Nominal Christians vs Real Christians

Sarah Bowman

Sarah Bowman, Secular Humanist, atheist, studied theology, social work, some philosophy, anthropology

First of all, we need a definition for “nominal Christian.”

QUOTE: A nominal Christian is a person who has not responded in repentance and faith to Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour and Lord. He is a Christian in name only. LOP 10 – Christian Witness to Nominal Christians among Roman Catholics – Lausanne Movement

They go on to explain that a nominal Christian may profess belief in the church’s liturgy, go to church, and do all the things Christians are expected to do but “ in spite of all this, he is still destined for eternal judgment (cf. Matt. 7:21-23, Jas. 2:19) because he has not committed his life to Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-10).”

To me, this article makes it obvious that some humans have taken it upon themselves to decide, i.e. judge, the criteria regarding who has and has not committed life to Jesus Christ. As I understand it, in order to accomplish this they would have to be capable of reading in-depth the minds and motivations and intentions of fellow-humans. I know people who claim to be able to do this. The problem is that when the thoughts and intentions of my own psyche are their focus, they are wrong. They will claim that I am not being honest with myself, that I don’t know myself, that I am afraid of taking facts for what they are, the list goes on. They treat others similarly, usually people they don’t like all that much or disagree with on a deep level.

CONCLUSION: If we as human beings take it upon ourselves to judge as nominal Christian everyone who disagrees with us or whom we can’t stand, there may well be a lot of nominal Christians in the world. So that is my answer—there are so many nominal Christians in the world today because you have chosen to disbelieve their lives and professions of faith and have instead chosen to magnify their short-comings as humans into evidence of non-repentance or lack of commitment to Jesus Christ.

Personally, I call a person a Christian who self-identifies as a Christian. I think a person knows him or herself better than anyone else can because no one else lives inside the person’s head and skin.

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