Big or Small? Seriously….?

I found myself at Starbucks recently (which isn’t a surprise) and happen to overhear a conversation that made me begin to think (which isn’t a surprise either). A story was being told about two people who are dating and waiting to have sex until they are married. Here’s the exact quote, “they are pretty “big Christians” so they are waiting.”
Hmmm, “big Christians”? What does that mean? I concluded if there are big Christians then there must be small Christians. Well, what’s the difference? I don’t remember ever reading in Scripture that you could choose to be a small or big Christian, but honestly, that’s what is happening to our Christian culture. The tension I have over this big and small issue resides in the question of who decided there were big and small Christians? Was it non-Christians or Christians who decided? Do Christians or non-Christians use this terminology or do both?
First, my gut tells me that many of us call ourselves Christians but don’t live the life described in the Bible, that is to say we don’t live a life of repentance and growth in holiness. Therefore, we have given non-Christians the opportunity to choose between these two ideas….there are small Christians and big Christians. Because a lot of times culture thinks on a purely practical level, I would submit that the big and small definitions have to do with holiness. Take for example the issue above of sex before marriage. To the non-Christian culture a person who is a big Christian waits until they are married, and so I guess that would mean a small Christian maybe doesn’t adhere to that boundary. The mess in this comes down to the word “Christian”. There are so many different definitions. It has been stretched, watered down, trampled on, abused, and not really held sacred anymore. The definition is so thin that it encapsulates a large number of people. So we’ve had to move towards using adjectives with the word Christian to better define who we are describing.
Secondly, I would submit that the church itself uses similar terminology to describe the body of Christ. So now we are stuck. Stuck in a place where some re-framing needs to take place. We’ve got a lot to do. We struggle not just with the other side but with ourselves. Poor discipleship in our churches has led to a watered down Christianity that comes in all shapes and sizes. God forbid. We must begin to re-frame what it means to be a Christian. We must awaken change.

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