Are you a Cultural Christian?

What is a “Cultural Christian”?

A Cultural Christian is someone who may be born again, believes Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior, may have been baptized by immersion, yet still accepts, lives in sin and/or condones what the current culture accepts as proper, OK, passable, not a sin — knowing that it’s against God’s will and law and does nothing about it.

It’s like you have one foot in God’s Kingdom and one foot in the world.

The problem with that is that once you become a born-again believer, you are a Citizen of Heaven and you cannot continue being a citizen of world.

I was a cultural Christian for many years. Of course, I knew my ticket to heaven was secure, but I thought I could continue to do some of the things that I did before and it was OK. It’s wasn’t. I was in a relationship with an unbeliever and after each “encounter” I had this guilty feeling. That was the Holy Spirit inside of me convicting me – telling me that what I was doing was disappointing God. It was against his rules for living a righteous, Christ-like life.

I was a liberal Democrat. I had the attitude of “to each his own” – but condoning and accepting bad behavior is also against God’s will. Now, I’m a Christian Conservative and what’s happening in our country and the world makes me angry. Actually, I’m incensed and disgusted! I don’t recognize America any more – I know our Founding Fathers wouldn’t either. 

A Cultural Christian thinks same-sex marriage is OK. In God’s eyes it is NOT so it shouldn’t be so in your eyes.

A Cultural Christian thinks abortion is OK. It is not in God’s eyes – it’s the murder of innocent lives. It doesn’t make sense that when a pregnant woman is murdered it’s two counts of murder, yet society condones the murder of innocent babies like they were trash.

Get the point?

As a Christian, you MUST read the Bible DAILY! 

With so many Bible apps & websites, there really isn’t any valid excuse not to. Check these out:

You must attend and get involved in a bible-based church.

“Bible-based” is the relevant keyword here. Make sure the church leaders and pastors don’t pick and choose what Bible verses to teach and ignore the ones that God needs believers to hear. Strive to seek the truth.

Live a WWJD? life.

Stop and think before reacting. Say to yourself, “What would Jesus do in this situation?” “How would Jesus handle this issue?” What would Jesus say in response?” “Would Jesus watch this show?” “Is God smiling or is He disappointed in me and my behavior?”

Connect with Christians on the social media sites.

Follow them on Twitter, subscribe to their blogs, like them on Facebook. You become like those you hang out with. Striving to be Christ-like is not easy. But it helps when you get together with other committed Christians and talk about the latest news, how you feel and how your friends feel about the issues.

This world is not all there is – Thanks to Jesus!

When I look around at this sin-sick world that I live in, I thank the Lord Jesus that this is not all there is. That I have a HOPE like no other in Christ of an eternal life in a Paradise called Heaven. I like reading Revelation 21.

Here are a few of my favorite passages from that chapter:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared…I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

Jesus meeting believer at the gates of heavenAnd the one sitting on the throne [Jesus] said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Rev. 21:1, 3-8

You can take the wide gate just to be popular and accepted into today’s society and culture or you can truly live the Christian life and enter Heaven through the narrow gate:

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it…”~Matthew 7:13-14

 It’s Your Choice.

Here’s a hint: Jesus wins in the end! Don’t you want to be on HIS Side? Click here to get to know Christ personally – it is about a personal relationship, not about religion.

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Christian, Award-Winning Author

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Conduct Unbecoming a Christian

bible readingIf you’ve served in the military or watched any war movies, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “conduct unbecoming an officer.” It’s a charge with sometimes severe consequences if an officer does something that an officer shouldn’t do.

As Christians, we are supposed to act like Christ. It’s expected of us.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he stresses this:

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. ~Phil. 1:27a

What’s important are the first two words: “whatever happens” – that means at all times, in all circumstances, no matter what.

There’s no excuse for not behaving like a Christian!

It’s not easy. But God gave us two invaluable tools: the Bible and the Holy Spirit.

Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it. ~Luke 11: 28

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. ~Galatians 5: 22-26

Each morning, before we start our day, we need to ask God for strength and guidance to conduct ourselves worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Check out these other great blogs:

Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century by Giselle AguiarIf you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Christian, Award-Winning Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

The Deadly Virus in our Churches Today

I met with my pastors, Jon Taylor, Lead Pastor of First Christian Church of Phoenix, and Chuck Foreman, the teaching/missions pastor, this week to talk about collaborating on a small-group study on WWJD?. They agreed to help write it as well as a companion sermon guide.

