I’m considering working through a series of posts pertaining to what it means to be a Christian. I am currently dancing in a show with Springs Dance Company, based out of London, called Inside Out. The show asks this very question. (We are also booking for schools, churches, community halls, etc. so if you’re interested, have a look at the info here.)
I was curious about some things to do with Islam a few months ago, and did some research online. In the process I found a very detailed website called Al-Islam.org, and it answered with very concise pages—and references to the Qur’an—all the questions I had. It was the first thing that came up when I searched “what is [topic].” As a result I decided to do the same thing for Christianity. I typed in “what is Christianity,” and I found no such website. I found a lot of random little websites that put forward different ideas of what being a Christian is, and how to become a Christian. I was disappointed to find that Christians neither agree, nor have a centralized website, nor make it sound easy, nor appealing.
I consider myself a follower of Jesus Christ. But if I was a non-Christian, I don’t think I would be interested in becoming a Christian after searching online about it.
You’ll notice that above I said that I was a follower of Jesus Christ. I suppose for convenience sake I could have said “I consider myself a Christian,” but I think that lots of people use that term to mean very different things.
Speaking to people I’ve heard a potpourri of different answers to the question: what is being a Christian/are you a Christian?
“Being a Christian is doing good deeds, and going to church.”
“I was born a Christian.”
“The main thing about Christianity is prayer.”
“It’s about loving God.”
I believe all the statements are wrong (or incomplete).
Several websites I found launched into thick theological terms and concepts that were about as clear as trying to unveil the 9 circles of reality in Buddhism (if you’ve ever read a paragraph about Buddhism you’ll know what I’m talking about; it’s complicated).
But if we could cut all the theological crap (sorry theologians) and talk in language that everyday people can understand, what would “being a Christian” look like?
My thesis is simple: I believe that being a Christian means following Jesus Christ. What does that mean? It means you have to get close enough to Jesus to find out, don’t you?
To be continued…