Thursday, May 24, 2007

Christian vs. The Way

“Christian”, today the word “Christian” could be a given name of either male or female it is most often used in a secular way to distinguish Westerners from cultures dominated by other worldly religions.

The Revell Bible Dictionary (Click the link in the sidebar to buy this book), an amazing addendum and practical study guide for the student of the Holy Bible says this about the word “Christian”.

Christian A person who has a personal faith relationship with Jesus Christ. Believers were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26) and the word appears only two more times in the New Testament (Acts 26:28; 1Peter 4:16) The Greek word, Christianos, means “belonging to Christ”.

Originally the tag of “Christian” was more than likely an uncomplimentary and derisive name given to the Apostles very similar to our modern tag of Jesus Freak. So the word itself is one with negative connotations and akin to suffering and persecution of believers, in its original meaning all three times it is mentioned in the New Testament.

So that’s a total of three times the word “Christian” comes up now lets examine “The Way” which is how Jesus and the Apostles referred to what they were doing.

“The Way” or “Followers of Christ”, today this term comes up every now and then, usually in direct contrast to what the word “Christian” has become in our world. And the misrepresentation of the word “Christian” by people who do deplorable things in the name of God.

“The Way” comes up seven times, referring to the disciples of Jesus Christ (The Way John 14:4-6)

Let’s look at them all and allow you to decide for yourself if we should be called “Christians” or followers of “The Way” (The Way of Jesus Christ)…

Acts 9:2 - Saul asked for letters from the high priest to the synagogues of Damascus allowing him to persecute the people of “The Way” and bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Acts19:9 – Paul in Ephesus comes across some believers that hadn’t heard of the Holy Spirit after baptizing them in the Spirit he preached in the synagogue for three months. Now after ‘some’ the text says “were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitudes” Paul “withdrew with the disciples. Reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus”.

Acts 19:23 – As Paul sent others into Macedonia he himself stayed at Ephesus were a commotion arose against “The Way”

Acts 22:4 – Paul talks of his former life as a Pharisee and of how he persecuted this Way to death and imprisonment of those followers of “The Way”.

Acts 24:14 – In Paul’s defence before Felix he says in “the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets”.

Acts 24:22 – Felix had heard of “The Way” and procrastinates on making a decision in regards to Paul.

So then we can cave to popular opinion and call ourselves (those that believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour) “Christians” or we can be followers of “The Way”. No matter what we personally choose. It is not a matter to fight each other about when we should be concentrating on what Jesus meant about the Way.

  • What would Jesus Do?
  • What did Jesus Do?
  • What will you Do?


The Lord bless and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

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All posts by M.A.C. © Bruce W. Moar

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