I was intrigued by a post on Joe Brummer’s website. Brummer, an infrequent visitor to this site is a self described formerly Christian, currently gay atheist. In the post entitled “After years of being a Christian…”, I was struck not so much by Brummer’s alleged years of being a Christian, but rather by the fact that he probably was never a Christian based on what the Bible says. This isnt a smear of his most likely honest beliefs, but a teaching moment to help people see that many people do a lot of things thinking that makes them a Christian, but the truth is that they have never passed through the “Door” and thus have never experienced what true relationship with Christ is all about.
This isn’t a swipe at Catholics because I have heard the same type of beliefs from different corridors of denominations. We need to know what is required —and what is not required— to be a Christian. I do have some problems with the contemporary definition of Christian and perhaps that ill conceived definition is why so many are deceived about their so-called Christian lives. Subsequently, Brummer seems to be lamenting something that actually never occured. You see, faulty understanding produces faulty living. And his reflections on what being a Christian is, truly reflects this deficiency.
Based on his exact quotes, I formulated 10 questions. See if you can give a biblical answer to them. Maybe if Joe sees the truth —and the difference— he will become a Christian for real.
1. Does being raised in a certain religion make you a Christian?
JB: “I was raised a Catholic.”
2. Does going to a religious school make you a Christian?
JB: “As a child, I went to Catholic schools and church on Sundays.”
3. Does receiving sacraments make you a Christian?
JB: “I was baptized, received communion, and was confirmed choosing the confirmation name, “Christopher.””
4. Does the desire to be a minister make you a Christian?
JB: “For a short while as a kid, I truly believed I would grow up to be a Priest.”
5. Does “playing church” make you a Christian?
JB: “I would hold “mass” in my basement playroom and pretend I was preparing Eucharist.”
6. Does singing in the church choir and doing weekly readings make you a Christian?
JB: “I sang in the church choir fronted by Sister Mary and did the readings at first Friday Mass.”
7. Does studying scripture and biblical history make you a Christian?
JB: “As I continued in my schooling, I studied scripture and biblical history.”
8. Does participation in morality and catechism classes make you a Christian?
JB: “I had morality classes and was taught catechism.”
9. Does understanding sin, confession and hell make you a Christian?
JB: “I understood sin, confession, and even hell.”
10. Does talking to Jesus or believing that he loves you make you a Christian?
JB: “At night, as I lay in bed, I would talk to Jesus and I truly believed he was listening and that he loved me.”