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“Are there real phony Christians?”

“Are there real phony Christians?”

JUNE 17, 2022

/ Programs / Key Life / “Are there real phony Christians?”

Steve Brown:
Are there real phony Christians? The answer to that, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Key Life exists to communicate that the deepest message of Jesus in the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers. Life’s hard for everyone, so grace is for all of us. But there is a lot of confusion about how grace applies to real life, so here’s seminary professor and author Steve Brown and Pete Alwinson to answer your questions.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. You know, that’s kind of an oxymoron isn’t it, a real phony Christian.

Pete Alwinson:
I know, right?

Steve Brown:
I mean, you could be phony and, and never mind. That voice was Pete Alwinson, he comes in every Friday and we answer questions. And we love to get your questions. We take your question seriously. By the way, if you haven’t read Pete’s book, you can get an audio version of it now. It’s Like Father Like Son. And trust me on this, you will absolutely love it. You can get it at Key Life. You can get it at a good bookstores. Get it at Amazon. Like Father Like Son. Hey, as I said, we love to get your questions. You can ask a question by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 7, and we record your voice and put it on the air. Or you can write to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

in Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

or you can e-mail us at [email protected] And if you can help us financially, please do. I promise we’ll be faithful with your gift. You can charge it on your credit card. And we are a not for profit, obviously not for profit ministry. And if you help us, we’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. If you can’t, we understand. Pete, lead us in prayer and we’ll get to these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright, let’s pray together. Our Great God, we do come into your presence now on this Friday. And we’re so thankful that we can come at any time into your presence. We thank you for what you have done in our lives. We thank you for how you stopped us cold in our tracks and showed us that we needed a Savior. Maybe we weren’t even leading our lives well, and that we needed Jesus to not only save us, but to point us in every way on how to live. And so, we thank you for that radical transformation that you’ve brought into our lives. And so at the end of this week, we ask that you continue that process. But Lord, you know our needs and you know we need your leadership every day. And so, we give you the reality that we need your help and forgiveness. We need your guidance. We need your wisdom for relationships. We need you in so many ways. And you know every one of us who is listening now to this broadcast and who needs a work of your Spirit in our lives. So, we pray that you would touch us at the very point that we have need. And then Father, we ask as we get ready to worship with your people this week-end, that you would get us there in person, that you would use those who you have called to lead us and use them in a powerful way to unleash the gospel of grace into our lives. So, be with our priests and pastors and leaders and teachers, worship directors, all those who will serve and bring us into your presence. We pray that we would hear your heart and your truth, and we’d be set free. And now, we commit this time of Q&A to you, as we pray in Jesus’ strong name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Let’s go to our phone lines first.

Caller 1:
I know I’ve met a lot of true Christians, but why are there phony Christians?

Steve Brown:
They get votes. They get business and they get girls.

Pete Alwinson:
Huh.

Steve Brown:
You know.

Pete Alwinson:
Wow.

Steve Brown:
There are people who come to church and pretend. You know, it’s not hard to be a phony Christian. I mean, if you want to do that, I said from the pulpit one time, if you guys don’t want to be Christians, but you like a girl in the church, for a price, I’ll teach you how to fake it. All you’ve gotta do is learn a few words. You have to smile in a certain way, and you have to memorize a little bit of Scripture, so you can quote it at appropriate times and nobody will know. And who knows? She may like you. Don’t thank me, I was glad the help.

Pete Alwinson:
Is this a current ministry from Key Life?

Steve Brown:
No, I made it clear that it was a joke, but we do have people who went out from among us, as John said, because they were not a part of us.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, no, you’re absolutely right. And John’s absolutely right, of course. But there, you know, there’s always those that want to skin the sheep, and there’s money to be made in the church. And the more ape culture, the more phony Christians can use culture to take advantage of us. Like for instance, with our celebrities, you could have a great voice and you do have a great voice by the way. I heard you in our choir for

Steve Brown:
Good looking too.

Pete Alwinson:
Absolutely.

Steve Brown:
I hope you noticed that.

Pete Alwinson:
I know. And you could put together some records and stuff, you know, You could read the newspaper and people would come to Christ.

Steve Brown:
As long as they didn’t see me. Yeah. Well, go ahead. Yeah, you’re right. That’s a good point.

Pete Alwinson:
If we ape the celebrity culture, then a guy could get in there, sing Christian songs or preach Christian sermons and take advantage of people. And that’s what happened a lot.

Steve Brown:
Really true. But then on another subject, on this subject, You gotta be careful when you name them. You know, because nobody knows, I think when we get to heaven, we’re going to be really surprised. I think there are going to be people there that we didn’t think ought to be there. And maybe some missing that we thought would be. You said to me, Lord, Lord, but I never knew you. And, so we’ve gotta be really careful. How do you know if somebody is a Christian?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, I think, do they make a profession. Does their life generally speaking live up to that profession? Yeah, you’re right. I mean, good Christians fall. And there are so many temptations in leadership that our leaders fall. And, so that’s disappointing to the flock, but it does happen. We make mistakes. We let people down. We sin. And I’m glad that we can come running back to Jesus.

