‘Christian’ should be special word

Published 11:28 am Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It is amazing to me to reflect on the metamorphosis of the word “Christian.”

From music to T-shirts to entertainment, the word has been used to describe a variety of inanimate objects and philosophies.

We have literally associated anything remotely close to the church as Christian. It has become a bubble to fill in on a survey under the line item “religious affiliation,” while also being used to describe people that are living in fear for their lives in countries that are not open to the teachings of Jesus.

It is interesting to me one person can claim to be a Christian, yet never allow the life, death and resurrection of Jesus to impact their life, while another person finds incomparable hope and life in the teachings and sacrifice of Christ and clings desperately to Christianity as their faith.

We have taken this word, originally intended to describe individuals that represented the values and teachings of Jesus, and we have cheapened it to describe merchandise and musical genre. There is something desperately wrong with that ideology.

We find the word Christian first used in the book of Acts to describe the disciples that were planted in Antioch. The scripture specifically says, “…the disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” (Acts 11:26(b) NIV).

Notice they “were called Christians first at Antioch,” and it was not a name they determined on their own. This was because they were displaying the characteristics of Jesus and not because they were all wearing “cheesy Christian T-shirts.”

As a follower of Jesus, we should approach the word Christian with fear and respect because when we use it to describe who we are, we identify ourselves with Jesus. Jesus loved people who looked bad, smelled funny and did horrible things. Jesus forgave those who wronged Him. Jesus lived perfectly.

One last thought: by simply looking at what we describe as Christian today, do you think Jesus would identify Himself as a Christian?

Justin Hill is the pastor of Fellowship of Faith Community Church. He can be reached by e-mail at pastorj.hill@yahoo.com.