This is the beginning of my online publishing. I first referred to this important subject of Christian behaviour over nine years ago here. Christian behaviour is much more than people realise. Even Christians are not taught it and very often they mistake fleshly behaviour for Christian zeal and prudence. A person may know the Ten Commandments but know next to nothing about Christian behaviour.
I explained Zugology here, two years ago. This publication is about ‘the balanced theology of Christian behaviour’ or the theology of balanced Christian behaviour. This means that it draws its teaching about Christian behaviour from the Christian Bible.
In effect, this publication seeks to give a balanced overview of Christian behaviour, which is very different from worldly human behaviour. The Lord Jesus Christ teaches us to think counter-culturally, to see things the way that God sees them, and to act in a Christian manner by the help of the regenerating Spirit of God, Who makes the godly “a new creation” 2Cor 5:17, thinking, speaking and behaving differently from the fleshly behaviour of the world lying in wickedness 1Jn 5:19 because they are a ‘new creation’ Gal 6:15. In 2Cor 1:17 Paul shows that there is even a Christian manner of decision-making, contrasted with a fleshly, non-Christian manner.
The lives of the godly are a book read by their acquaintances, so that although many will not read the Bible, yet they can read the lives of the godly. This Christian witness should encourage their friends and acquaintances to seek God for themselves, and find Him in Jesus Christ.
I will put a Table of Contents here which will include an index to a Dictionary of terms. Many commonly used terms are poorly defined, such as the word Christian itself. I coin new terms on a regular basis to explain various biblical themes and these need accurate definitions.
There are so many topics in Christian behaviour that I invite you to let me know what are your priorities and I can try to deal with these as a priority. It makes little difference to me in which order I publish these topics. You may use the comments box below.
The main point about Christian behaviour is that it needs to balance many different biblical principles to arrive at correct behaviour. This balancing is ‘zugology in action’. Take the Ten Commandments as an example. How does a Christian child obey its ungodly parents (the fifth commandment) who want him/her to disobey the fourth commandment about the Sabbath day, or any other commandment for that matter? Another example – How do you obey the fourth commandment about the Sabbath on a Wednesday night? (Hint: the commandment says Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy – you can remember it at all times by planning how best to use it.)
Paul wrote to the church in Corinth in reply to its letter asking for his advice on various matters 1Cor 7:1. He gave advice from which we can draw biblical principles for personal and congregational behaviour. The two epistles to the Corinthians show us how Christian congregations should behave and how to correct issues in a Christian manner, even serious immoral sinners and litigious Christians, two areas of life that upset many people. Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews shows preachers how to exegete Old Testament Scripture. The Old Testament gives us principles how nations, governments and rulers should behave, and the advantage of individuals growing up in a godly family Deu 6:1-9 and Rom 3:2. The Old Testament teaches us about divine providence in personal, domestic, ecclesiastical and national life. There is much for Christians to learn.
This publication, like Scripture, teaches didactically through the written word but behaviour is also learned through imitation of living examples, mentors, as Paul taught: “Be ye imitators of me, as I am of Christ” 1Cor 11:1. This shows us that Paul is the best human example to which we can attain, because we cannot attain to the perfect example of Christ nor are we expected to follow everything in Jesus’ life as He was given a specific work to do by His Father that is beyond our imitation.
The apostle Paul thought, spoke and behaved as if in Christ’s presence 2Cor 10:17. The sense of Christ’s presence and oversight guided his behaviour 2Cor 2:10. Christians ought to act similarly, instead of looking over their shoulder at what others expect them to do.
However, the Holy Spirit commends those who ‘checked out’ the teaching of the apostle Paul Act 17:11, how much more other Christian teachers? We need godly mentors, godly examples. Be sure to ask God to help you to find them – and do not slavishly follow them but only so far as they are imitators of Christ. Paul gives us the example: “we do not have dominion over your faith, but we are helpers of your joy, because we do not have dominion over your faith, but we are helpers of your joy, because you stand by faith’ 2Cor 1:24.
Table of Contents
Work in progress: chapters are being added and in due course they will be clickable for you to consult and make suggestions.
Section 1 Personal behaviour
- Personal duty: where do I stand?
- Bible reading and Bible study
- Confessing Christ: domestic, social, employment, outreach
- hobbies and the use of time
Section 2 Domestic behaviour
- Family worship
- Meals: grace before and after eating; communal activity
- Church attendance
- Parents, children and the fifth commandment
- Extended family
- Family time: hobbies, holidays, mentoring
Section 3 Congregational behaviour
- Public worship: leadership, Regulative and Normative Principle,
- Prayer meetings: congregational and open prayer meetings
- Outreach: equipping for personal and collective outreach
- Community service and witness
Section 4 Ecclesiastical behaviour
- Local church
- Collective: church government
- independency, presbyterian, episcopacy
- biblical government
- of worship, teaching, mentoring
Section 5 Denominational behaviour
- Authority, control and loyalty
- Ministries and government
- Oversight of congregations, their worship and governance
- Established churches, national churches, voluntary organisations, house-churches, para-church organisations
- Teaching and confessions of faith, creeds and Christian discipline
- Systems of theology: Calvinism, Arminianism, Socinianism, Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy.
- Constitutions, ecclesiastical regulations, subordinate standards and the Word of God
- Conscientious scruples, dissent and accommodation, and protest
- Missiology, ecumenism and the worldwide church.
- Relationship with other faiths and people of other faiths: Jews and Judaism, muslims and islam, etc. Christian sects and Arianism, Socianism, etc.
- Eschatological impact upon denominational behaviour
- Prophecy, exegesis, teaching and application of Scripture.
Section 6 Civil behaviour
- Loving one’s neighbour
- Christian citizenship
- Voluntary and community work
- Politics: local, national and international
Section 7 National behaviour
- The Christian constitution of the nation
- Authority, the rule of law
- The Establishment Principle
- Government: division of powers – legislative, executive and justiciary
- democracy, autocracy, theocracy, benign and malign dictatorship, totalitarianism.
- Voting and conscientious objection
- Civil rights and duties.
- Free speech and liberty.
- Political systems and Manifestos
- Christian economics
- Sustainability, exploitation and charity in relation to the environment and employment.
Dictionary of terms
to be constructed
A, B, C, D,
Bibliography and brief book reviews
Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos is teaching young men to take more responsibility and to speak the truth. It is a useful message but not the whole Christian message. It is a secular attempt to do what Christians ought to have done long ago.