When you hear the word “Christian” what is the first thing that comes to mind? It depends on a whole lot of different things. If one has grown up with parents that are devoted to Jesus Christ and used the name Christian with respect and devotion to Jesus, then the word Christian will likely bring warm, positive, and encouraging thoughts to mind. But if you’ve formed your impression of being a Christian from a cheat or scam artist who used the name Christian as a way to get you to trust them while looking constantly for a weak spot so they can take advantage of you, your first thought will likely be that Christians aren’t for real.
We often hear that we are living in a “Post Christian era”. Yet there are many parts of the world where Christianity is growing like never before. In just about any place one may go, there are churches in that area that are growing all the time. We are told over and over again that young people are turning from Christianity to follow their own ways and develop their own gods. Yet all over the world there are young people who have devoted their whole lives to the cause of Christ and are ready to sacrifice anything needed to share His message with others of his generation.
I wonder if it is really Christianity that is being questioned, debated and rejected in our time or is it a weakened imitation of the real thing. Even if we had lived during the first century when Christianity was just getting off the ground our view of what it was all about would have depended on who we used as our pattern to determine what Christianity is. If I had used the lukewarm church in Laodicea I would have determined that being Christian meant ritual, arrogance and conceit. But if I had made my judgment based on the life of John the apostle of love my view would have been that being Christian meant devotion, character and compassion.
Perhaps it would be best to ask ourselves if those who know me best made their judgment of what it means to be a Christian based on what they see in my life every day, how would they define or describe being a Christian? Our children and grandchildren are forming their views of faith all the time by what they observe. Our words or sermons will never mean as much to them as what they see in how we treat them and others daily.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost it saltiness how will it be salted? It then becomes good for nothing but to be thrown out and walked on b people.”