I have been reflecting on what is a Christian. After all so many call themselves Christian, or at least associate with the term Christian … but has the meaning changed since its first recorded use in Antioch? (Acts 11)
Is the word Christian any different in its modern use to the original intent?
What is a Christian?
The early Christian church exploded throughout the Middle East and Europe in the first century. It offered a new way of thinking, of living, of communing. It was revolutionary, it was attractive, it stood out from the practices of the day.
Especially to the poor, the neglected, the underclass.
This behaviour was so apparent that Christians were easily identified in Antioch to the point where they earned their own name.
Beyond just religious practices, rituals and routines, they actively sought to live out the Gospel. They lived as if the Gospel really was good news and their lifestyles reflected this – not just their Sunday mornings!
So is there a difference between Christians in Antioch and today? Does the word still reflect the lifestyles of believers? Or has it become a label that we wear when we want?
Are are we trying to do Christianity rather than be Christian?
Like a clothing label, are we just wearing our Christianity when it suits or the weather calls for it. But find that our clothes change with our environment.
Our beliefs change with the season, when times are tough, oh we lean in to prayer, attend church, surround ourselves with believers. Then as seasons change, and we walk in the nice summer breeze – well who needs church then!
Being Christian is much more than doing. To be is to live it, to do is to perform it.