Why are Christians not called people of the way today?
Posted on November 10 2009. Comments: 12
I've been reading acts for new testament class, and have wondered at the benefits of changing the name of the religion we follow to 'the way', rather than 'Christianity'. (see Acts 24:14 as one example.)
I suppose thousands of years of church history that has been a blend of great tradition, but also people using the name 'christian' to perform great evils, leaves a quandry. To keep the term identifies us with those who have persevered under the banner of 'christian' for the sake of christ, and fought for much (just ask Rhys!), but to lose it distances us from crusaders, hitler and others.
If we were to move to calling ourselves 'the people of the way' or some such, perhaps our evangelical brothers and sisters around the world would misinterpret and think we have gone soft on parts of the gospel, unless we were able to brand the concept so well (perhaps ask Mark Driscoll to drop it in a few of his telecast sermons!) that it was super clear.
I would appreciate another line in goverment forms. No aussie who has been to church 10 times in their life would sign up as one of 'the way', yet they have no problems signing up as 'christian'. This could allow for a much more accurate public assessment of the faith of Australia.
Perhaps the best solution is to keep working at helping people re-define 'Christian' in their minds, such that what they understand it to mean is somewhat closer to what following Jesus looks like.
Why do you think it matters if we are called 'Christians' or not?
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