“Christian” is a daunting adjective, as in Christian pastor, Christian church or Christian nation. I’m hesitant to claim it for myself or my group. It’s better, though still a daunting challenge, if others apply it to me or my group.
When this adjective is a label worn too lightly, too quickly or too proudly, it demeans a great tradition. To misuse, or thoughtlessly claim, this adjective for self or group, or to wear it while attacking someone else is profanity–meaningless talk about God.
One Sunday, my district superintendent attended our worship service unexpectedly. A choir member said, “The DS is here. Does that scare you?” I said, “No. But it keeps me on my toes to believe God is listening here every Sunday.”
This 1995 quote from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird (sent from my friend Ernie) and a 2022 blog post by Diana Butler Bass, “Christian Nationalism Everywhere?” reinforce my reluctance to use Christian as an adjective, as in “Christian nation.”
4 thoughts on ““Christian” as adjective”
Thanks again, Ted, for challenging thinking and connecting us to great resources. I’m a fan of both Lamott and Bass. Bass’s essay was powerfully nuanced scholarship, the kind of research, thinking and writing we so desperately need more of at this moment in our history.
Thank you, Art. Bass consistently challenges me to think. Most of the time I appreciate it! 🙂
That is a wonderful article! I learned a lot.
Thank you, Kathy. I’m happy you found it helpful!