from a total ignorance of the Christian faith.

They don’t doubt because they haven’t studied.

They don’t question because they haven’t searched.

They don’t struggle because they haven’t truly encountered God.

They are confident because they have created a pseudo-Christianity. Instead of choosing to follow Jesus, they have chosen to create a faith in their own image. (See: A Dangerous Assumption About God’s Will)

It might outwardly resemble some aspects of the Christian faith, but at its core, it is foreign to the gospel.

One characteristic of a true follower of Jesus is someone who is consistently challenged and surprised by Jesus.

He loves who we don’t love.

He commands what we do not desire.

He challenges us at the very core of who we are.

Show me someone who is confident about every aspect of faith and how it applies to their lives and I’ll show you someone who has probably never truly encountered God.

Someone can be confident about their eternal security.

They can be sure of God’s love for them.

They can be certain of the basic elements of faith. (See: Three Lies Christians Tell Themselves)

Yet there must be something which confuses them, someone they are challenged to love, some opinion they have changed, some tension between a political belief and a religious belief.

Where there is no tension there is probably no Christian faith.

God’s ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. Whenever we become a follower of Jesus, we begin a life-long transformation process of becoming like him. At times this is easy, but most of the time it is a gut-wrenching, life-altering challenge to every thing we think we know about life. In nearly every circumstance we are forced to change our opinion, attitude, or concept about what we thought we knew.

If we feel no tension in the transformation process, we are probably not becoming more like Jesus. We are likely trying to make him like us.

Confidence is not a certain sign of faith. As a matter of fact, it is often a symptom of someone who believes they are a follower of Jesus but they are actually simply trying to follow themselves. (See: God Shows Up In Unexpected Places)

They claim the Christian faith, but their beliefs hardly align what what Jesus taught.

The most confident Christians may not be Christians at all.

12 Responses to The Most Confident Christians
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