Thinking about David Bruce and his love of the Ti-Cats – and I thought nothing good could come from Hamilton 😉
I have been thinking about whether it matters what we call ourselves…Even the term “Christian” is problematic for us – at least in light of Holy Scripture. The term “Christian” only appears 3 times in the Bible (visit www.biblegateway.com and search “christian”) – twice in mockery of those associated with “the Way” and once in the Book of Acts to tell us about the first time disciples were called that in Antioch. The term “Christian” is not a normative way for disciples of Christ to understand themselves.
In the Bible our ancient sisters and brothers of the faith understand themselves more commonly as “disciples” and part of “the Way” and “the church” and these are ways of understanding ourselves in light of the Christ who calls us to be the church. We give ourselves a certain name because it is something that God has already chosen to do with us. I guess what I’m saying is that we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what we’re supposed to do – and we usually make those decisions atheistically – without prayer, without reference to scripture – and then we wonder why the church is feeling so dead lately.
What I’m saying is that “A New Creed” actually offers us a rich, and biblically-supported understanding of ecclesiology – “We are called to be the church”. The existence of the church does not depend on you or me, but rather it depends on God and what God is doing through the resurrected Christ. I go back to that story from Matthew’s Gospel (Matt. 16:13-20) where Peter declares publicly who Jesus is, and Jesus, in turn, tells Peter that he will be the rock on which he builds his church. It is God, in Jesus Christ, who calls and summons the church into existence. It is not “the church” if it has not been called by God.