A Christ-Less Christianity
By Charles R. Grisham
“. . .And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” (Acts 11:26).
What does it mean to be called a Christian? That term identified those who were closest to Jesus and His church. I suppose, in its simplest form, it would be those who; believed Him, obeyed Him, followed Him, and ultimately were willing to disciple others to Him. Plain… clear… and simple.
In those days there was only one church, one Lord… one faith… one baptism… one way… one plan of Salvation and it was all in Jesus Christ. Everyone who would be saved followed the simple – easy plan of Acts 2:38. (Repent, be baptized in Jesus’ Name, and receive the Holy Ghost.) Theologically speaking, there was only one way to be a Christian and this was through identifying with Him in the waters of Baptism… in Jesus’ Name.
This would seem clear for we are saved through His blood. He was the one who died for us. We pray for healing in His Name, and it is He who is coming back for us. The Bible tells us that everything we do in word or deed must be done in His Name (Colossians 3:17).
What is Wrong?
How did Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of our faith become so unwelcome in the church He founded? The One who is the Way… the Truth… and the Life is unwelcome in His fullness.
Church history gives us some early clues when the Catholics founded the doctrine of the trinity. This has been followed by many traditionally oriented persuasions. Their doctrines are more based upon their denominational traditions than upon Scripture. The sad facts demonstrate how the blind leading the blind will ultimately lead to the ditch.
As a result of “man-made religion,” and “Easy – Believeism,” we see a religious society that actually believes that they can do what is right in their own eyes. It is as absurd as a young child trying to write and mix their own drug prescription in a drug store. Who do people think they are? They can’t create their own concept of God and write their own plan of Salvation! However, the masses have been so duped by lies, partial truth, and near truths, that it appears they think themselves to be the god and that the true God must serve their wishes. Unbelievable error prevails! A Closer Look
A good friend of mine was referring to a common acquaintance who has turned into the broad way; he said, “I think our friend seems to believe that everyone who carries a Bible is born again.” How tragic! This is truly the last days and the falling away is happening all around us.
It reminds me of two quotations by my good friend T. F. Tenney. He has said, “Some people are so broad-minded their brains are falling out!” Another time he said, “There are those who would have you to believe that if a person isn’t saved to some degree, they might be lost to some extent.”
My friend, let me remind you there is still one God who was Spirit and robed Himself in flesh (Jesus) and came to earth to redeem us. There is still only one plan of salvation. All of this is still in Jesus. The Bible says, “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Why All the Confusion?
Let me tell you why there is so much confusion. It won’t take you long to see and understand if you are really sincere. You will readily see why the world is now involved in a “Christ-less Christianity.” Many want Him near as long as they can keep Him in the servant’s quarters.
Follow closely with me for a brief list of reasons:
1.) They do not want the Word of God except in areas where it appeals to their agenda.
2.) They have bought into “selective theology. ” They want only the things they want to believe.
3.) They have settled into their comfort zone and “teach for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Jesus said this was vain.)
4.) They refuse the Oneness of God and choose to believe in two or three. Why even the devil “believes in one God and trembles.” (James 3:19) All through the New Testament there was an undisputed One God. Improper interpretation of Scripture caused false doctrine.
5.) They refuse His Name in water baptism, choosing rather to use titles. This was never practiced by the early church and disciples. There was no confusion on water baptism in the early church.
6.) They refuse the Holy Ghost in its total place, purpose, and function. Many believe you can receive the Holy Ghost without even knowing it. To them it’s, “What’s the big deal? You don’t need it anyway!” Some believe that even if you get it it’s only for more power, or for your prayer language.
(The Bible says it is a part of the New Birth; that it’s Christ in you, the hope of glory; without it you’re none of His; and that it will quicken your mortal body when the church is caught away.)
7.) They refuse the Lord’s word to “come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord.” (II Corinthians 6:17)
They think you can do the same things sinners do, and look the same as sinners too.
8.) They wrongfully believe they can use Jesus’ Name to do miracles and still refuse His Name in baptism. Many TV evangelists and ministers make light of those who believe in the One-ness of God and water baptism in Jesus’ Name. There will be a day when they will say, “Lord,
we cast out devils in Your Name…” And Jesus will say, “depart from
Me… I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:22-23).
9.) The Christ-less Christian becomes very adept at name dropping. They use His Name only when it serves their purpose. Jesus said, “If you’re ashamed of Me… I will be ashamed of you… ” (Luke 9:26) 10.) Easy believe-ism has replaced Bible truth. Christ-less Christianity believes that it can write its own rules, establish its own doctrines, (if any,) and live in its own ways with no fear of their disobedience. But consider with me, “… God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)
Even in the business world you can’t arbitrarily use the name or logo of a person, product, or company. It isn’t legal. People and companies are very protective and feel very personal about their name and product. Could it be that many in the Christ-less Christianity crowd are using the Name of Jesus in vain?
So now, you be the judge!
Why is it that the powers that be feel comfortable in taking Christ out of Christmas?
Don’t ever ignore the facts:
Christ was in the manger.
Christ was God in the flesh.
Christ was on the cross.
Christ died for us.
Christ was buried.
Christ rose again for us.
Christ ascended for us.
Christ came back to indwell the true born-again believers.
Christ is coming back for us.
Christ is the head of the church.
Christ is the foundation of the church.
“All the fullness of the godhead bodily dwells in Christ.”
So when you take Jesus Christ out of the church on any level, you are left with a Christless Christianity. Believe me on the basis of Scripture, that will never work.
Let’s embrace Him, love Him, love His Word, His truth, His doctrine, His church, and prepare for a great eternity with Him, our Lord and Savior. Be reminded – there can be no Christ-less Christianity. Those who follow this error will not go in the rapture.
The Above Material Was Published By The Apostolic Writers’ Digest, Pages 5, 6, March 2001. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.