When St.John penned his 3 epistles hundreds of years ago i’m sure he had some specific types of people in mind as to what constituted his definition of love that he said was real faith in action. It might be funny if not so sad how superficial “synagogue christians,” as the Early church Father Origen would have called them, rally against all kinds of things as false messiahs when all the time ignoring the obvious ones in their midst. St.Paul states that we should be able to distinguish and define what the character of our mutual held faith looks like.. but instead many today want to throw their stones at those outside of their faith structure seeming to think as one preacher called it, “to attempt to moralize the dead.”
Which brings us to the first who I feel is the most innocuous false christ, those that proclaim their own ego as king. Why? should be ever so clear, because they are actually most apt to understand their own shortcomings. What, you say? Yes, in my experience the atheist, who by the way in my experience is the best kind, the humanist, are one of those clearly on the other side of the fence. You know the ones that God wish were Cold.. because to be luke warm thats the worst.
Although most Atheists are quite blatant about being self centric they usually have a clearer understanding of the way things are in the here and now, as opposed to many who call themselves spiritual.. who are too stuck in the past or trying to make the future now. I won’t go too far into that but suffice it to say that the “kingdom of God” is not so much as wishing and pushing for an idyllic future in the present but rather allowing his Sacred Spirit to help make us better and more authentic in the now.
The second type of false christ are ones that have been made so as to thinking they are most convenient to accomplish their god’s end. Now it is interesting that many peoples judgement of extreme jihadist groups in the east have created their own volatile christian version of a jihad. Such is the case for instance with those affiliated too strongly against abortion, or others who feel that Trump is God’s man. These people have confused the gospel for one where the ends justify the means, where it clearly never can in truth.
The next class of false christ are more insidious, they are what St.Paul talked of as “ear-ticklers” in his letter to Timothy. Usually they are “hired shepherds” who have found a niche of people that want to hear a message that supports their biases or judgements. Now I distinguish between these and others that say “i’m of Paul or Apollos,” to which Paul warned. It is rather telling though that Paul was saying to make sure NOT to do that, especially with him. This is a flag to tell the difference! The false christ will not correct the person for putting them or their teaching on a pedestool. Again in my own experience this feeds ones ego and the others lack of willingness to stand for their own truth and have “the fire at the end of the day,” so to speak .. prove it’s worth.
Lastly, one of the most prevalent false christ‘s in our society today is what Jesus himself took to a little bit of light violence even for.. you guessed it, it was when the speciality of the Divines presence and exchange in spiritual and religious activities was made into a commercial enterprise. And so today thousands of churches, websites, and businesses make a substantial profit from the masses “in the name of God.” These false christ’s not only demean the character of the practices but also infuse them with heavy handed ego tactics and emotional plea bargaining. So much so that entertainers like Derren Brown can expose these charlatans for what they are.. but unfortunately it puts being a christian in a very circumspect light these days.
For many years now I’ve been too reluctant to ally with that name, because of this and also my own confusion relating to who’s the “righteous” one in my faith and where Grace was an active component. Now though I feel we can expose those who claim the sacred name of our savior and common faith, at least to not really relying on God but rather an acquiescence to a mutual mental assent and christian codified lifestyle that Jesus never spoke about.
Is in any surprise that at least people like Jordan Peterson and AA are getting to the heart of what the gospel is in it’s first steps, humility, vulnerability and willingness to be and do better. Of course it doesn’t stop there because of the importance of a personal revelation of the character of God. This I believe is given at some point along the way, where the “work” becomes not so difficult and we are flowing in the rhythm of the physics that Jesus cross initiated. Which brings me to the last point. What is the two things that those ministers of the false christ preach knowingly or not?
The Twin Heresies of biblical idolatry & false atonement… to be continued