Chuck forwarded me a newsletter from the Disciple Nations Alliance. I loved the opening message and tried to find it in a blog online at their website so I could share it, but could not. It was written just for the newsletter recipients. Thus, I’m compelled to share it here since it highlights the need for a church-wide study on WWJD?.

Coram Deo: Before the Face of God

A deadly virus is running rampant through the Church around the world. Not a physical virus, but a mental one—and very subtle. Victims typically don’t realize they are infected.

What is this virus? It’s the idea that the Christian faith is primarily personal and private. It addresses personal salvation, and it focuses on developing a pious inner life, but it has little to do with how someone lives the rest of his or her life.

There are huge problems with this.

We spend the vast majority of our time working, eating, playing, and living in relationship with family, friends, and co-workers. If my faith isn’t informing how I live my life, something else surely is. And that something is the accepted norms, values, and practices of my surrounding culture.

The virus enables Christians to assume they are theologically orthodox because they affirm correct answers to the questions of God, man, the fall, and salvation. Yet it prevents them from making a connection between these personal/spiritual topics and how they think about work, life, leisure, and the broader culture. While holding to a form of Christianity, in practice, they are functional atheists, Gnostics, or animists, depending on the culture from which they come.

This explains how Enron’s indicted former CEO, Ken Lay, while serving as an elder in his local evangelical congregation, could drive his company off a cliff. In business, you play by the rules; and in today’s America, the rules are established by the secular, pragmatic, materialistic culture. It is OK to “cook the books” and deceive shareholders, so long as you don’t get caught.

This is just want Satan wants, for the virus strips the church of its saltiness. It is no longer able to influence and shape culture. God’s truth is shackled—prevented from penetrating and saturating all areas of life and society. As a result, the nations are not discipled. Rather, the church increasingly reflects the values and practices of the nations. This is the tragic consequence: The failure of the church to understand, much less carry out, the Great Commission. The nations—trapped in structures of poverty, corruption, and tyranny—are paying the price.

This is the problem we exist to address. This virus has to be attacked head-on, exposed for the lie that it is. When Jesus said “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,” he really meant it. His truth applies to every area of public life. It is not merely a message of salvation; it is an all-encompassing way of understanding everything. We are called not just to save people out of the world, but to bring the truth to bear in all areas, thereby living God-honoring lives and creating God-honoring cultures, starting with our families, churches, arenas of work and, ultimately, nations. As this happens, the nations are blessed, just as God promised they would be (Genesis 12:1-3).

God loves His Bride, and we see increasing evidence that He is awakening her to this inward threat. We believe God has raised up the DNA to be part of the solution, and we are grateful for your partnership in the endeavor.

In Galatians 5:13, Paul tells us Christians:

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

Here, “the flesh” refers to the sinful nature of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit. You see, it’s not “natural” for us to be godly. We can thank Adam and Eve for that. But Jesus shows us how to live righteous lives and commands us to do so. (Romans 12:1-3)

WWJD? The Revival is not just another fad

Our mission is to help Christians strive to be Christ-like. It’s not easy. We are tempted by the world on a daily basis. That is why the small-group study that we’re preparing is so vital. When discussed in the small-group setting, the group members hold each-other accountable. That makes a big difference from just reading a daily devotional.

Please follow WWJD? The Revival on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. We will keep you updated on the progress of the study and when it will be available. In the meantime, look for devotionals, bible passages and encouragements.

God Bless,
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-winning Christian Author
@giselleaguiar 

What it Means to Be “God Fearing”

Watching the 700 Club last week someone asked Gordon Robertson, “…fearing God. Why does God want me to be afraid of Him? No one would willingly give their life to someone they fear. Why would God want one to fear Him when that defeats the purpose of coming to Him willingly? It doesn’t make any sense.”

Having grown up Catholic, “God Fearing” was not in my religious up-bringing. I heard it in movies and on TV, but never really understood what it meant. I heard it meant to respect God and His power.

But Gordon Robertson clarified it. He said that the Hebrew translation of the word fear is really “awe.” We call God, Awesome, Almighty, All-Powerful, Creator, Ever-Present and Eternal.

It’s towards the end of the show:
http://dl2.cbn.com/cbnplayer/cbnPlayer.swf?s=/archive/club/700club060412_ws
So respecting God and His Word is part of it.

