Have you ever wondered who founded Christianity? The dictionary says it was Jesus Christ. Christ = Christian, right? A couple of thoughts on that and why it matters that we have it right…
First of all, Jesus’ last name is not “Christ.” He was Jesus of Nazareth, or Jesus, the son of Joseph and Mary. His title may have been “the Christ” or the “anointed one”, but that was not his name. His name was/is Jesus. (Joshua or Yeshua).
He was a Jew by religion/culture.
But he was for sure not a “Christian.” There were no “Christians” then. And he wasn’t the first, as he did not come to start a new religion. He came as truth and grace. He came to show us the Father. He came to explain the way. He came to give life. But he surely did not come to start a new religion – as if the world needed one more religion!
So why does this matter? Is it simply semantics? What difference does it make? Let me suggest three reasons why it makes a ton of difference that Jesus wasn’t a Christian and wasn’t the founder of Christianity:
- It sets us free to not have to defend all of the 2000 years of misdeeds done in the name of Christianity. We can simply apologize and move on. We don’t need to own it.
- It sets us free to not take sides in the current “culture wars.” We can step out of the “Christians versus _________” debate. There is no debate. We can simply figure out what Jesus did in similar circumstances and what we think he would want us to do today.
- We don’t have to feel the pressure to convert people to Christianity – which is a lot of work and doesn’t seem to be very effective. We can simply love them in the name of Jesus and pray that GOD would convert them to himself.
This actually changes everything. The way we live. The way we talk to others and the way we interact in the systems of the world. Think about it. Push back a little. Thoughts?