How Good a “Christian” is Jesus?

The term “christian” can more properly be “adherent to some form of christianism.” The term has little to do with its actual origins or meaning. Christianism refers to a religious point of view separate from and in contrast to other religious world views and philosophies. It does not refer to the personal transformational process of redemption appropriation that makes a person a new creation, regenerates his spirit, and opens the flow of grace into his life so that he can become more and more like Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Son of God and Savior of the world.

The word “christian” is obvious built upon the title “Christ,” a form of reference for “Messiah, the Anointed One.”It has history. When Jesus of Nazareth was born of Mary as God’s Son and Savior of the world, His destiny was to receive that anointing and be the Anointed One. Creation awaited His coming from before its beginning.

Jesus was with God and was God before He was born, and as God He filled the role of Messiah to the Jewish people and Savior to the whole world. The term means, “Anointed One,”and the concept of “christian” presumes a connection with this meaning.

The origin of the term can be traced to Antioch: “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” The original term seems to suggest the idea of “belonging to the Anointed One.” In its first context, it seems to suggest a contrast between those who belong to Caesar and those belonging to Christ. The sense of belonging to can refer to ownership and worship. Caesars were worshipped as the source and resource of the empire while believers belong to and worshipped Jesus of Nazareth, risen from among the dead.

Not Everything “Christian” is

Distinguishing a person from other religions, philosophies, and world views with the term falls far short of what it means to belong to and worship  the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, an amazing amount of the adjective carries little resemblance to Him at all especially when His actual words and actions enter into the discussion of what it means to belong to the Christ.

Perhaps we could say, without being overly dramatic or demonstrative, that Jesus wouldn’t be seen as a good “Christian” by a vast majority of people who use the label. We could ask, “How good a ‘Christian’ is Jesus?”

Just yesterday I read a comment by a person advocating the persecution of a business that chose not to participate in a wedding ceremony between two women: “Jesus would never act like this.” The comment reveals a consideration about marriage and gender identity so foreign to Creation that we are left to wonder why this person could assume that the Creator who set the order of culture would think the agenda that seeks to reset the norms of culture, contrary to His creation purposes was more “christian” than Jesus. To read His words and understand His actions, such a conclusion would mean that Jesus isn’t a good “christian” in the eyes of many people.

Watching Jesus live and lead, develop disciples, and obey His Father’s purposes, we see much less of Ghandi than many moderns wish to attribute to the Savior. Someone acting as Jesus acted, spitting and making mud, applying it to a blind man’s eyes, or using a rope to whip cheats while overturning their tables – twice, or calling hypocrites gravesides and sons of the devil, well, that wouldn’t be “christian,” now would it?

The reality is that Jesus being Jesus wouldn’t be welcomed as a member of most modern churches nor asked to speak at most christian conventions, conference, and conclaves. He would be an offense to “christianism,” insisting that God created in six days and rested the seventh, saying marriage involves male and female as it has been ‘from the beginning of Creation,’ insisting that people who wish to belong to Him carry their own cross, deny themselves, and learn to do what He does so they can do greater…

What do you think? Is Jesus a good “christian?”

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Dr. Don

Dr. Don

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