Steve Brown:
Oh yeah. Well, that’s good. Watch it, be careful, don’t point too many fingers, but keep your billfold closed.

Pete Alwinson:
Wow.

Steve Brown:
Just in case. Hey, what are the, this is an e-mail. What are the qualifications for leading, serving a church and leading?

Pete Alwinson:
Well, you know, if you’re leading, I Timothy 3, Titus chapter 2 has good qualifications for Elder, Deacon and mature Christians. And we all look at those and take those seriously, but for serving in the church, if you’re born again and growing and you know to the best of your ability you want to help advance the kingdom of God. Well.

Steve Brown:
You’re welcome.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Get in there.

Steve Brown:
On the serving of the church, it’s really interesting. We’re not looking for perfect leaders. We’re looking for ones that are characterized in their lives with those things that are mentioned in those two books about who should be the leaders of the church.

Pete Alwinson:
Absolutely.

Steve Brown:
You know, our friend, we have a friend here in Central Florida, his name is Ray Cortese. And I was there when he was ordaining Elders in his church. And he said to his congregation, I know what you think. He called them all up and they were standing on the platform. He said, you think that we look for the best. And when we found the best, we decided to make them Elders. Actually it’s the opposite. We were looking for the worst, who knew they were and were growing. And so, these guys we’re ordaining not because they’re better than you, but because they know they’re not.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s powerful.

Steve Brown:
It was really powerful.

Pete Alwinson:
And he’s a great guy and that’s a great thought. And you know, the whole idea of leadership, we tend to focus on character, charisma and competency. And we tend to think in America, we are pretty drawn to those leaders that have a charismatic nature to them, but we really need the competency in the character, to be before the charisma.

Steve Brown:
Right on. What does the Bible teach about the way we should worship in church?

Pete Alwinson:
Whoa.

Steve Brown:
We’re going to discuss the Regulative Principle.

Pete Alwinson:
What does that mean?

Steve Brown:
Well, you know what it means, you’re just asking him to create the conversation.

Pete Alwinson:
Maybe I forgot.

Steve Brown:
There are those who believe that the only way you can worship, is what is prescribed and proscribed in Scripture. And anything that’s not found there, you can’t do. Generally though, those people, you know, you have some churches that won’t have musical instruments, but it seems to me, they miss the point, there are musical instruments throughout the Psalms that are used in worship.

Pete Alwinson:
Oh yeah.

Steve Brown:
And it’s a pretty open thing, given that David danced in his worship before the Ark and he was half naked. So, we’re going to do what Scripture says, we could have an interesting worship service.

Pete Alwinson:
I know. Really, it’s true. I mean, and maybe at your church, you could do that. I want to see you in an ephod dancing around at church.

Steve Brown:
You know, I think sometimes there are those who become a legalist about it. I think using the Scripture is an appropriate guide for worship, is a wise thing to do.

Pete Alwinson:
Absolutely.

Steve Brown:
But you’ve got to recognize that Scripture cuts a lot of slack. And it’s bigger than you think it is. You know, we don’t want instruments in the church. Well, what about our tambourine? I mean, that would be appropriate Biblically. And you, well, enough said.

Pete Alwinson:
You’re right. I think you’re right, that Scripture should be the guideline. We know we pray. We know we read Scripture. We know we explain Scripture. We know we exalt God. Worship that is God centered, Christ centered and where we are singing songs that have substance. We’re not just singing love songs to Jesus. You know, I think that’s important to keep in mind too.

Steve Brown:
I do too. And there are a lot of contemporary music that is some of the most beautiful worship music ever written. And, we’ve gotta be careful that we don’t determine by taste, our taste without taking into consideration the tastes of other people.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. Like our preference is what matters and nobody else’s.

Steve Brown:
That’s right. I like country music. And any worship music that’s not country music cannot be Biblical or Godly.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s the idea.

Steve Brown:
That’s silly. Isn’t it?

Pete Alwinson:
It is.

Steve Brown:
You’ve gotta be careful about that. What happens to Christians, this is an e-mail. What happens to Christians at the judgment?

Pete Alwinson:
Well, we’re reaffirmed that we’re not guilty.

Steve Brown:
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Jesus.

Pete Alwinson:
Amen. And how powerful that is for us to believe this broadcast today.

Steve Brown:
And people worry about their sins being revealed. Listen, that will be a place of great praise, not great shame, because it was all covered by the blood of Christ. Guys we’re out of here. But first, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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