Posted by: Ety W. | March 20, 2008

Definition of a Christian

Now that I’ve told you about how I became a Christian, I think perhaps I should define what I mean by the term “Christian.” Unfortunately, common usage of the label doesn’t mean a whole lot these days in terms of one’s actual beliefs. It has other, assumed meanings. These most often seem to imply a cultural, familial, or even racial position, regardless of one’s belief system. It is often used synonymously with “church goer,” but anyone of any belief system can attend church regularly. However, finding a mouse in the cookie jar doesn’t make him a cookie.

In addition, the various churches and denominations don’t define the term the same. Does it mean having been baptized in a particular denomination or church, or is it being a member of the larger Christian community embracing other denominations? Does it mean being a follower of Christ the enlightened master, or Christ the Son of God?

In our homeschool group, we had one mom who accepted anything under the label of Christian: books, curricula, music, magazines, etc. As I watched her and her children over the years, I realized that a lot of things labeled Christian didn’t look any different than what the rest of the world was offering. It seemed as though the label was simply a marketing ploy to sell more product to a particular group of people. That was a good experience though, as it caused me to look more closely at everything using that label.

Now, I don’t want to turn this post into a philosophical thesis or doctrinal debate, I just want to let you know where I’m coming from. To me, the bottom line as to whether or not one is a “true Christian” all boils down to two simple questions: Who is Jesus? And what are you going to do about it? For myself, I think I pretty much answered that in this post, but for the record, when I use the term “Christian,” I am referring to one who believes that Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, and who has made the choice to repent of their sin and follow Jesus.

This then, is how I will use the term. I realize that some may wish to add other qualifiers, but I believe that these can fit into this simple definition at one point or another. Mostly I just want my readers to understand where I am coming from and I think that this definition accomplishes that.Content copyright 2008 by If you find it anywhere else, it’s been stolen.

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