Saturday, April 07, 2012

C is for Christianity; a Definition

            Perhaps before we go further into this journey, we ought to set some guidelines.  Namely, definitions of the two concepts that we are talking about.

According to dictionary.com, Christianity means, “The state of being a Christian.”  Well, then I looked up what the same site said was a Christian, and I have to say, the answer surprised me.  There were four separate definitions.

            1. of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings: a Christian faith.
2. of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of   Jesus Christ: Spain is a Christian country.
3. of or pertaining to Christians: many Christian deaths in the Crusades.
4. exhibiting a spirit proper to a follower of Jesus Christ; Christlike: She displayed true Christian charity.
5. decent; respectable: They gave him a good Christian burial.

Now I do have to give props to the dictionary.com people.  The first 4 definitions are broad enough that they pertain to ALL faiths that sit under the umbrella term Christian; Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Mormon, and the seemingly thousands of Protestant faiths.

The last definition, I must say, is my preferred one.

“decent, respectable.”

This goes along with what I always thought the definition of being a Christian is; someone who is decent and respectable.  We Christians have a wealth of a resource when it comes to how we define ourselves in the Bible, and those of us who are Roman Catholic have practically a library of scholarly writings by saints and popes, as well the Catechesis, what we believe is the end-all and be-all book of Roman Catholic laws (its online with its own search engine if you are ever interested).  I have not read all of these, but I hope to someday.  St. Catherine of Sienna’s (who was illiterate her entire life, btw) work on a women’s role in the Catholic church is suppose to be really passionate and relevant no matter what century you are living in, but I digress.

Personally, I like to look at the Gospel according to St. Matthew for a basic definition of Christianity.  It is all there; the Beatitudes, the Golden Rule, and my personal favorite,7:1-5.  That thought is what I will leave you with today:

1 comment:

Elise VanCise said...

Good post:) I'm baptist and for me Christianity is defined as being Christ-like. We're human of course we can't fill those shoes lol. But we can strive to be that way and as your last passage said to do our best not to rush to judge our fellow man least we be judged as well :)