New Word: Christianity





Tonight at Vision we had our monthly Q & A Session. Throughout the month people email, text, and turn in question for the Pastor to answer during this Sunday evening service. He doesn’t know what the questions will be until they come up on the screen. It is exciting and occasionally causes a tense moment when you see how straight forward some of the questions are.

I typically do not add any questions to give others a shot to get their questions answered. However, tonight I tossed him a ball I knew he would hit out of the park and he did just that. You can watch his explanation on the sermon video archive, it is about half way through the service. I asked for  brief explanation of our church ministry philosophy of Be. Do. Serve. Train. , which I wrote about in my previous post.

I love hearing him explain how God worked through the church of Antioch. Which brings me to my thought for tonight. At the end of Acts 11 the world called the disciples at Antioch “Christians”. In other sections of the book of Acts (24 & 25) you hear of of believer being referred to as a sect. In Galatians we learn of an argument that took place at the end of Acts that discusses what the Gentiles must do to be more “religious” like the Jewish people (ie. circumcision).

In Antioch the people on the outside looking in decided not to call them a sect. They knew they were not like any religion they had ever seen before. What they had effected everyone and every part of its believers. I love this verse Acts 11:26b, “.. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” This was not just  anew label for the “followers of the Way” but it was a WHOLE NEW WORD!

I think it is so incredible that the church in Antioch was so dedicated to Christ’s teaching that the non-believers had to come up with  new word to describe them. It was a mixed group of two rival groups, the Jew and the Gentile, come together to worship the Son of God. I say this with no enjoyment. We live in a day that I would like to see our church live in such a way that it does not appear to be a sect of main stream Christianity but something different that requires a new name. The world and false teachers have made the word “Christian” almost vain. It was become the default religious association of almost everyone born in America. I want to be a type of Christian as we see in Antioch. How about you?

To learn about some men who are planting Antioch type churches around the word check out

About the author

Trent serves as an Associate Pastor at Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA. He writes, speaks, and helps lead events that encourage people to "pioneer" in the work of sending.

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