When we moved here, an Oxford [Mississippi] friend gave us a needed, new, wooden garbage container. It was beautiful on the outside, and it smelled like pine. For 12 years we have used the gift for its intended purposeit holds a lot of garbage! Sometimes we have to air it out and spray it because it smells like garbage. It stopped smelling like pine long ago. Now, when we can smell garbage, it is time to attack the odor. It is still made of pine, but now it commonly smells like what is inside.
The word Christian is rare in the New Testament. It occurs twice in the singular form, and once in the plural form (in the NASV). Jewish people often referred to those we call Christian as the Way. New Testament writers often used the gentile designation: holy ones or saints. Gentiles who followed the resurrected Jesus were sanctified through Him and lived differently because of Him. They were the Christ followers.
There was a period in our Southern culture when the word Christian referred to many thingsfrom bookstores to plumbers. The inference: if Christian appeared in the name, people who were Christians should give special attention to the enterprise.
Now Christian seems to be associated with habits. They dont do that. Explanation: He (or she) is a Christian, or, The person goes to church. In the minds of many non-Christians, Christian habits seem to be associated with donts or church attendance. If, to non-religious people, a weird behavior is Christian, that is a full explanation of the unusual conduct.
Who knows all the definitions people who are not Christians have of Christian? I have heard some pretty wild ideas associated with Christian. (Did you know Christians do not eat wild meat?) I have wondered about the origin of the extreme concepts of Christian. Those concepts range from pitiful ignorance to unbelievable inconsistency. Often those ideas are held so firmly that words or affirmations will not and cannot change the incorrect definitions or concepts associated with Christian.
If you are a Christian, do you understand what basic misconceptions of Christian often mean? When words or affirmations do not challenge misconceptions, examples must challenge wrong concepts. When words are ignored, genuine examples are noted. A person who never listens to words often considers examples. Never has it been more important to live it because you believe it and are committed to it.
When someone is near, what do you smell like? You smell like what is within!
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell