Shelbyville Daily Union

March 27, 2012

Ask the Pastor

Chase Smith, pastor Fellowship Baptist Church, Shelbyville

SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Why do there seem to be so many “fake” Christians?

What do you think of when you read the word "fake"? Do the words ‘false’, counterfeit’, 'bogus', or ‘phony’ come to mind? So from the question that is being asked, we are trying to figure out what a false, counterfeit, and bogus Christian is.

The scripture tells us that a Christian is someone who has by faith put their full trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior for the forgiveness of their sins. (Eph 2:8-9) We also see that those who are Christians are those who have the Holy Spirit in their hearts (Eph 3:17), and those who do not have the Spirit in them do not belong to Christ. (Rom 8:9) So, the short answer to the question is that there is no such thing as a fake Christian—you either are, or you are not. You are either for Christ or you are against Christ. (Mt 12:30).

A Christian has some distinct characteristics in scripture: I will highlight a few here. First, a Christian is a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). This means that they no longer live/act like they have in the past but rather live as their creator (God) tells them to. Second, Christians are to bring glory to God (1 Pet 1:15-16). Christians are to try their best to bring glory to God rather than themselves in all situations. Third, Christians will produce fruit in their lives (James 2:17). This means that Christians will act like Christians. These actions do not save the person, but the actions do show their faith that does save them. Lastly, how does a Christian relate to sin? Christians should not practice habitual sin (1 John 3:6), and when they do sin, they should mourn because of their love and faith they have for Christ (Mt 5:3).

The point of the question comes from the fact that so many people call themselves Christians. When people talk about faith in this country, being a Christian is a popular answer. The issue is that just because a person calls themselves a Christian does not mean that they are one. Unless the above characteristics are true in an individual’s life, they are not a Christian. People cannot live like they desire and then call themselves a Christian— that is not how Christianity works. Jesus speaks of such a person in Matthew 7, he says that at judgment people will tell Christ that they did such good things and he will tell them that he never knew them because of their lack of faith.

Faith is an individual decision with eternal results. The question you have to ask yourself is are you a ‘fake’ or are you real Christian.

Chase Smith is the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Shelbyville. For more information from Chase or the church call 774-3636 or visit