The Believers Who Call Christ Lord

Much is known about the religion we call "Christianity" and sometimes the believers themselves make headlines, but usually only when they do things that either so far removed from the mainstream of acceptable behavior as to warrant some sensational headlines, or if they show heroic courage attributed to their faith in the face of great adversity. Especially in the wakes of the 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina disasters we have seen such heroes.
Unfortunately, as much as the press admires the heroes of the faith, they almost seem to thrive more on the believers who have espoused odd looking aspects of the faith that the mainstream community of believers, international as well as national, do not usually condone or even believe. As such, there are the practices of withholding medical care or refusing vaccinations, the idea of snake handling, and most certainly the idea of stockpiling weapons and living in compounds in preparation of the Apocalypse.

Yet what do the believers who call Christ their Lord and King really believe? Are there patterns of believe that apply to believers – international and national - that will make it pretty sure that they can be recognized by their faith alone? Christ Himself mentioned to His disciples that one of the overriding of their faith should be the love they evidence for one another as this would be a surefire way for others to recognize them as His disciples. Throughout the churches of the world it is true that one of the underlying feelings and overriding tenets is that of love – for one another as well as for a hurting world – that helps outsiders to recognize that they may have stumbled on a group of people who are different from other assemblies they may have visited.

As a matter of fact, there are a number such signs that the believers of the faith have in common, even if they vary in practice, creed, and sometimes application of the Scriptures:
•Jesus Christ is universally believed to be the author and perfector of the Christian faith.
•As such, His example is considered worthy to be followed, and the believers strive to follow in the footsteps He left behind.
•The teachings of the apostles are given much credence, especially since many of them were contemporaries of Christ.
•The Bible is the agreed upon text of the faith.
•Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself is on equal footing with the Ten Commandments, and has in many ways superseded the Mosaic Law as it has been set forth in the Torah portion of the Bible.
•The believers believe in good works, helping the poor, and supporting one another as being in harmony with their faith.
•If situations arise that fall outside the mainstream of experience, the believers will ask themselves how Jesus would act in a similar situation, and do their best to arrive at a response.

As you can see, these general tenets are not quite what many sensationalist stories would have the average non-believer or even alien to faith believe. Sadly, it is the minority of oddballs and those considered on the fringes of the faith that make for great stories, while the life of the husband and father who neither cheats on his wife nor beats his kids, who does not forget to file his taxes, and who picks up the paper for his neighbor which landed on the street goes largely unreported and unacknowledged, save by those whose life he touches – usually his family, extended circle of friends, and of course Christ Himself.
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