Sunday, November 18, 2007

What am I

There is a study I've wanted to undertake. It's been bouncing around in my mind. Simmering.

The other day my son said he knew we were Christians, but he needed to know what kind of Christian because the neighbors asked and he wasn't sure. Also, I had a conversation with a Hindu and I did not say I was Christian when she gave me some excellent witchcraft tips.

I would have had to blurt it out. I can blurt pretty well, but I tend to prefer that my actions show my faith rather than plainly stating it.

... I'm Christian" or "I'm a Christian."
What does that make you think? Well, I tell ya, I've met a lot of them and wasn't impressed by a single one for 20 years. And what about the people who believe in God, but not in Christ. They also call themselves Christian. "Christ" is a pretty key part of the word Christian.

So what am I. What can I say that states my position with more clarity than "Christian?" Christian should be the best word, but it annoys me slightly.

I'm thinking I'll tell my son to say we're disciples of Jesus Christ, Son of God. And that's what I can say to the Hindu person if it comes up again. I'm not sure, I'm just thinking in writing. I want our response to not be with a period at the end. I don't want it to be a dead end. I want our response to elicit interest, curiosity, and possible discussion - even just one question. Once I met a woman who stated she was a Christian then she went on a long rambling monologue about her history of alcoholism and being saved. It was neither inviting nor warm. As I think back, the best way to express it is that it was like a giant regurgitation and she felt better afterwards. I think maybe she intended it to be a testimony, but if so, it did not have the desired effect.

I need to address the denomination question for my son too. We are non-denominational and we attend various churches depending on where we are. Always Protestant. But people want to know what denomination you are, he is, for classification purposes. I like the Charismatics (this is like a lighter flavor of Pentecostals), but I am not convicted regarding all of its beliefs. I like Calvary Chapel's verse by verse teaching, but some regions of the country have no Calvary Chapels (known for its Jesus Freaks back in the day). The Baptists are pretty cool and uniform wherever I go. I love the physical beauty of the Catholic church, but not its paternalism. I have never been in a synagogue, but I'd like to someday. The Seventh Day Adventists sure eat healthy, but I can't do church on Saturday. There are a bunch of churches that I don't even know what their doctrinal distinctives are. Distinctives are what sets your church apart from others. Maybe we're multi-denominational. You can liken it to the old question of what is zero. Is it nothing? If it's nothing, then it must be something, so what is it? Is zero something? Then how can zero equal nothing if it's something. How do we quantify zero.

So is anyone really non-denominational. What denomination was Jesus?

I have known for sometime that something big happened to Christianity somewhere around 300 A.D. Last night I discovered that it had to with the Roman emperor Constantine. He was the first Roman emperor to claim his Christianity. The capital of Rome was even moved and renamed Constantinople after him. It is present day Istanbul.

It was he who instituted the change that created "Christendom." This christendom thing is huge. It changed everything. I think it changed everything to opposite of what Jesus preached and taught.

I have to go to bed now. Tomorrow's a school day. I'm researching more about Christendom and will post it tomorrow. Stuff I need to define for our (planned) lesson:

Catholic (which means universal)
Martin Luther
Hey, hey, we can even throw in antidisestablishmentarianism, which he can already spell. :)
Mega churches and seeker-friendly

This is one of the things I absolutely love about homeschooling. We don't have to stick to a standardized curriculum. I need to teach him basically about how the church divided and developed into what it is today.

Really, the people are the church, not buildings.