Christian: religious adjectives instead of relating nouns.

Let's try this again - posting thoughts via cell phone has issues: this is not near all the thoughts I have on this topic, but it'll have to do.
If Christianity is a relationship, not a religion, as is often stated, then how are all the debates, statements, and fighting in America these days all over adjectival use of Christian? Can a institution, business, law, or worldview, can somehow be relational, a person? It's all religion. You don't have a relationship with the corporation or government you work for. You can't relate to possessions or laws. (Actually attempting this is called idolatry throughout the Bible, is it not?)

Oh, and an adjective also always describes a noun, which means it actually gives precedence to the noun. Thus, if following Jesus is relational it cannot give precedence to any other thing: nation, business, law, ethical code, or dare I say even church (used institutionally, not as an ekklesia of a group of self identifying followers of Jesus).

The noun uses of Christian are relational, and are not really debatable. It's a self acknowledgement of Jesus as Lord, both individually and collectively. It's the creator, the law giver, the bride or groom, the father or mother, the enemy, the least of these that we relate to. I believe in the person of Jesus Christ, in Him my faith lies. It most definitely does not lie in the fallible formulations of mankind's attempts to bound the limits of a person into a thing. I am not so easily described or bound, I must be known, I must be loved.  How can we even think of reducing God to attributes or litmus test statements on current political circumstances?

We simply need to get back to living relationally, describing what our relationship Jesus looks like to us in our humble context, and stop fighting religiously, somehow thinking we can preserve some form of worldview, culture, nation, interpretive key, or society that in reality is a facsimile of genuine relationship. It's hypocrisy to claim Christianity is a relationship but then engage in wholly religious ways.

In other words, if we focus on the noun(s), we don't ever need to fight over adjectives.

Popular Posts