4 comments

  1. Ah… interesting.

    Disciple: One who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another. Synonymous with follower – pupil – adherent – learner – apprentice.

    Christian: A person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings. Or, A Christian is someone who has decided to entrust his or her life to Jesus Christ. A Christian trusts Christ for forgiveness of sin, a right standing before God, and guidance in life.

    … wouldn’t one need to decide to trust someone to some degree before agreeing to follow them? … and the more they follow and learn, the more they find themselves agreeing to trust even more? Which steels their determination to follow, which requires them to trust more… 🙂

    1. Kim,

      If one looks at the definition of Christian from the Evangelical point of view (similar to what you expressed), it can be a difficult issue to resolve. However, when we look at the original meaning of the word Christian as expressed in Acts 11 it suddenly becomes clear.

      The original definition of Christian was follower of Christ, or, belonging to Christ. You will also notice in Acts 11:26 that it was the disciples who were first given this designation. In other words, those who followed Christ had so conformed their lives to His model that this title was given as a result of their lifestyle (some think it may have originally been used as a term of derision by the world around them). Jesus told us to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). A true disciple will always end up being like the one he is following (Luke 6:40). The lifestyle of a true disciple of Christ would then designate him as being a Christian.

      Hope this helps!

      M

  2. Aha… interesting. I can see this distinction is vital if one relies on the title of ‘Christian’ to be evidence of their salvation rather than working out that salvation by true discipleship…

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