In my High School and College years as I was managing at Chick-fil-A I had a lot of friends that were Mormon. Mormon’s don’t traditionally do any work on Sunday (like a Sabbath rest except on the first day of the week instead of seventh), and so many would desire to work at Chick-fil-A because it is closed on Sundays. That’s one of the main reasons I started working there as well. As my Mormon friends got to know me better, many of them would comment on how “You would make a great Mormon.” I could see why they saw it that way, because Christians share a lot of the same moral principles that Mormon’s do. I always thought it was funny that they would say that to me though, but they didn’t think it was too funny when I would respond, “And you would make a great Christian.”
That always got the discussion rolling further; that would hit on our differences rather than similarities. Mormon’s see themselves as Christians. Though I was sincere in my declaration they could be great Christians, most of them saw it as a little insulting (though some thought it was funny). But there were truths behind these witty jabs. Truth is, I could be a great Mormon; if I wanted to be. Truth is, they could be great Christians; if they wanted to be. They thought they were Christians, but they weren’t. Not because I say they aren’t, but because the Bible doesn’t say that they are.
The Bible doesn’t say who a Christian isn’t… it teaches what a Christian is. If you do what the Bible says to do to be a Christian, then you are what the Bible says you are. If you haven’t done what the bible says to be a Christian, or aren’t doing, then you aren’t a Christian. Go back to my days at Chick-fil-A. If someone walked in and asked for an employee discount for their food, they would have to prove they were indeed a Chick-fil-A employee. Not just at one time, but currently. And how is that determined? By the Chick-fil-A handbook (it’s like their company Bible). If you have been hired on, completed all the training, and are currently employed as the handbook dictates, then you are an employee. If not, then you are not. Simple as that. The Chick-fil-A handbook doesn’t say who isn’t a Chick-fil-A employee, it says who is.
In Acts 11:26 it says, “…and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” Jesus Christ told the Apostles to go out and “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). They did this by His authority (Mt. 28:19) and according to His teaching (Mt. 28:20). From the day of Pentecost on, one of the attributes of Christians is that they “continue on” according to the Apostolic teachings in word and deed (Acts 2:42; II Thessalonians 2:15). Jesus Christ told the Apostles to preach the gospel (Mark 16:15), to baptize those who had believed (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38), repented (Acts 3:19), and confessed Him as the Son of God (Acts 8:35-38; Romans 10:9-10). These are the people who are called disciples (Christians) in the Bible. You are not a Christian because you call yourself one, or because you think you are, or because you feel you are… you are only a Christian if the Bible says you are.
Are Mormon’s Christians? No they are not. Why; because the Bible doesn’t say that they are. They en-ter the Mormon church in a much different way than the Bible instructs one to enter the Lord’s church. They believe in a different Christ than the Christ of the Bible (Eph. 4:4-6). They have a different Church organization and hierarchy than that established by the Apostles (Ephesians 1:20-23). Their worship practices are different than those prescribed by the Holy Spirit in the scriptures (John 4:24). And in fact, the scriptures themselves are different from the one’s the Mormon’s use (Galatians 1:8-9). Are the Mormon’s Christians? No more than a dog can be a cat.
But I don’t say this to pick on Mormons. The same could be said for any church (denomination or non) that does not adhere to the authority of the Bible. Baptists are Baptists. They are not Christians. Why not? Based on the same principles discussed above. They appeal to different authority, have different organization, and different practices than prescribed through the scriptures. The same could be said for Methodists, or Catholics, or Presbyterians, or Pentecostals, Evangelicals, Charismatics etc. etc. None of them are Christians. Not because I say they aren’t, but because the Bible doesn’t say that they are.
But this isn’t to pick on denominations or evangelicals either. Because the truth is, sometimes Christians aren’t even Christians. There are really 2 parts to Christianity: 1) Becoming a Christian, and 2) Being a Christian. There are many people who do #1, but fail to do #2. And I want to ask you, does that describe you? You may have heard the gospel, believed the gospel, confessed Christ as the Son of God, repented of your sins, and been baptized into Jesus Christ; but are you continuing to be faithful to the Lord in following after Christ. Are you continuing to worship the Lord as the Bible teaches? Do you continue your daily walk as the spouse, child, parent, worker, brother/sister in Christ as the bible declares you should? It’s not enough to just go to the church of Christ, you must live Christ in order to be a Christian (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:1-3).
Do you want to become a Christian? Then you have to do what the Bible says to become a Christian. If you were going to be a Chick-fil-A employee then wouldn’t you need to go to the Chick-fil-A handbook to see what it takes? Then if you want to be a Christian, part of God’s holy people (I Peter 2:9-10), then don’t you think you should go to the church’s handbook, the Holy Bible, to know how to become one? For those who have done those things; do you want to stop living as though it was enough to become a Christian… and actually start being one; To actually start living your life for Christ, rather than for the world that He saved you from (I John 2:15-17)? If you are, then you might just make a great Christian after all.