Finding names for things is a real challenge.
Take Gardening as an example – there seems to be an infinite variety in plants and most of them have names. I struggle to identify what is a weed and what is a proper plant, never mind their names, especially when they are in Latin.
Maxime Planta Nomina Sunt Facta – My theory is that 45% of plant names are made up on the spot.
Christ used to describe himself as “The Son of Man” (recorded 88 times in the gospels), which was a clear reference to Daniel 7 vs. 13-14 and the Jews of that era would have been intimately familiar with the phrase and to whom it referred. Jesus was proclaiming Himself as the Messiah.
So how are we, his followers to identify ourselves then?
The disciples called each other, “brethren”, “disciples”, “apostles”, “servants”, “believers”, “followers”, “the faithful”, “the elect”, “the called”, and “saints.”
We can also identify ourselves as “bondservants” of Christ. (This is in the Code Bible – I was awake and listening when Carl gave a talk at The Edge Camp in August).
The problem is that most of these biblical words will not mean anything to those outside of the church.
This means we refer to ourselves as Christians – which is a bit odd as it was a name originally intended as derogatory description.
At no point did the writers of the New Testament describe themselves as Christian. Unfortunately calling ourselves Christians will offend some people.
The problem here is that there are parts of our society where the term Christian has very negative associations, probably because of the past behaviours and actions of those calling themselves Christian or all the things they publicly oppose. (Christians appear to be against any kind of pleasure or any group of people who are different).
Increasingly we see people calling themselves “followers of Christ”, which is accurate and does not carry the baggage that “Christian” does.
My church used to have a 50 Plus Group (I suspect some lied about their ages). It has been renamed to “The Tuesday Club”, however everyone still thinks of it as the over 50’s and it still meets on a Tuesday.
You may be aware that the CVM 50 Plus group is looking for a new name. Finding a good name is a real challenge, so any (clean, non-derogatory or ageist) suggestions would be welcomed.
Roger – a follower of Jesus