If I told you I was a plumber, you’d know to call me to unstop your toilet. If I told you I was a fireman, you’d call me to put out a fire. Now if I told you I was a Christian, when would you call me? I’ve been struggling with what to call myself so as to best communicate to others what my identity is.
The Wakopedia says,”A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity“. That doesn’t work. You can’t define something with the word built in the definition. It further says, “Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament.” That is fine, but it really doesn’t communicate my beliefs.
Much of my life, I thought being Christian was being Baptist. Then, I heard about Christian Catholics and Christian Methodists. There may even be Christian atheists. I don’t know. It has gotten so confusing that the word Christian probably needs to be better defined. I am thinking about the “Emerging Church’s” definition of a Christian. They may have solved the conundrum or riddle.
For the emerging church folks, a Christian is someone who is headed toward Christ and a nonChristian is headed away from Christ. They would vigorously debate the question of how heading to or heading away from relates to personal salvation. For me, I’m thinking that maybe their definition works if being Christian does not indicate one’s eternal salvation.
So, a Harry Kristna type could be selling flowers in the airport and headed toward Christ. I could refer to him as Christian, because he is headed toward Christ. But I don’t expect to buy his flowers in heaven, because although he may be headed in the right direction, it is unlike he will make the trip in his current state of dress and mind.
Does that work? Be bold. I’m hoping you haven’t let the thought nazi’s break your fingers or cut out your tongue. What do you think about this new definition of Christian? Are you ok with it?