The WayPosted: April 6, 2010
I think that the title of “Christian” has become grossly distorted in the secular media and, because of that, in the minds of most of us. We seem to have been bombarded in recent weeks by reports on atheistic argument about the non-existence of God, sexual misdemeanours in the church, legalistic renderings of the Christian faith (which sound more like the Pharisees of old), and violent (and I include passive resistance) action on the part of Christians. It all seems to be piled up in a heap as “evidence” that Christians are not as good as they make out. Well, I’ll admit that – followers of Jesus are far from being as good as we would like to be, or pretend to be. Don’t need too much proof either!
The world (in the church and outside) has a very biased view of the followers of Jesus. Insiders think that they are just that – insiders! Special people who are blessed in some remarkable way. Outsiders often define us in terms of Old Testament brutalities and legalism, with more modern fingers pointing to the Crusades, cults and legalistic sects. I was talking to a group of 10-12 year olds recently about the crucifixion and their focus was almost entirely taken up by the horrible brutality of that event. With minimal exposure to the Christian story, the Easter holidays was about going to Esperance or Geraldton, hot cross buns and chocolate eggs. They were stunned that it was about the death of Jesus (paying the price in order to redeem us) and His rising from the dead (so that He might give repentance and forgiveness of sins – Acts 5:31). And Holy Communion sounded to them like a cannibals feast. I had twenty minutes to make it Good News – man, I love teaching Scripture in Australian schools. It is a challenge at every step and if you are not genuine, and if you are not rock solid in what you believe about Jesus and His Good News, then forget it.
So who are Christians? Initially those who became disciples of Jesus were called “the Way” (Acts 9:2). They were first called Christians at Antioch (refer Acts 11:26) some time later. I like the concept of “the Way”. It says less about who you are (eg “Christian”) than it does about the direction you are going. We are still on the way. We haven’t arrived, we are still on the journey. This journey is through the same world (and life) that everyone else is going through, so its not just about the physical and emotional geography. No, it about a particular attitude that we are to have on this journey of life – an attitude sparked by this remarkable Jesus who is the Logos, or Reason for this life (John 1:1). It is not about arguing doctrines, nor is it seeking truths. Jesus claims that He is the Truth. More than that, He also claims to be the Life, and the Way (to live this life). To be on the Way, is to follow Jesus – to have the same attitude as Him (Philippians 2:5-11).
I want to explore this concept a whole lot more in my own life, and in the church, and in the world, so I have created a new section in my blog called “The WAY”. I hope that you will come with me on this journey of exploration, and I would really appreciate your comments as we go – whether you agree or not.
Lets get on the Way….