"I don't think that word means what you think it means"
“I don’t think that word means what you think it means”
I have in the past several weeks, heard on a few separate occasions from different friends or acquaintances, I am Christian, but…., Or, I raise my kids to be Christian, but……
And usually that is followed by the specific teaching of Christ and His church that they will not follow for one reason or another.
In this day and age, so many definitions have changed, I feel it is important to revisit some of them and set them straight.
1. A person who has received Christian Baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and His teachings.
2. A Christian is a person who follows or adheres to Christianity.
3. From the Greek word, Χριστιανός, or Christianos, meaning “follower of Christ”
Χριστιανός comes from Χριστός (Christos), meaning “anointed one” with an adjectival ending borrowed from Latin to denote adhering to, or even belonging to, as in slave ownership.
Yes! That said follower! Adhering to, or even belonging to, as in slave ownership!
Not something to be taken lightly, or misconstrued into our own comfortable idea of its definition.
If we revisit that first statement, “I am a Christian”, we can translate that into “I am a follower of Christ”
The word follower in this application does not mean follower like our culture uses the word.
“I follow him on twitter, or Instagram, or facebook, - I mean, yeah, I think Jesus is a pretty cool dude and I like to see what he is saying once in a while”
To profess yourself a Christian means much more than that. It goes from a distant admirer to an actual follower!
1. act according to (an instruction or precept).
Synonyms: obey, comply with, conform to, adhere to, stick to, keep to, hew to, act in accordance with, abide by, observe, heed, pay attention to
Which keeps bringing us back to that pesky word adhere.
Stick fast to
Synonyms: cohere, cling, bond, attach
- believe and follow the practices of.
So, in this wishy-washy world of half beliefs, self-created beliefs, and lets be frank – no beliefs, please, I beg of you; If you are going to call yourself a Christian, mean it. Live it. Go to the nearest Church and sit a while. Be reminded of what that word actually means. It doesn’t make you part of a popularity club who hangs out on Sunday to make you feel good. Don't get me wrong, it can make you feel good, and some of your closest friends may come from your fellow parishioners, but that is not its purpose. Its purpose is to continually lead us back to Christ, and His teachings. To offer us the way to find real healing, and purpose, and to take our place in this world as a servant of our Savior and Lord.
Being Christian is a membership in an amazing group of warriors. Followers of Christ. Pick up your cross and accept your marching orders! He is our leader. He is the one who tells us through word and 2000 + years of tradition what we are to do. He is the one we can turn to for discernment in this crazy world. He is the one with whom we long to spend eternity.
I am a Catholic (which means, universal) Christian. I choose to cling to Him and the teachings of His church on earth. I do my best to obey Him, to adhere to Him, to follow Him. I hope you can find the joy that comes from being one of His followers.
As the beloved Mother Angelica said:
“God wants you to be in the world but so different from the world that you will change it. Get cracking!”
God bless you and keep you!