When we judge Christianity, where should we start? If we are considering becoming a Christian, how should we determine if it is worth the trouble? How should we assess how much effort it is going to take to be a Christian? Here is an excellent blog post that explains how we should approach these problems.
The reason people like me make distinctions about what it means to be “Christian” is because the term has been rendered meaningless by centuries of mind-numbing confusion, people behaving badly, and absolutely wrong ideas about it. And a lot of those wrong ideas have come from… Christians.
But this is also why I don’t let Christian despisers get away with the straw men they erect in order to dismiss our faith. As I like to quote G.K. Chesterton in this regard, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”
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I really like the imagery that Pope Francis has used from time to time that the Church is a hospital for sinners not a museum of the righteous. In fact, even when I bring scandal from my own sins and remind those that I go to Church because I am in need of it. If I was perfect then I wouldn’t need to go. The whole the righteous are in no need of a physician–I am in need of a physician.
I’ve had the conversation several times, “Who was the first Christian?” I think there’s a case to be made for the Blessed Virgin Mary. In some respects, she is the model for us to be Christians here on earth. The writer of the blog used Jesus as an example; however, Jesus is God, so did he need faith? Mary, as explained in Sacred Scripture, kept things in her heart, because she didn’t know what they meant when they had occurred. She was told a sword would pierce her heart, but kept faith in the Lord. In fact, she was the foundation on Holy Saturday when all of the Lord’s chosen Apostles fled in fear. The Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ kept the faith–she is the model for Christianity.
Who was the first Christian? I don’t know. I understand the fondness of Catholics for the Virgin Mary, and she most certainly lived one of the most admirable lives we know of. Nevertheless, we are talking about first, and Hebrews 11 suggests other possibilities. Here are my favorites.
Hebrews does make a good point. I think the point I was mainly trying to make that to be Christian is to have faith and when trying to fit Jesus into the first Christian becomes difficult when He is God.
I like your theory from top to bottom.
I read somewhere that, if Christ is the redemption of corporate Adam, then Mother Mary’s willing acceptance of her Son was the first redemption of corporate Eve. If Eve is seen as the first to sin, then it makes sense to me that the Blessed Mary was to be the first of the redeemed. She literally “embodied” Jesus before anyone else. I think that this has always resonated as a psychical truth for Catholics in the way that God let’s the truth of such intuitive graces sometimes transcend and inform the written Word.
This gets into a point of contention between Catholics and Protestants. Catholics don’t claim to worship Mary, but their veneration of Mary sometimes approaches the idolization of Mary. I am glad you said Mary was redeemed, that she did not redeem the corporate Eve, but was the first redemption.
Tom, take a look at my new post on the Good Shepherd, I think you’ll find it an interesting read.
Done! Great post! Encourage people to read it.
In my opinion, becoming a good Christion is similar to any other skill we acquire in life according to these old idioms. .
Practise make perfect .
If at first you don;t succeed, try, try, again.
A family that prays together, stays together.
Regards and goodwill blogging.