We respect His Word by obeying it. 

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.” ~James 4:6 NKJV

Excerpt from 365 Daily Answers to What Would Jesus Do?

The reader of the Scriptures should be a humble person, who shows reverence and fear [awe] toward the Word of God, who constantly says, “Teach me, teach me, teach me.” The Spirit resist the proud, even though they are zealous and preach Christ for a time without fault…Therefore it is humility that we need in the study of God’s Word. ~Martin Luther

Reflection: Some “scholars” have studied God’s Word and have decided that this or that event or Scripture is erroneous. Interestingly, quite often the parts of the Bible they want to eliminate are the ones that strike closest to home. If they can deem the passage not inspired, then they no longer are accountable to is truth. Those who, in humility, hear God speak through all of Scripture will profit–both now and in eternity–by their willingness to be held to its standard. If we ask, “What Would Jesus Do?” we need look no further than the Gospels to discover what our attitude should be regarding the Scriptures. Jesus often quoted the Old Testament as fact. He believed their accuracy.

So should we. (End of excerpt.)

Besides the scholars deciding that some Scripture is erroneous, we have readers of the Bible who pick and choose what to believe and what to obey. That, my friends, is not an option.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. ~2 Timothy 3:16-17

When President Obama quoted the Bible when he declared that he accepted Gay Marriage, he said that Jesus told us to “love one another.” But yet, he ignores all other scripture that says that sexual immorality is a sin.

Love the sinner, Hate the sin

Judgement DayEven if a sin is culturally acceptable like sex outside of marriage or with partners of the same gender, it doesn’t make it right in the eyes of God.

Just as we respect God, we must respect other people who are sinners just like we are. It’s all a matter of allowing Satan and our sinful nature to rule our lives or let Jesus and the Holy Spirit guide us. (Romans 8:8-11)

And check out what Jesus said to the Jews. He called them “Children of the Devil” (John 8:42-47) that’s who we are outside of Jesus Christ.

We are in a war with Satan in this world. That’s why we MUST ask “What Would Jesus Do?” on a regular basis and strive to be like Christ.

Had President Obama asked, “What Would Jesus Do?” before he made his statement, I believe he would have not done it.

Remember what Jesus said to the adulteress in the Gospel of John after all her accusers walked away — “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:1-11)

Though we may not like or condone someone’s lifestyle choice, it’s not up to us to judge them. That’s up to God. We can only keep speaking the truth and God willing, if they truly fear God – revere Him, respect His Word  – they will respect God’s Word and “leave their life of sin.”

 

Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century by Giselle AguiarIf you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Christian, Award-Winning Author

Christians should be shocked by sin

Love the Sinner – Hate the Sin

I have a message from God in my heart
concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
In their own eyes they flatter themselves
too much to detect or hate their sin. ~Psalm 36:1-2

The greatest security against sin is to be shocked at its presence.~Thomas Carlyle

shocked

We are as a society, less and less shockable. We are the proverbial frog in a pan of heating water, unaware of our danger. What would Jesus do about the lack of concern over sin? Wouldn’t He want to restore sight to those who are blinded by the deceitfulness of sin? A healthy fear of God is a good way to restore our sens of right and wrong, sin and righteousness.

God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God. ~Psalm 55:19

Excerpt from: 365 WWJD: Daily Answers to What Would Jesus Do?

Why do we condone what goes on in society? As Christians, we cannot keep the blinders on. We must speak out when we are bombarded by immoral and offensive advertising, TV shows, radio shows, movies and other forms of so-called “entertainment.”

We Christians can change the world.

365 Days of WWJD?

 

Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century by Giselle AguiarIf you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Christian, Award-Winning Author

 

Resisting Temptation

In two subplots in the movie Courageous, we see examples of integrity – one man who had it and one who didn’t.

Courageous, the movie

How's Your Integrity?

Sheriff’s Officer, Shane Fuller, played by Kevin Downes, is a Christian, divorced dad struggling to pay his child support and alimony.

Javier Martinez, played by Robert Amaya, is Christian, married, father of two struggling to feed his family and pay the rent and bills. He hears about construction jobs, but when he gets there, they have enough men and he’s sent home.

Javier later gets a job at a factory and after a month, is presented with an offer. The company’s president tells him he can be promoted to a managerial position with increased pay if he would just fudge the inventory a bit.

