What is a Christian?

Some think of a Christian as someone who believes the right things. The virgin birth of Christ, the deity of Christ, Christ crucified for our sins, and raised from the dead, for example. The more fundamentalist a person is, the longer the list of absolute essentials.

Some think of a Christian as someone who does certain things, like supporting missions, working in a soup kitchen, going to church, and taking communion.

Others think of a Christian as simply a kind person.

Apparently, there are a fair number of people who think being a white American citizen makes you a Christian. They imagine some special divine approval of the United States that makes it superior to all other nations. They mistake their white privilege in a racialized society as indication of God’s favor. They are the heirs of their European ancestors who equated being a Christian with citizenship and birthright. 

The only legitimate definition of a Christian, however, is a person who follows Jesus. That involves accepting that what he said about himself as true. He is the way, truth and life. He and the Father, YHWH, the creator God of Israel, are one. It also involves doing what he said to do – forgiving and loving unconditionally (including enemies), living a simple life free of greed, radiating with generosity and hospitality, refusing to kill another human being under any circumstances, caring for the poor and marginalized, standing on the side of truth, justice, and peace, being willing to be the servant of all. 

About Dr. Larry Taylor

Radical Anabaptist, Jesus Freak, Red Letter Christian, sailor, thinker, spiritual director, life coach, pastor, teacher, chaplain, counselor, writer, husband, father, grandfather, dog-sitter

Posted on August 9, 2022, in Christianity. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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