I say this to your shame, Is it so that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren ... ? 1 Corinthians 6:5

“Decide????? You mean there are decisions involved in being a Christian? I have to decide? I thought the only decision involved was to say you believed!”

Me, I am an automatic man! I love machines that take the work out of tasks. I do not enjoy the experience but the results! Automatic cameras, automatic transmissions—automatics are my machines! I love good decisions made without my having to choose!

It is so simple to become a Christian that we regard it to be a convenient machine. We express a desire to be baptized. We are asked if we believe that Jesus is the son of God. We are baptized for the remission of sins. We make a congregation our church home. We attend that congregation several times a month. We may or may not get involved in the congregation’s activities. We say (when asked) that we attend “X” congregation.

It is done! We are members! We are Christians! In fact, we are insulted if anyone questions that we are Christians. After all, we attend most of the time. We are on the congregation’s membership list. Our contact information is on the database. Our picture is in the directory. Why would anyone question our Christianity?

Please, do not mistake the point! We are a congregation of men and women who were baptized for the remission of sins because of faith in Jesus as God’s son. We seek to be a community of believers who wish to be known to and contacted by our spiritual family.

However, there is more to being a Christian than baptism, declaring membership, attendance, and involvement in church activities. It is a spiritual growth commitment. Increasingly, it involves who we are, how we behave, what kind of single person we are, what kind of spouse we are, what kind of parent we are, how we interact with people, what kind of employee/employer we are, what kind of neighbor we are, etc.

There is no automatic version of Christianity. Yes, faith involves personal decision making! The more spiritually mature we become, the more decisions we make!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 2 August 2009

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