It’s not that rare a phenomenon.
Whenever people claim to be Christian, but it’s kinda obvious they’re following the Christian crowd instead of Jesus—or at least sucking up to the Christian crowd heavily in order to get votes—I call ’em “Christianist.”
It’s a word I learned from Andrew Sullivan, and it’s a godsend. ’Cause too many people don’t know what to call such people. Fake Christians? Cultural Christians? Christians-in-name-only? I don’t wanna call them false Christians, ’cause they may very well have an actual saving relationship with Jesus. Maybe they just suck at religion. Maybe they’re hiding their light. A lot of partisans claim our current president is a “baby Christian,” and the reason his behavior is as filled with bad fruit as a moldy mock apple pie, is because he hasn’t learned any better… but he does know Jesus. Well, “Christianist” gives him the benefit of the doubt.
But people of course assume by “Christianist” I mean you’re not Christian. So I get rebuked from time to time for using the term. How dare I state certain people aren’t Christian… just because I see no evidence of the Spirit’s fruit in these people’s lives: “You don’t know what’s in their heart.”
Precisely right. I don’t know what’s in their heart.
That’s why I’m not saying they’re not Christian. I don’t know how they are in private. I only know what they do in public. And in public they’re just awful. They’re promiscuous, and sometimes proud of it. They’re unethical. They blatantly worship Mammon, and prioritize it over the needy. They’re filled with fear, hatred, and anger. They get envious, jealous, and partisan. Try to pick fights; try to cause division; try to create enemies. Y’know, stuff which indicates they’re not gonna inherit God’s kingdom,
And let’s not forget the “fruit” these miscreants regularly point to. Some claim they read the bible; problem is we’ve no evidence they live by what they read from the scriptures. (Being able to quote ’em doesn’t count.) Or they claim they pray; problem is we’ve no evidence they ever heard God talking back. Which is part of prayer, y’know. Granted, they might be cessationists who believe God doesn’t respond, or only speaks to prophets—even if their churches teach otherwise.
Or they go to church! Fr’instance many politicians claim to be Catholic. Problem is, we all know they’re hardly in lockstep with their church’s teachings. The Roman Catholic Church’s views on abortion and the death penalty are widely known: They’re prolife, and consider both acts murder. Yet political conservatives ignore their church on the death penalty, and progressives ignore their church on abortion. Politicians claim it’s ’cause they heed the public will, and won’t foist their church’s teachings upon the public. Problem is, their every action proves their church’s views aren’t theirs: They publicly, loudly, and vigorously defend their contrary view with legislation, speeches, marches, and rallies. If you claim to be a church’s member, yet reject your church’s interpretation of the fifth commandment, stands to reason you likewise ignore their other teachings.
In sum, their public actions declare for all the world to see, “I don’t give a sloppy wet crap what Jesus teaches.” It’s the passive (in some cases passive-aggressive) form of denying Christ before others. Something Jesus kinda sees as important:
Matthew 10.32-33 KWL
- 32 “Everyone who’ll agree with me before the people: I’ll agree with them before my heavenly Father.
- 33 Those who’ll refuse me before the people: I’ll refuse them before my heavenly Father.”
I can’t say with absolute certainty they belong to Jesus or not. But they really haven’t given me a lot of evidence in favor of such a relationship.