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A couple of decades ago conservative politicians coined an acronym for those who consistently voted with the opposition party, R.I.N.O. (RYE-know) which means, Republican In Name Only. Surely the Democrats have an equivalent term. To be fair, those who don’t always adhere to the party line consider themselves Independents. However, if people use the party name only when it benefits or is convenient, they probably deserve the acronym.

Perhaps someone should coin an acronym for those who only use the name Christian when it differentiates them from other religions or gains them an economic advantage. Might that be C.I.N.O. (CHEYE-know) meaning Christian In Name Only? In our society today it still seems acceptable to claim the name of Christ but only if one is not a “Bible thumper.” Can we even conceive how brave the 1st Century brethren were to wear the Name of Christ knowing it would possibly cost them everything?

It is certainly true that only Jesus Christ can judge whether people are truly committed to Him or not. It is equally true that all of us would have to admit to moments of failure in our quest to be faithful to His name. However, we have the inspired words of Christ Himself to judge our progress or lack of it (Jo 12:47-50). It is quite evident that those who are more than C.I.N.O.s will try to meet together to love, serve and encourage each other and our neighbors (Heb 10:25) (Gal 5:13) (1 Cor 14:26). They will in humility consider others better than themselves (Php 2:3) while looking not only to their own interests, but also to the interests of others. (v 4).

Even Christians who were once joyfully doing these things at one time (Heb 6:4-6) can grow lukewarm (Rev 3:14-18). Christ’s words to them are, “Repent and return to your first love (Rev 2:4-5) and “…Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you a crown of life.” (Rev 2:10).

Perhaps another acronym is needed. How about C.L.I.A. (KLI-uh) Christians Loving In Actions? After all, Christ said that if we love Him we’ll obey His commandments (Jo 15:10-14) (1 Pe 1:22) and so many of these involve loving others (Jo 15:17) (1 Pe 4:8). In fact, outsiders will know that we are Christians by this unselfish love for everyone (Col 4:5) (1 Th 4:12) (1 Tim 3:7) (1 Pe 2:12). Nothing nominal nor C.I.N.O. here, just a full-out C.L.I.A.

Jim Bailey

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