Shane, is also tested daily. As the Sheriff’s Office arrests drug dealers in the city, Shane is in charge of getting the recovered drugs to the evidence locker. He is tempted to take one or two packets thinking that they wouldn’t be missed.

Which one do you think passed the test? Which one do you think stuck to the integrity and moral values of his Christian faith? Which one do you think fell to desperation and greed?

The answer is surprising. Sheriff Officer, Adam Mitchell, played by Alex Kendrick (who also co-wrote and directed the movie), notices that the amount of drugs collected doesn’t match the amount in the evidence locker. He suspects his partner, Shane, who is later caught in a sting and sent to jail.

Javier, after thinking it over and talking to his wife, tells his boss, that no, what he was asking him to do, lying on the inventory sheet, is dishonest and it goes against God’s Word. As it turns out, it was a test and Javier passed. They were looking for the honest, man of integrity to promote. They had tested many other people and Javier was the only truly, trustworthy person.

Continue reading

Why Live a WWJD Life?

By Guest Blogger, Quiniece Sheppard

If we had asked ourselves this question “what would Jesus do”, then many of us wouldn’t be in the situation we are today.  If we hadn’t taken prayer out of schools, separated church and state, married the man or woman that God told us not to marry, had pre-marital sex that lead to a STD or unplanned pregnancy, and the list could go on, then we would be in a much better place emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially than we are right now.  We should not only ask ourselves “what would Jesus do”, but also “what Jesus won’t do” (WJWD), so we can fully understand the ramifications of our actions.

I wonder what happened to the “wwjd” bracelets, t-shirts, hats, etc. that we all wore as a sign and symbol of hope and faith in God.  Once upon a time, the slogan was so popular that even those who didn’t know Jesus wanted to get the paraphernalia because everyone was saying the slogan and buying the symbolic meanings behind what it stood for.  For many of us, life happened and we got distracted with our problems and circumstances surrounding us, so we no longer asked ourselves “wwjd”.  We had a situation and we responded or reacted to it the best we knew how and we just didn’t consider what Jesus would do.  If we were to be honest, we simply did what we wanted to do without thinking twice about consulting God.  I know I am guilty of reacting out of my flesh many times instead of first going to the source, which is Jesus Christ.

I know some of us reading this are like the bible character named Job found in the Book of Job who didn’t do anything wrong.  We played by the rules and lived a righteous life and now we are going through a lot of tough situations. We shouldn’t act like Job’s friends and pre judge anyone for all the bad things going on in his/her life right now and say that it had to be his fault for all the bad things happening in their lives right now.  No, that’s not right.  Scripture tells us that tribulation and trials come to make us stronger, so they happen to all of us at one time in our lives.  We will all face some difficulty just like our perfect savior, Jesus Christ, did.  God rewarded Job for his faithfulness and he gave him double for his trouble and I know that if we continue the good fight of faith and remain steadfast, unmovable and unshakably in Jesus Christ, he will reward us.

The bible record that Jesus is a rewarder of those who diligently seek after Him so our living righteous for God is not in vain.  Let’s not do it for our own selfish gain to get the blessings of God, but let’s do it so that others may know that Jesus Christ is real by looking at the way we live and conduct ourselves.  Others are watching us whether we know it or not, so let’s really give them something to see.  So, let’s go back to consistently asking ourselves “what would Jesus do” and “what Jesus wouldn’t do” when we are faced with dark and gloomy situations and I bet that He’ll meet us right where we are and not only tell us what it is He will do, but He will also guide us to help us do what it is He is calling us to do. So, if you don’t know what Jesus would do or want us to do, then here it is.

Matthew 22: 37 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all our mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it” you shall love our neighbor as yourself.”

Finally, I want to leave you with a scripture I always end with in my books.

“The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”  Phillippians 4:9.

God bless.
Love your sis in Christ,
Quiniece Sheppard

Quiniece Sheppard is the founder of I am the Chase Ministries, LLC: a single women’s ministry whose mission is to promote abstinence and celibacy, and founder of Chasing Books Christian Book Club.  Quiniece is also the author of “The Seven Deadly Sexual Sins” and “Before the Lights Go Out:11 Keys to Achieve Real Physical Intimacy”.  For more information about Quiniece’s ministry and books, please visit her website at www.iamthechase.com.   WWJD?