What is a Christian?

3rd quarter of 16th century
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There was a time when this question was easy to answer. It was simple enough because, I thought, this is a no brainer type of question. A Christian is someone who has put his faith in Jesus and repented of his sin. The implication of that is then, the person now attends church regularly, participates in baptism and the Lord’s supper, get active in church activities, reads the bible regularly, is active in sharing about his faith and devoted to prayer. Sure, a Christian are all those things.

Sometimes people might ask again. How does the Christian look like? How do we identify who is a Christian and who is not? Apart from what I mentioned above it is really difficult to define the Christian look. For there is no standard look to define what and how a Christian should look. It is not stereotype kind of thing.

I think as we move and as the world progresses, this thing about how a Christian should be is hard to define. Some take the stance that people who don’t carry their bibles to class or church make them people not of the book. But now we can download bible applications on our hand phones or Ipad or whatever and simply brows the bible using those devices.

Some people say that Christians are people who avoid certain places. I used to think that it was wrong for me as a Christian to go into a secular CD shop. Some people might add again that Christians are those who love only Christian music. Or are those who look smart and tidy in their appearance.

You might as well label the Christian look as those of the elite. Not those in the margins because it sure sounds like that. For me answers like the ones I gave worked for a specific period of time but now they somehow don’t make sense. We add all these rules on what defines a person a Christian and label that as a standard. So, someone who does not fit that description is not a Christian. Some argue that the true essence of right belief is the reformed view and thinking that departs from that is wrong. That is simply putting it too narrow.

I guess this is something we all have to look into (or I guess it’s just something I ask by myself). But if I were given the chance to define it again, I’d say, a Christian is a person who follows Jesus. That’s a broad statement but it’s the safest one. So to really know what it means to follow Jesus, read the scriptures and wrestle with what you’ve read. Be in conversation with those who follow as well in asking the same question.

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