Is it just me, or are there others who are concerned that we don’t hear much about antichrists or the spirit of antichrist being amongst us in the church? Do they not exist any longer? Have they gone away to their own little antichrist place never to be seen again? Or are they in fact being embraced, tolerated or even integrated into the local church?
Sadly, I believe that the church has been moving in the direction of the latter for some time, supplanting whatever seems to be “reasonable”, “logical” or “tolerant” in place of the centrality of Jesus Christ who arguably is none of those things. What is the cause of such a shift in direction? The answer I believe is the lack of biblical leadership.
For too long, the church has been shifting from being centered on that which is Christ breathed through the power of the Holy Spirit to willfully embracing that which is “Christianly”. Let me explain.
The biggest difference between the two is that being Christ centered begins and ends with God supernaturally reaching down to man, saving him and empowering man to live out this new found salvation under the extraordinary grace, favor and power of the Father.
Being “Christianly” on the other hand, is rooted in a skewed intellectual knowledge of Christ, the bible and often other religious works and then proceeds in this skewed fashion in an attempt to bring a religious component to ones life. This is man reaching up to God in a pathetic attempt to justify himself to the Almighty.
Simply put, being a Christ follower means being Christ centric and relationally yielding to His will in every area of our lives. Being Christianly is an intellectually centered kind of comforting religious adjunct to our lives.
In the former, the Spirit of the Lord superintends over the mind, will and emotions. In the latter, the mind, will and emotions govern implicitly and superintend over all else.
So how might this look in the church? How could one possibly tell the difference since all seem to do many of the same things? If one looks closely, the differences are readily apparent. Please consider the following.
10 Differences between those who are Christ Followers and those who are Christianly
1. Christ followers recognize the bible as having commands.
The Christianly receive the bible as having suggestions.
2. Christ followers are concerned with meeting the needs of the Lord.
The Christianly are concerned with meeting the needs of people.
3. Christ followers know and respect the spiritual gifting in others.
The Christianly prize volunteers who want to help them.
4. Christ followers are discipled in biblical principles and held accountable.
The Christianly allow people to find their own path with no accountability.
5. Christ followers value the biblical qualifications for church leaders.
The Christianly value leaders with personality, power and accomplishment.
6. Christ followers value character.
The Christianly value charisma.
7. Christ followers believe in church discipline.
The Christianly prefer not to “judge”.
8. Christ followers understand that biblical government represents the Godhead.
The Christianly prefer that church government represent them.
9. Christ followers understand that marriage is a lifelong biblical covenant construct between a man and a woman having specific roles and purpose.
The Christianly see marriage as an appropriate union for any and all who say that they love one another.
10. Christ followers understand the biblical mandate for parents to be both personal examples and train and discipline their children according to biblical principles.
The Christianly prefer to be “understanding” and non-judgmental allowing children to make their own decisions and act as they wish.
The point that I wish to make is that the spirit of antichrist is relentless in its commitment to shift the biblical center of Christ to ANYTHING else. It wishes to diminish and eliminate the “Christ filter” within and supplant it with anything but Christ.
That, my friends, is a spirit that attacks within the church. What would be the purpose of this spirit to attack those who are already in error? Clearly it wouldn’t. It undermines the will of God in the lives of the people in the church and causes the church as a whole to live a substandard Christianly existence, never really knowing the love and power of the Living God.
It is Christ and Christ alone that is offensive to all of our sensibilities. This spirit of antichrist feeds on this. According to the bible, His ways are not our ways. As far is the East is from the West and the North from the South so are our ways different from his. Additionally, it tells us that there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
We are told that the way is narrow and the road to destruction is wide. We are told that there is one way to God the Father. One. That way is Christ…he is the way… the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by him.
There will come a day when many will say that they did this and that in his name…. even prophesied in his name. His answer is telling. He will say, “Depart from me, you workers of iniquity… I never knew you.
He not only tells them to depart, but identifies them as “workers of iniquity”. God is not pleased with good intentions. He is pleased by obedience.
It is time for those of us who claim Christ as our Savior and Lord to humble ourselves, respond to his voice, act in a manner that aligns biblically with His word and demonstrates His love and His power to those hungry for the reality of the Living Christ! That is what it means to be a Christ follower.