I Trust Christians. Others, Not As Much
I have come to a point in my life where I no longer give the same credence to the views and opinions of secular people as I do people who place their first loyalty with Jesus Christ. It’s a crap-shoot if non-Christians or lapsed Christians or anti-Christians will get moral issues right, and they always get things wrong when it comes to spiritual matters. They tend to align their moral views with whatever clever sounding catchphrases or fashionable thinking is dominant at the time.
The people I listen to have to be real Christians who know Jesus Christ. To identify as Christian on a census form is not enough. That may be good for statisticians and government planners, but it means nothing to God. Cultural Christianity is not Christian. God wants a personal relationship with people. A living faith in Christ, and trust in His Word.
That’s why I don’t listen as much as I did to people who don’t know Jesus.
Let me explain. Genuine Christianity is not about religion. It is about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus bring us to the Father, who sends the Holy Spirit to His children. The Spirit teaches us God’s truth. The Holy Spirit dwells in the believer’s heart and speaks to him.
Faith in Christ comes first. There is no other way to God except through Christ. Those who have rejected the Son do not know the Father. That leaves them ignorant of the Holy Spirit. For this reason they cannot receive the Spirit.
I know this from personal experience as well as from Scripture. So do countless millions upon millions of people now — and throughout the past 2,000 years — who have experienced the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. A skeptic might say, “You hear voices?” as if I and my fellow believers are mentally ill. Yes, I am saying I communicate each day with Christ and He with me, and so do hundreds of millions of other Christians!
They Don’t Get It
It is my experience that He sends the Holy Spirit to guide me in matters of faith, morality and conduct. The Holy Spirit has comforted me in the terrors of serious neurological disease, and cancer, when I have been excluded or falsely accused. The Holy Spirit also convicts me of sin and calls me to repentance, and leads me back to God through Christ.
Non-Christians just don’t get it. Why would they? How could they? They have not come to Christ, not met the Father, and not received the Holy Spirit. They might be good people, but they don’t have the voice of God speaking to them. They don’t have that access to God’s truths.
And that’s why we can’t be sure they will get moral issues right, and why they always get spiritual matters wrong. That’s why they tend to hold the same views the world does, and not the truth as we Christians know it in Christ. And that’s why I listen to Christians first and foremost, no matter how much I respect others.
Christians must be careful. We can be fooled. We can ignore the Holy Spirit or we can stop our ears to His voice. We need to discern which spiritual voices are from God or the evil one. As the Apostle Paul tells us, Satan can masquerade as an angel of light.
The Apostle John instructed us how to discern what is of God and what is not. “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. … They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.” Just like today. Only today some of those false prophets claim to be Christians leaders.
John tells us how we can tell the difference: “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”
Any spirit that contradicts the Word of God is not of God. That is the first test. We who have met Christ and have given our lives to Him must always pray for more discernment. The world is increasingly wily, cunning, and seductive in making evil seem good and good seem evil. Be on guard. Put on the full armor of God. Surrender your whole life to Him and let the Holy Spirit reign in you.
Remember what John said: “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. ”
Mark Davis Pickup is a Canadian pro-life activist. You can read more of his thoughts and story at his blog, Human Life Matters. His previous article for The Stream was We Need God’s Idea of Human Rights, Not Eleanor Roosevelt’s Humanistic One.