Grammatically Correct Christian

When I decided to become a Christian all those years ago, I thought of the word “Christian” as a noun. It meant something very concrete to me. It meant that I was a follower of Jesus Christ, learning to live as he taught, treating others as I would want to be treated.

Pretty simple.

Nowadays though, it seems “Christian” has become less a noun and more an adjective:

  • Christian right
  • Christian morals
  • Christian apologetics
  • Christian television

I can’t even begin to understand the meaning of the word “Christian” from these phrases. Seems like it changes flavor to match whatever word it’s paired with. Frankly, none of these terms evoke much of an image of a Christian in my mind.

Pretty confusing.

But it shouldn’t be. The word “strawberry” is also a noun that can be used as adjective:

  • Strawberry pie
  • Strawberry tart
  • Strawberry shortcake
  • Strawberry sundae

As I read through that list, it makes my mouth water for the tangy taste of fresh strawberries. The other words don’t change the flavor. And I get a clear picture in my mind of that bright red freckly fruit.

“Strawberry” the adjective always makes me think of “strawberry” the noun. But sometimes when “Christian” is an adjective…

Well, the image is a little uncomfortable for me.

I am a follower of Jesus. I believe in the life he lived, the things he taught and the example he set. And although I’m nowhere near perfect, I do try hard to be a person who is kind, compassionate, understanding and forgiving. Because to me, that’s what a Christian is.

“Christian” the noun I get.

“Christian” the adjective?

I’m not sure what that is anymore…

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5 responses to “Grammatically Correct Christian

  1. Love these thoughts! What about “Christian” the verb? Aren’t we supposed to be living out our faith? Maybe it’s more of a verb than anything else? That’s what’s been in my mind lately: have I been living out my faith? Have I been obedient to what God wants of me?

    • Thanks for stopping by, and for your kind comments. 🙂

      Yes I agree, Christianity is all about how we live it out. Jesus said the the kingdom of heaven is “at hand” – right here in front of us. It is what we have to do today. He also said the kingdom of heaven is within us – all we have to do is ask our hearts.

  2. Wow, Christian pole dancing, really? I get what you’re saying and totally agree with you both. Being a Christin means being Christ-like, therefore we should follow his example (and because we are human) follow His example to our best ability through Him. We aren’t to be conformed to this world, so being Christian shouldn’t change to appease the present state of thinking. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

    • Yes sadly, we now have “Christian pole dancing”. I mean, if someone is a Christian and wants to offer pole dancing classes for the exercise, I get that. But the attempt to use Christ’s name as a way to market it to a target audience is sad IMHO…

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