Fake Christians, on the other hand, should be of grave concern to us all – especially to genuine believers who have repented and trusted in Christ. That’s because what we believe about Him will impact every last one of us for all eternity.
As aggressive as the enemies of Christ have grown in recent years, it has become a little easier to identify the Fake Christian. All you have to do is take the biblical stand on a current controversy and wait. Almost invariably, the Fake Christian will tell you how judgmental you are and how warped your idea of God is.
Never mind that your source of authority is the Bible itself, which is demonstrably the word of God. If you oppose abortion, or warn against behaviors that He calls an abomination, or suggest that salvation requires repenting of what He says is sin and trusting in Christ to have paid its penalty in full, the Fake Christian will be all over you.
“I am a Christian,” he or she will insist with the pride that God says He hates, “and He told me that there are many ways to heaven, and that He loves all His children no matter what they do or believe because He made them the way they are!” Included in this universalist hug-a-thon are pagans who deny everything about Christ, from His deity to His atoning sacrifice -- because, hey, Christianity doesn't mean I have to actually believe that Jesus is who He allegedly claimed to be and did what He allegedly claimed to have done. How arrogant of you to even suggest it!
I have yet to come up with an effective response to this sort of theology. I’ve tried simply sharing the Gospel. I’ve tried explaining how I know that the Bible is the inspired and inerrant word of God. I’ve tried addressing the Fake Christian’s primary objections. I’ve even tried asking the last-resort question, “What if you’re wrong?”
To no avail, apparently. It seems that thinking you’ve heard directly from God trumps every other argument – even if “directly” really means via someone as widely admired as Oprah Winfrey or Joel Osteen. That’s particularly true if the Fake Christian holds to a relativistic view of the world, absolutely certain that “what’s true for you isn’t necessarily true for me.”
Perhaps the best thing to do in these situations is to follow The Way of the Master, demonstrated so beautifully by Ray Comfort: get as far as we can with showing the Fake Christian his or her sinfulness and impending judgment before a holy God, and then explain why the cross is his only hope. Such an argument will normally be rejected, but perhaps we will have planted a seed or two that will be watered by the next believer and will ultimately germinate in the light of some crushing life circumstance.
Sadly, these days our world is jam-packed with Fake Christians who detest everything we stand for. But Jesus told us how to treat them: “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45a).
And that means telling them the truth about the Gospel, whatever the cost. If we love them, it’s the least we can do.