The QuasiChristian

Critical Thinking and Spiritual Reasoning

Onward, Christian Soldier – Part 2

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

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The series “Onward, Christian Soldier” continues with clarification of the term “Christian” from a historical perspective. Look up the word Christian in your dictionary and you’ll find definitions similar to the following:

  • of Christ’s teachings or religion
  • believing in or following the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ
  • showing the qualities associated with Christ’s teachings

On the surface, these appear to be descriptive enough to grasp the meaning of the label. Upon further examination, you’ll notice that these definitions are quite ambiguous. Why? Christ’s teachings are central to each one. Without knowledge of this information you’re back at square one. How does one determine what those teachings are? For the average person this necessitates attending local church services and/or viewing Christian broadcast programs, being a passive recipient of strategically selected and packaged information. Whatever disseminates conforms to the agenda of the leadership within that particular organization of believers.

In the earliest years of Christianity the Church was united with no classification system of beliefs or denominational names (e.g., Baptist or Roman Catholic). Local churches didn’t have names and were simply referred to by their location (e.g., church at Corinth). The new movement of Christianity didn’t even have a formal name and many Christians simply considered themselves Jews who followed Jesus.

It wasn’t until other Jews saw that the disciples of Jesus were preaching and winning converts that they recognized this competing approach to life. They referred to the Christian community with several names: Nazarenes, Galileans, Followers of the Way, and Christians. I want to focus on Followers of the Way, as this is very telling about early Christianity. Such a designation implies that Christianity was not a belief that exists in theory rather than practice; it was an entire way of life.

It’s intriguing that this way of living was obvious to those around Christians and to the Christians themselves. These individuals were following Jesus’ lifestyle, the way he had lived and taught. Today, if one were to hear the phrase “Followers of the Way,” the mind would conjure up images of a fringe religious sect whose members are brainwashed by their leader who believes he’s God.

Part three in this series will continue to shape the historical background of Jesus’ followers. Until then, stay rational.

Onward, Christian Soldier – Part 1

Onward, Christian Soldier – Part 3

August 19, 2010 Posted by | Christian Education | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Onward, Christian Soldier – Part 1

I ended my last post by asserting that many Christians have a difficult time articulating what it means to be a follower of Christ. Today’s post is the first in the series, “Onward, Christian Soldier”. The Church declares to believers that they are soldiers in God’s army. They were drafted when they trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior and were born again into the family of God. As soldiers they are subject to God’s orders.

Well, the best soldiers are prepared for service with comprehensive instruction and training. The United States military does an outstanding job in this regard—the Western Church is derelict in its duty (prepackaged bible studies yield prepackaged thinking). I’ll flush out the details of the Church’s gross negligence in my upcoming posts. Let me emphasize that the onus is not just on the corporate body. As soldiers, Christians are responsible for preparing themselves for every situation they encounter. Becoming an enlistee is not a decision to be made haphazardly based on emotions or family tradition. It’s a lifestyle, and one that should be taken seriously.

Part two of this series will clarify the term “Christian” from a historical perspective. Until then, stay rational.

Onward, Christian Soldier – Part 2

August 16, 2010 Posted by | Christian Education | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Most Christians are Believers not Followers

Despite the abundance of community churches in the United States, there are very few followers of Jesus Christ. Most Christians have abandoned the way of their Lord and Savior—a life radically centered in God, not self. The tenets of Jesus have been cast aside in favor of self-defined principles and self-fulfilling deeds. Playing church is an art form—mastered by members of local social clubs with a religion theme.

Biblical ignorance is cultivated in Western Christianity. Diluted teaching and prepackaged thinking have replaced critical study and sober reflection. Unwittingly, many who practice the Christian faith have committed the unpardonable sin. According to Christ, a shocking fate awaits them. Ignorance is no defense on the Day of Judgment.

There was a revolutionary consciousness in Jesus. The ideals represented in the narratives of Christianity’s hallowed figure, are of a common life so far-reaching that it involved a transposition of values, a rectification of social life, and a revolutionary shifting of predominant relations. Early Christians were called disciples of Jesus because they were carrying on the teachings of Jesus and living the life he had exemplified. Christianity was not an abstract belief; it was a whole way of life. Today, many Christians have a difficult time articulating what it means to be a follower of Christ.

August 11, 2010 Posted by | Welcome | , , , , | Leave a comment