There are two types of Christians in this country: Secular and Biblical.
Secular Christians enter into “Church mode” on Sundays. They don’t swear. They don’t talk dirty. They don’t fight. They smile and get along! “I’m at Church,” is the explanation. They give their serious attention to the service but the after-service “fellowship” is the real fun. Church is a social club. It makes me feel good and I get to volunteer. If I don’t like this one, I’ll find another Church.
Biblical Christians savor Church because it revitalizes them for another week of Christian living. They often think of how this gathering will propel them to live in “the World.” While they genuinely enjoy the comradery with friends, Biblical Christians try to remember that Church is about God and not them. Faithfulness and commitment to the people of the Church, no matter how flawed, is the most important thing.
A Secular Christian, doesn’t take the Bible “literally,” meaning they don’t believe a single correct interpretation is possible. The very idea is overly simplistic and narrow minded. What is important is not the “correct” interpretation but a variety of interpretations. Therefore, psychoanalytical, feminist, or liberal perspectives are all welcome! (as long as the unifying theme is naturalism). That is to say, we must assume the Bible is a book written by men who got a few things right. But certainly these men were prejudiced, racist, paternalistic, sexist, and homophobic; they certainly did not write in any clear, coherent or consistent manner. God is not there. He has not spoken.
A Biblical Christian “takes the Bible literally,” meaning they believe in a single, correct interpretation that would rule out the other interpretations. In essence, they treat the Bible like any other writing (e.g. an email, news article, personal letter, textbook). The correct interpretation is to be discovered by context and authorial intent. That is to say, Biblical Christians study history and grammar to enter the minds of the original author. They do not write them off as prejudiced and therefore flawed in their fundamental outlook. Rather, they take their claims very seriously: God spoke. This is what He said.
A Secular Christian finds the findings of psychology and sociology more informative in regards to social problems than scripture. “But that’s what you believe,” is the common response when someone uses a Biblical argument of moral absolutes. In fact, the very notion of moral absolutes is not seriously considered. God has not really spoken into this world. He has not actually revealed His will for us. He is not that concerned with our behavior. His will is not binding. It is advisable at best.
A Biblical Christian respects but realizes the limits of these sciences when it comes to understanding human nature. There is a reason they are called “soft sciences.” Biblical Christians will retort that the findings of these soft sciences are in many cases just as much an article of belief as their own fundamental convictions. Yet, since God has infallibly and inerrantly spoken in His Word, there can be no debate as to what is right once we have heard from Him. God is eminently concerned with how we live. He is present, He has spoken, and He is watching.
A secular Christian makes a dichotomy between their faith and the application of their faith to other people. “This is true for me,” they will say or, “This is just what I believe.” When it comes to confessing Jesus as the Lord of every man (acknowledged or not) or as the only Savior, they hesitate. Surely there are more ways to God than one! One cannot seriously believe in a wrathful God who would send millions to hell. Such a belief is disgusting, loathsome, discriminatory and infinitely parochial.
A Biblical Christian can make no such wedge between their faith and its application. “Jesus is my Savior and the only Savior- your only hope,” one might say. They are committed to taking the Bible at its claim no matter what ridicule or harm it will cause them. They recognize it as a strenuous but high calling to publically proclaim the truth- humbly but confidently, compassionately but authoritatively. Many frequently berate themselves for their lack of sensitivity or boldness in evangelizing, but they still do so out of their love for God and concern for humanity.
A Secular Christian lives as though God isn’t really there. In truth they have never known Him.
A Biblical Christian always lives with knowledge that He is there. They can never forget God.
Friend, are you living in contradiction to what you claim to believe? Are you living in pretense, being called a Christian while not actually living as one? Are you brave enough to follow Christ on His terms? Would you be called a “Biblical Christian?”
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”