A New Word for Christians

Everywhere I turn there it is.  Christian! 

It’s an adjective, a verb, and a noun.

It’s claimed by over 40,000 different denominations.

It’s used by groups who love, groups who serve, groups who condemn, and groups who hate.

The word in itself seems wholly inadequate.  It no longer clearly upholds the ideals of a group of people humbly serving others in a quest to live out the kingdom of God.  It’s lost it’s significance.  “Christian” no longer seems humble, meek, and life affirming.  It is political, powerful, and judgmental.  Even those groups who band together in an attempt to reclaim the true nature of “Christian” do so with fervor and a narrow minded idealism.

I struggle to find a new definition of who I am and what I believe in order to distance myself from this definition and presupposition that tends to create more angst in the world than ever before.  I don’t want to be guilty of hypocrisy by association any more than a chef wishes to be categorized as a glutton for creating good food.  Yet, I cannot find my way down this new path without stumbling upon the roadblock of misguided truth.  The narrow path is not tread that easily.

You cannot distance yourself from the broad path while still claiming faith in Jesus Christ.  Then how do I return to a philosophy of life which exemplifies a life spelled out simply in parables 2000 years ago?  Those simple spiritual truths of love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Why does it have to be more complicated than that?

Does the commodity that is Christianity need to die away entirely in order for a revival of it’s purest ideals to truly be realized?

But what can you replace it with?

Can it be replaced?

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4 thoughts on “A New Word for Christians

  1. “People of The Way”. Similar thoughts here. And was given that phrase as a closer representation of what Jesus (and God) taught. Seems more “of God” to me, rather than the “of man” Christian label with all its baggage. And with that thought it’s back to work again! 🙂

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  2. Hi there. How are you doing? Just wanted to stop by with some thoughts.
    I do not think a new word would do any good. Changing the surface hardly ever changes the internal stuff. It is the underlying meaning that you desire to change from what I can tell; that is, you wish you could see Christianity lived. I understand your frustration. One thing to remember, however, is to keep your focus on Christ not Christians. All people are flawed and bound to disappoint. Love them anyway. That is all that our Lord asks us to do–to love. You know what He means when He says that (good works flow from that understanding), but others may not be there yet. Pray for them, remind them of real love mostly by your example (sometimes by your words), and the rest (their conversion) is up to Him. That’s a good reminder for me, too. Thank you for the question. Have a blessed day!

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  3. Our pastor did a series on the word disciple. Because the word Christian has been and can be associated with almost anything and there is no definition of it given in the Bible. But disciple is talked about in the Bible and has a clear definition. Jesus said that the world would know we were his disciples if we loved one another.

    I too struggle with how to define myself. Christian is far too broad. But use any other term and no one knows what you are talking about at all.

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  4. I understand what you mean. These days, if you don’t want people to look at you like you are hateful and judgmental you have to say “I’m a Christian but….” and then explain what your beliefs are. You can’t just say “Christian” anymore without it automatically alluding to “Right-wing, rich, judgmental, frequently hypocritical…” It’s generally surprising to people to find out that I’m Christian, but NOT Right-wing. It’s like they think it’s an oxymoron.

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