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Archive for December 19th, 2008

I am a Christian.  The reason I decided up on such a simple title is because as a child we used to sing a song that spelled “I am a C…I am a C.H…I am a C.H.R.I.S.T.I.A.N.”  In the church I formerly attended (and in some we have visited) pastors are in the habit of using the term “Christ Followers” to replace the word “Christian.”  This has been explained to me in a few unsatisfactory ways.  First, an elder explained that we need to be sensitive to those who are offended by the Christian past, and so Christ Follower is a descriptive term that better paints a picture of what we are.  Uh, not good enough for me.  My husband said, “but why would we give in to them and give up what we’ve been called since Antioch?’  I’ve read that some use the term “Christ Followers” because the first ones to call us Christians were our persecutors.  Okay, I recall the verse, and it doesn’t seem like Luke cared if it was persecutors or not, no negatives were ascribed to the use of the term Christian.  

In a twistification of meaning, I heard one of the many former pastors say we are “little Christs.”  Uhmmmm, what?  That just sounds dangerous to me.  Even if it were true the word could mean that (and I’m saying IF) in English it sounds too much like “we are little gods).  In our “exit” meeting, we asked the lead pastor about the definition “little Christs” and he said “well, when you become a Christian you ask Christ to come into your heart.”  So even when the word Christian has a distorted meaning in that church. 

My title does refer to a song I was taught as a child, and it does go on to spell out…”and I have C.H.R.I.S.T. in my H.E.A.R.T. and I will L.I.V.E. E.T.E.R.N.A.L.L.Y.”  As a child, I never once thought that meant I really had a little tiny piece of my Savior inside of me.  I really thought it was like when you say “I’ll keep you in my heart” as more like the faith or love I have for Christ.  I know the Holy Spirit indwells us once we are redeemed.  We are part of the family of God, we become in unity with Christ.  “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  I don’t believe I have a literal piece of Christ inside me, but that we’re connected like family, in faith through grace and mercy given by God.  Anyone with more study want to help me out here in this?  I want to explain this to my children in such a way that they always have this doctrine right, that they have a clear understanding.  I hope I don’t sound like an idiot here.  A few verses below may be a good start.  Context, meaning, culture at the time, Greek…

 

Colossians 1:27 (NIV)

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Ephesians 3:16-18 (NIV) I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

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