“For as the body is (1) one, and has many members, and all are members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12)
In this article we would like to distinguish between Christ-ianity and Christendom. Christ-ianity is a name of our faith; the Apostles called it, however, the way. Calling our faith, the way points to Christ Jesus Who is the Way. Why do we not use the apostle’s use of the words, the way? We cannot use that term because it has been hijacked and bastardized. “This is the way to…” “All ways lead to God,” “We do it this way,” We don’t do it that way.” Therefore, “The Way” is out as a manner of distinction. Christ’s, Narrow Way has been usurped, by the serpent, making it the broad way of which Christ spoke.
The enemy doesn’t change his ways or methods. The term Christ-ianity, like the Way, has been highjacked and bastardized. America is thought to be a Christ-ian nation…it is not. To be sure, America was founded upon Christ-ianity but, like Adam, the first man, America has fallen short.
Christ-ianity has yielded to Christendom. Christ-ianity was the faith that was first delivered to us, not by flesh and blood, but by the Spirit of God; the Christ-ian faith was received as it was the Word of God. Christ-ianity was a faith of singularity, the faith had it’s own peculiar marks that distinguished it/us from other (s)atanically influence religions.
“And it came to pass” that the singularity of the common, yet parodoxically singular, faith was made broad. Christ-ianity has given way to Christendom. Christendom is a word that takes in anything that makes claim to be Christ-ianity. The Catholic Church is part of Christendom, as are the mormons. Even, Gandhi, a great man, by human standards, thought and called himself Christ-ian, “I like your Christ, but I dont’t like your Christ-ians,” he was quoted as saying. Gandi would then be part of Christendom but not Christ-ian.
The parable of the wheat and the tares is a good example of Christendom. The tares grow among the wheat and imitate the wheat. Christendom is made up of all those that are imitating true Christianity, but are not…they have no part with Christ. Christianity is our faith; Christendom is anything and anyone that makes a claim to our singular faith. These false claims and impostors to the faith are necassary, as Paul said, to, show what is the true faith.
I have noticed that many are using the term, “Christ-follower” to describe their faith. The many do this because they do not want to be caught in the net of Christendom. The Christ-follower wants to be distinguished from the dregs and profane pretenders that profess piety. The Christ-follower want their light to so shine that others may see and glorify the Father.
As some or many are distancing themselves from the monicker of Christ-ian, due to it’s broadness, they are defining themselves with new names, like Christ-follower. We would like to share some titles or names that might also distinguish us from Christendom.
- Christ-ologist: A Christ-ologist, by the definition of the sussix, is a student of the prefix. To call one’s self a Christ-ologist is to define one’s self and one’s passion for the study of Christ Jesus. The suffix, “ology” speaks to the study of a subject, for example, a geologist studies the earth, a criminologist studies the criminal and the nature of crime, a psychologist studies the psychie or the mind. The prefix, then, defines what the study is focused on. In our case it is Christ, who we study. The purpose of diligent and determined study is to learn or to obtain or to gain knowledge that will effect something or someone. Therefore, the Christ-ologist is a student of Christ. The Christ-ologist seeks and hopes to be effected in some way by the study of the Man Christ Jesus. The hope of the study is to be like the Subject. The hope of the diligent study is to become like Christ. I am A Christologist, are you?
- Christophile: The suffix phile denotes love as in Philedelphia…the city of brotherly love. A person who loves books is called a bibliophile. A person the loves all things British is an anglophile. Therefore, if one is a Christ-ophile s/he is a lover of Christ. Christ tells us that if we love Him we will keep His words and commands. John said, “we love the [Godhead] because He first loved us. John further teaches us that if we love God, we must also love: the Word of God, the Law of God, and our siblings of God. Therefore my diligent reader, A Christ-ophile is a person who loves Christ, keeps his words and commandments and loves the Word of God, the Law of God and their brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers in Christ.
- Christ-Centered: That which flows from the Christ-centered person is pure, true, good, and holy….in other words, Christ-like. The Christ-centered are those that esteem others before self, they seek to bring or point to the glory of God. From the Christ-centered comes wisdom, knowledge, understanding, truth, encouragement, inspiration, aaaaaand reproofs and rebukes and instructions in righteousness. The Christ-centered has the deep reverence for God and it is seen and it is known. The Christ-centered is perennial in their acknowledgement of God’s good graces, their works and words and their worldview is Christ-centered. The person who is indwelt by the Spirit of the Christ: studies Christ, loves Christ, and is Christ-centered and is centered in and by Christ.
I am a Christ-ologist; I am a Christ-ophile; I am, by grace, Christ-centered. What are you? Are you Christ-centered, are you a Christ-ophile, are you a Christ-ologist or are you some-thing Christendom in name only?