SELF ASSESSMENT: WHAT KIND OF A FOLLOWER ARE YOU?
Counterfeit Christianity occurs when people identify with being Christian but then practice and promote a lifestyle that violates the essence of what Jesus taught. Counterfeit Christians have a hard time describing how the Holy Spirit has changed or is directing their life. They are worldly by most accounts—that is they are focused upon worldly pursuits. Evidence of that person’s change in behavior and world view would not be evident. If loving is not a word that would describe the person stating they are Christian then it indicates one who is counterfeit. People who have interests that are more important than Jesus, those who worship possessions, use the Lord’s name in vain, disrespect parents, speak of harming people, lie, steal, have sex outside of marriage, don’t attend Church, and lust after the possessions of others. They generally do not display joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. A counterfeit Christian is not advocating Jesus’ point of view and cannot articulate the concept of Christian Biblical salvation. Counterfeit Christians also identify more with an ethnic, religious or other group affiliation more than Jesus as their main objective. People can see these professing Christians as weak or failed. Christians who are genuine also sin including what I’ve described above. The difference is that Christians who are the real deal are convicted by the Holy Spirit and ask God’s forgiveness and don’t persist in the same behavior.
The type of professing Christian that people tend to despise the most is the hypocrite who DOES go to church and leads an outwardly religious life, but is caught up in legalism and imposes it upon themselves and others, and boasts of their “godliness” while acting like a Pharisee. This is the form of counterfeit Christianity that probably turns the most people off.
The Apostle Paul spoke of this in his letter to the Galatians and Philippians. Spending more time in the world, listening to others including some misdirected religious leaders leads to this pseudo-Christianity. An indicator of Counterfeit Christianity is when the professing Christian is indistinguishable with non-Christians. The real Christians recognize that they are sinners saved by grace and live to serve their Lord by not being ashamed to advocate for him in word or deed.
Counterfeit Christians are those who call themselves Christian and see themselves as good but behave like the rest of the world. Pay heed to the following scripture. Matt.7:21-23 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Are your attitudes and actions like Jesus? If no are you willing to ask the Holy Spirit for help and guidance or do you make excuses for not totally giving yourself to Jesus. Two steps forward and one step back is still progress. Staying pat is not progress.