The Real Thing

It has always seemed unfair to me that many churches (and some individual Christians) keep careful records of how many converts they make to Christianity but never keep any record of how many they drive away from Christ. Fairness would seem to dictate that both sides of the ledger should be maintained. The fact is, many churches turn far more people from Christ than they ever win to Him—and frequently the most zealous and orthodox Christians are the very ones who drive the most people away! The reason is that while they may be true Christians themselves, the life they manifest is false Christianity—as phony as a $3 bill.

True, there is a false Christianity that is practiced by those who aren’t Christians at all. There are many religious frauds who have never been real Christians, and there are apostates who give every appearance of being Christian for awhile, then abandon the whole thing. But surely the most subtle stratagem ever devised by Satan to deceive and mislead people is that of causing genuine Christians to practice a sham Christianity before the world. You can’t detect and guard against this kind of sham Christianity by making people sign a doctrinal statement or by having them recite a creed. This type of phony Christianity is always orthodox. It is frequently very zealous and feeds upon consecration services and dedication meetings. It uses all the right terms and behaves in the proper, orthodox manner, but the net result is that it repels people from Christ rather than attracting people to Christ.

In sharp contrast to this is the “real thing”—authentic Christianity as its founder, Jesus Christ Himself, intended it to be. Authentic Christianity never needs advertisement or publicity. It gives off a fragrance and a fascination that attracts people like flies are attracted to honey. Is everyone attracted to authentic Christianity? Absolutely not! Many people are antagonized and even outraged when they discover what Christianity is truly about. But in general, the initial character of authentic Christianity is one that attracts crowds and compels admiration.