I’ve been promising myself and friends I would upload this list for a few weeks. These are just a random assortment of issues. I’m sure there’s some important ones I’m missing. Feel free to add those in the comments.
In fact, more permanently, I’d love you to add them at Christian History for Everyman, where I’ve uploaded a longer version of this page.
You can do anything.
Following Christ is all about faith. There is a zeal that is the product of really believing that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Php. 4:13)
Your zeal to follow Jesus will make up for almost any mistakes in what follows
Tremendous faith in and love for Jesus will resolve almost any lack of knowledge or misunderstandings you have about the Christian faith. Love him, love his commands, and spend much time in fellowship with him. That is more important than anything else, and it will make up for mistakes in every other area.
Christianity is a spiritual religion.
It is those who walk by the Spirit who are the sons of God (Rom. 8:14). Like it or not, Christianity is a highly subjective religion, and we are going to have to give room to one another to be moved by the Spirit of God.
Christianity is a CORPORATE, spiritual religion
God does promise to lead us into all things by the Spirit, but 1 Jn. 2:27 has all plural yous, no singular ones. It is together that we are led into truth, and while we have to give each other freedom to follow God’s Spirit, we must all be aware that we are easily deceived and need our brother’s exhortations (Heb. 3:13). Eph. 4:11-16 is another great passage, and 1 Jn. 2:27 and Eph. 4:11-16 explain why the church is called the pillar and support of the truth by Paul in 1 Tim. 3:15.
The modern churches often worship the Bible, and we must not follow them in that.
Modern American Christians almost universally trust their intellect over the leading of the Spirit. They claim to be following the Bible, but they’re not. They’re following tradition and their interpretations of the Bible, which are almost never based on any real, honest, skilled analysis of what the Bible teaches. Thus, American churches are almost universally powerless and embarrassing (even if some individual Christians are not) because they refuse to be taught by God to deliver them from their chains of tradition and complacency.
Christians can’t be afraid of the truth
It’s not very nice to say that American churches are almost universally powerless and embarrassing, but it’s the truth. If we want to see Jesus glorified, then it’s more important to do his will and concern ourselves with his feelings than to worry about hurting each other’s feelings.
The local church is incredibly important. If we don’t know that, the devil certainly does.
For most Americans the local church is only important insofar as it helps us be better Christians. Nonsense. You are not Jesus’ bride or body; the church is. Thus, what benefits the church is far, far more important than what might benefit you. The light that Jesus wants to shine to the world is not “this little light of mine,” but the great light of the church (Matt. 5:13-16, where all the yous are plural; cf. also Isaiah 60:1ff). Even in America, if Christians come together in wholehearted submission to Christ, agreeing that they need one another (1 Cor. 12), and giving themselves to each other for life as the family of God, they will experience a miraculous level of persecution, and they will understand why Paul says that all who desire to live godly in Christ suffer persecution (2 Tim. 3:12). The key is “in Christ,” which is in his church, which is his body.
Our unity is based on obedience, not theological arguments.
2 Tim. 2:19 is a terribly important verse in our day. The foundation of God is that he himself knows who belongs to him. We don’t need to concern ourselves with that. But Paul adds that the other part of the foundation is that those who name the name of Christ must depart from iniquity. Those who say we need not depart from iniquity to be in fellowship with Christ are false preachers of the Gospel who must be anathematized. But also, those who divide over tongues, eternal security (as long as everyone acknowledges that those who go to heaven are those obedient to Christ by his Spirit), the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the role of water baptism, etc. are sinning. The church needs to be reunited, and the church consists of all those who name the name of Christ and depart from iniquity.
You’ll know this is true because it’s possible to have the witness of the Spirit between those who depart from iniquity. Don’t let stupid modern doctrines that we fool ourselves into thinking we understand prevent that marvelous unity that is created only by the Spirit of God.
Real Christianity is not theoretical; it’s eminently practical
Faith vs. works is a worthless discussion. Jesus wants us to do works by faith, and we’re only distracted by the arguments. Paul discussed faith to get people away from depending on the Law. James slammed faith only (Jam. 2:14-26) to stop people from trusting in faith apart from works. Jesus just wants you to keep his commands (Jn. 15:10). Yes, you can only do that by abiding in him (Jn. 15:5), but don’t worry, if you try to obey him without his power, you’ll figure out you need him on your own. Talking about faith and works is conterproductive. You must do works to go to heaven (Matt. 7:21-23; 25:31-46; Paul agrees throughout his writings, but you shouldn’t need anyone else’s word but Jesus’), and you have to come to Jesus for the power to do those works. Talking about it is a waste of time. Just get busy obeying him because you’re not going to heaven if you don’t (Matt. 7:21-23; Eph. 5:3-8; 1 Jn. 2:3-4).