“I’m a Great Christian,” said no Christian, ever!
With that introduction, I want to get into why Christians need to check themselves and the validity of their faith if they have any leaning toward voting for Donald Trump.
I just learned this week that the pollster George Barna, in trying to interpret polling data, created two categories for people who claimed to be Christians. When I discovered these two categories, I shouted “Amen, brother!”, because he nailed the fact that not everyone who claims “Jesus is Lord” actually means it. Barna’s two categories are creedal and notional.
And with these two categories, we come to the crux of the problem with Christianity today.
Creedal vs. Notional Christians
Creedal Christians means just what it sounds like; Christians who look to their creeds to determine their faith and their practice. These Christians can say with Rich Mullins about the Creed, “I did not make it; no it is making me. It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man.” On my About page, I say, with all seriousness, that I believe every word of the Apostle’s Creed. On my other blog, I wrote a series of posts about the Creed, going through it line by line, writing about what a confessing Christian is saying as s/he recites the Creed.
Notional Christians, on the other hand, say that they believe and follow Jesus as Lord and savior, but they are a little less fervorous in their commitments to following the dictates of faith. These Christians are all in favor of doing the right thing in culturally accepted ways. Christianity does not shape them, but is shaped by the culture in which they live. To them, it is as if Christianity is a really good idea, and not all that demanding on their morals and life.
The best way that I heard it put is that for Creedalists, their faith is a conviction while Notionalists hold their faith as a preference.
“Norman, Meet a Great Christian”
Speaking to a large crowd in Sioux City, IA, Trump twice, in the space of a few seconds, boasted of being a great Christian:
First of all, I am a great Christian –- and I am –- I am. Remember that. And I do well with the evangelicals. But the evangelicals left me down a little bit this last month. I don’t know what I did. But I am a great Christian.
Wrong answer! No Christian, if he or she takes his faith seriously, if he or she considers their sins and examines their lives, EVER brags about how great of a Christian they are. There is a word that is found in several places in the NT, and is used to admonish Christians on how to live; it is the word humility. (btw, the second photo is from the I, Mudd episode of Star Trek, and shows the main robot, Norman, starting his famous meltdown, with smoke starting to come out his ears.)
For example, Christians are instructed to “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (Eph. 4:3) Contrast that with this bit of personal advice from The Donald.
You become very successful — the people that you will like best are the people that are less successful than you because when you go to a table, you can tell them all these wonderful stories, and they’ll sit back and listen. Does that make sense to you? Okay. Always be around unsuccessful people because everybody will respect you.
These are the words of a man who knows nothing of the teachings of Christianity and who values Christian teaching even less. And people who claim to be Christians and yet swallow and follow this travesty of faith should be ashamed.
And that’s all I’ve got to say about that, lest I demonstrate un-Christian behavior, myself.