over the past couple of weeks we have seen that christianity has an origin
and a history that brings with it a set of beliefs that are fundamental and non-negotiable. simply put, to be a christian, a person *must* believe and affirm certain things-otherwise they are not a christian.

in the same way, there are certain things that, if denied, exclude one from being a christian. they may share values, principles, and even a world view with christianity, but without the basic beliefs that have been foundational to christianity from its beginnings, one cannot legitimately be called (or call themselves) “christian”.

included in these non-negotiable beliefs are:

  • there is only one god who exists eternally in three persons-father, son, and holy spirit
  • the son, jesus christ, was sent by the father, to be born of a virgin, to live a perfect life of obedience and to be the atoning sacrifice for “whosever” believes in him.
  • jesus christ was beaten and crucified-died and was buried. he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven where he remains with the father until he
    comes again.
  • at an appointed time, known only to the father, christ will come again as the conquering king. those who are saved will live forever in the presence of god, praising and worshipping Him.
  • salvation is only possible when one repents of their sins and places their faith in jesus christ and his atoning sacrifice on their behalf. there is no other way of salvation but through jesus christ.

there are individuals, groups, organizations, and even “churches” who claim to be christian. yet by their denial of one or more of these basic standards simply cannot truthfully be called (or call themselves) christian. that’s not being judgmental…that is following the rules of language, logic, and reason.

[some examples: the church of jesus christ of latter day saints/mormons; jehovah’s witnesses; any group who denies the trinity, ]

we must be on guard. many people will use christian language, imagery, and principles that are not christians. some do it maliciously, to deceive or for personal gain. some do it not knowing the difference. some truly believe that they are christians, or at least close enough and mean no harm. others use these things to draw in those less certain of their beliefs by means of something safe and familiar.

i have said it many times here. we * must* be clear about what it is we believe. when we hear someone claiming to be christian who espouse something contrary to basic and historical christianity, it is our job to present the truth. we should do so lovingly and with a humble and gentle spirit (2 tmothy 3:16 ;1 peter 3:15), but let it not be said of us that we stood by silently as a message which leads to death is presented as the message that saves.