Monday, October 1, 2007

The etymolgy of a title.

Christian. A term so dear to some and yet almost repulsive to others. Why is that? I have been noticing myself and others who are in tune with the world around us that we tend to shy away from this title more often then not. I was listening to a radio DJ, one who did not follow Christ Interview Donald Miller and the first thing He asked Don was " Hey, so I hear you are a christian and you and some others ore doing some christian stuff up at Reed college." Don repiled quite frankly but eloquently" I don't really like that term christian, but if you want to talk about Jesus, we can talk about Jesus." He sees that the term christian hasnt had a very good run in the last ohh....thousand or so years. But this term didnt always make people cringe, Jesus freak or otherwise. The first time the the title was given it was in the most positive way.

Acts 11:26
"...The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch."

Now the Bible tells us that when the Church at Jerusalem sent Barnabas to Antioch that "he was evidence of the grace of God" and that when they heard of an empending famine they prepared by sharing all they had so no one would be severly affected. Other parts of Acts say that the disciples were respected and well liked in many areas by all kinds of peoples. The ones that were not in the fold of Jesus' teaching saw those who followed Christ as good, loving and compassionate people. Nowadays you say the word christian and people think of pushy judgemental hypocrites. well, i guess we kinda went the other way with that.

Now lets take a look at this term Christian. In the Greek it is the term Χριστιανός , or Christianos. I dont have spend on lenghthy exegesis because we all know what it means. Follower of Christ. But, it is just a word, rhymes with fishin' and mission. Jesus didnt say we will be known by a word, he said we will be known by something else.

John 13:34-35
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

Jesus did not say we we would be known by how much we tithe or how verbose our prayers are or how many bible studies we attend, he said we will be known by the way we treat the people around us. Boy, everytime I seem to think I get this whole following Jesus thing down, I come back to the gospels and they just devestate me in the most beautiful way possible.

So, We are obviously not worthy for this title, to put Christ in our name, but God has believed in us by calling us ambassadors for His Son. He believes in this age just as much as he believed in his first disciples. We need to start living up to our name and starting acting like Jesus, not just talking about Him. Lets bring ths term Christian from borderline embarrasing to something that invokes hope in a world that so desperately needs it.

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