by Rev. Benjamin Chung (鍾立恆牧師)
It is interesting to read the political news recently about how some Republicans are called RINOs. This acronym stands for, Republicans in Name Only. These Republicans are viewed as imposters to the Republican cause. It is meant to demean those civil leaders who did not act or vote in ways that support Republican goals, and for some, it meant that they didn’t support President Trump in helping him get re-elected.
As I consider this concept, I ponder if the term CINO should be used? I do not mean Chino, which means a Chinese person in Spanish, but Christians in Name Only (CINO). I suppose such a term is not very gentle or respectful. That said, I am sure we know many who claim to be believers but when it comes to actions, they are anything but edifying the Almighty God of whom we serve and who is the LORD. Such is what we are studying in the sermon series for the English ministry. 1 John 2:18-19 (ESV) says, “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.”
These CINOs have a name that might be more disturbing, as the name is Antichrists. John explains who an antichrist is, “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son” (v.22). When we deny Christ with our mouths, we are antichrists. And it is more than just verbal allegiance to God, it is also what we say and do. For we are also told to abide in Christ. This means we are to live in accordance with His ways, which means we are to love the Lord our God with all our being and to do the same with our neighbor. Lest we forget, to love someone is not an emotion, but it is a choice. Love is a decision to do things a certain way. So if we say we love God and we love our neighbor, then it is not only our words but our actions that must reflect this truth. Therefore, do not act in ways that people will claim you to be an antichrist, but to be a “little Christ”, which we also know means, a Christian.
當我思想這個觀念時，我在考慮是否應使用CINO 一詞？我不是說Chino，這個西班牙語的意思是中國人，而是冒充基督徒(Christians in Name Only) 的英文字母的縮寫 （CINO）。我認為這樣的用語不是很好聽或不表示尊重。我們認識不少自稱是基督徒的人，他們的行事為人沒有彰顯出我們所事奉的主是全能的上帝。這就是我們在英文崇拜講道系列中研究的內容。約翰一書 2:18-19：「小子們哪、如今是末時了．你們曾聽見說、那敵基督的要來、現在已經有好些敵基督的出來了．從此我們就知道如今是末時了。他們從我們中間出去、卻不是屬我們的．若是屬我們的、就必仍舊與我們同在．他們出去、顯明都不是屬我們的。」
這些CINO 的別號令人更不安，他們可稱為敵基督。約翰指出了誰是敵基督，「誰是說謊話的呢？不是那不認耶穌為基督的嗎？不認父與子的，這就是敵基督的。」（22 節）。當我們用口否認基督時，我們就是敵基督者。這不單只要在言語上對上帝的效忠，更包括我們所講和所做的。因為我們要與基督聯為一體，我們的生活要與救恩相稱，我們要盡我們所能愛主我們的上帝，並愛我們的鄰舍。免得我們忘記，愛一個人不是一種情感，而是一種選擇。愛是決定