In the US the Republican Party is supposed to represent the conservative side of politics. Most Republicans are conservative, but many are not. There are what is known as “Establishment Republicans” for example who tend to take decidedly anti-conservative stances, such as supporting bigger government and the like.
We refer to these Republicans as RINOs (Republican In Name Only). These nominal Republicans are a blight on the Party, and are really false Republicans. Sadly we find the same situation in the church. There we find plenty of CINOs (Christian In Name Only).
They too are a blight on the name Christian. They are false Christians who do a great disservice to the cause of Christ. They are happy to parade themselves as believers, but when push comes to shove, they will show their true colours. Thus they are simply nominal Christians, not real Christians.
I admit to being a bit slow here, but I only became aware of this Christian acronym today. (I might have heard of it earlier, but I guess it did not register then.) But it is a good one and I will henceforth use this helpful term. It is a descriptive and accurate term for so many so-called believers today.
I might as well cite the author where I first heard this term. The author, Rev. Michael Bresciani, is an American pastor and commentator, and his piece is found on the Canada Free Press website. This is a great site with plenty of excellent articles appearing each day. I especially like its reason for existence: “…Because without America there is no Free World”. Exactly so.
This pro-faith, pro-family and pro-freedom website knows that for all its faults, America is still the last man standing when it comes to standing between freedom and tyranny. Thus it needs to be upheld and supported, especially given that so many people and groups are hell-bent on destroying America – and I include much of the Occupy movement in that.
Anyway, the article in question is entitled “Eight Reasons Why Today’s World Despises and Resists Christianity”. It is a good piece and well worth reading. So let me quote from it here. The CINO bit comes in his fifth reason:
“Immediately after the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, President George W. Bush was heard to say, ‘Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended.’ Not all definitions of cowardice are so strong but any endeavor begun in good faith only to be abandoned in short notice is a microcosmic example of cowardice. If the slightest fear turns us around what do we call it when a person starts to walk in a new life with Christ, and then turns back? “Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Lu 9: 62)
“The church is experiencing the greatest resistance in its 2000 year long history and many churches are buckling under the pressure. Apostasy has been predicted in the Bible (2 Thess 2:3f) and is actually one of the signs that we are entering into the last generation of time as we know it. The bottom line that the CINO Christians are woefully unaware of is; that the world may not know much about true Christianity but it does know that it hates a coward.”
Some of his other reasons are worth looking at as well. His first one is a very good one: “The indisputable number one reason real Christianity is despised is because it declares that man’s greatest problem is sin. We have for centuries seen the problems of man as a lack of knowledge, economics, race problems, politics and dozens more. The Bible recognizes none of these things as the root problem of man. Rather the scriptures declares that the fallen condition of man drives us all to a propensity to sin that ultimately causes the problems of all mankind. Wars, economic disparities, race problems and all else is a result of man’s willingness to sin and live out lives of sin without recognizing that they are sinners.
“The Bible has many things to say about sin but the central focus is that Jesus Christ came into the world mainly to deal with the problem of sin once and for all. His death on the cross was no accident or untimely thwarting of his goals and ministry. It was the primary reason he came and the ultimate goal of his life. He came as the one sacrifice that would forever placate God and after his work was completed all sacrifice, religious precept, self flagellation, austerity, and system of morality was rendered completely useless. His final deed, however, does not universally cover everyone; each person must come to terms with what Christ has done for them on a completely personal and individual basis.
“Christ said a man must be born again, sometimes we call that being saved, or we say a man has had a religious experience. When an individual sees who Christ is and responds by attaching themselves to him in faith and laying down a lifestyle of sin, that act of submission produces what’s called, a spiritual rebirth. Christ declares that without it no man will see eternal life. This is where the world gets antsy because it is a dependence that threatens their independence. It marks the end of self rule and the beginning of submission to the King of kings and Lord of lords. (Rev 17: 14)”
Yes this is what separates the men from the boys. This is what separates real Christians from CINOs. The real Christian knows he is a lost sinner who deserves his eternal fate apart from God, but humbles himself, repents of his sin, and turns to Christ and Christ alone for salvation.
And it does not stop there. For the rest of his life the real Christian is totally committed to making Christ Lord of all his life. Sure it is a gradual process, but Jesus is number one in his life. For the CINO, this is all just fire insurance. They will put their hand up at a meeting and hope to avoid future judgment.
But they live the same life as they always lived, and show no evidence whatsoever of having denied self and making Christ Lord of all. They are those who will sing ten choruses of “Just as I Am” at a revival service, but will leave just as they were.
And the real Christian will show courage in the face of a sin-soaked world, and will take action, and not sit idly by while the world goes to hell in a hand basket. As the pastor says in reason three:
“True Christianity does not just deal with personal sins but it stands diametrically opposite the social trends of the day namely, abortion and the gay agenda. It sees these two collective trends as sins that mark time as we know it and is a sure declaration that man is heading toward a last days encounter with God. That encounter is called, judgment and is meticulously outlined in the final book of the Bible we call the Revelation. The disregard for the lives of the unborn and the rise in perverted and deviant lifestyles are only two of dozens of signs that promise rather than merely predict the demise of the entire world.”
I for one want nothing to do with nominal Christianity. It is time to stand up and be counted, and show our true stripes. What are we really made of? Are we washed in the blood of the lamb, filled with His Spirit, and ready to do great exploits for the King? I certainly hope we all are.