CINO. Christian in Name Only.

I‘ve got a new acronym for you. CINO, which means Christian In Name Only.

If you follow politics at all, you might be familiar with the term “RINO” which is a derogatory term for politicians who espouse views that don’t agree with a particular party (the Republican party, in this case). It stands for “Republican in Name Only.” What it means is that the person uses the label of the party, but they don’t hold to the actual positions consistent with the party. It’s a pejorative term. It’s not a good thing.

Instead of being a term thrown out at someone else, I recommend that CINO be an introspective term.

I don’t ever know what life might throw at me. Chances are that you don’t know it all, either. However, we have this creeping problem in our church ranks where we call ourselves Christians, but then when the rubber hits the road, we do something else. We talk the talk, but we just don’t walk the walk.

James 1:26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.

That’s pretty strong wording – and it’s straight from the Bible. This is not the only verse like this. Elsewhere, it says that the person who hates his brother is in the dark (1 John 2:9). Jesus talks about us worrying about the plank in our own eye over the splinter in someone else’s eye. Look inward first.

Where am I going with this?

Next time you’re rattled or ready to unload, call to mind the Word of God. Being a CINO is just like what we see in the world. You don’t have to do much beyond turning on the TV to see anger and hate. It can be political, religious, or even over sports teams. This sort of behavior lacks something very important.

That thing is grace. God took it upon himself to die for all of us, and it’s a matter of trusting him on that foundation. When you live under grace, you’re not just living a life. Someone’s not going to be able to point to you and say  “Look at that dude or chick, they’re just like the rest of the world – so what if they’re Christian!?”

Don’t be a CINO. You’re living in the grace of Jesus. Take that grace to others; we pass it on by actually doing something for others to show it.


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