Us vs. Them
As a preacher’s kid, I have spent my whole life as an insider looking out. I have, for many years, taken for granted the vocabulary and assumptions of the church about the world “out there.” What I have found out is that the world “out there” is very much a part of the lives of the people who make up the church “in here.” The adversarial nature of the church, the “us” versus “them” mentality that seems to find its way into (the minds of church people) and out of the church (through its methods and approaches) has done a lot to harm the ultimate mission and purpose of the church.
It is interesting that the word CHRISTian was not even coined by followers of JESUS. It was first used to deride and make fun of disciples. The believers in Antioch, however, felt that the word CHRISTian captured what they were trying to be and embraced it; and so has every believer since.
Ancient Antioch was famous for its humor, especially the coining of jesting Nicknames. When an organized brigade of chanting devotees of Nero led crowds in adulation, this band of imperial cheerleaders with their ludicrous homage was quickly dubbed Augustiani. And earlier, when the devotees of the one called Christ came to public attention, they were named Christianoi, partisans of Christ (11:26). What may have been first coined by outsiders as a term of derision (see Acts 26:28 and 1 Pet 4:16, the only two other New Testament occurrences of the term–both on the lips of hostile unbelievers), the followers of the Way embraced it as a fitting label. [Source]
At The Core
In martial arts, the reason that you should train is to see what you are made of so that if there is anything that needs to be purged it will be through the process. The purpose of training is never to become a better fighter or learn how to hurt others, even though that will happen. We are taught to train to learn how to control our emotions, to redirect our energies into more productive and appropriate responses to the events around us.
I remember reading that those with no martial training do not have many options, if any at all, in a confrontation or fight. I wondered why. There are few or no options because you will react in whatever way “feels right.” The problem with this may lead to an overreaction, under-reaction, or no reaction at all. These are not really options because you do not control them. They are just reactions. A response is something you choose. Training, increasing our understanding of discipline helps us to better respond to circumstances and situations.
CHRISTianity, when seen from the point of view of GOD, it is a response to the problem of sin in the world and in each person. When seen from the point of view of man, CHRISTianity is a response to the problem of sin and the broken relationships that we have with GOD and one another. The word CHRISTian is more than a label, title, or description. This word is the remedy to the brokenness that exists in each of us. And it is also the path that we must travel if we are to honor CHRIST and glorify GOD with our lives.
What is CHRISTianity? It may not be what you think… IT’S ACTUALLY MORE!