Are You A Christian? Possibly Not the Right Question

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Are You A Christian?

The moment I asked the young lady, “Are you a Christian?” I wanted to reach out and snatch those words back before they reached her ears. When asked, ‘are you a Christian’, it’s not uncommon for people to reply with a simple, “Yes.” When I hear that answer, I know I have to do some probing. Why?

Some people’s definition of being a Christian is, “I was born that way.” Others believe that because they attend a church or belong to a certain religion, they are a Christian. Still others, like myself many years ago, would answer ‘Yes’ and quickly walk away knowing I wasn’t telling the truth.

The Right Question

PazNazThe answer the young lady gave for ‘Are you a Christian’ was one I’ve heard before. She said, “I was raised a Catholic.” I told her that being a Catholic doesn’t make you a Christian. “Inviting Jesus into your life and accepting Him as your Lord and Savior makes you a Christian.” She slowly began to back away from me, so I told I her I had prayed with other Catholics. I then asked the right question, “Would you like to pray with me to receive Jesus?” “No” was all she said as she turned and quickly walked away.

Of course I wanted her to say ‘yes’. There was a time I would have felt disappointed, wondering if I could have said anything differently to  get a positive response. Finally I realized that I could have been as eloquent as a linguistics professor, but unless the Holy Spirit draws them to Christ, my words lack power to save.

I prayed quietly for her as she walked off, then returned to my painting.

About the Painting

First Church of the Nazarene in Pasadena is a contemporary building that hosts various events for people of all ages. The occasion that brought me here this day was a crafts show my wife was participating in.

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