Does choosing to call yourself Christian mean you are one?
Who has the right to decide?
Remember the term Christian was originally a nickname given by others to describe those at Antioch who refused to follow the Roman Emperor and instead followed Christ. As far as I can tell it was originally a derisory term and in some European languages the word shares the same root meaning as Cretin. It is also clear that many who adopt the term do so for all sorts of reasons, eg Hitler at one point described himself as Christian, and George Barna’s research shows that the self described “born agains” are little different from anyone else in terms of measures of moral behaviour. This implies some interesting questions that might be resolved. For example – should the word Christian only be allowed for those who exhibit certain characteristics? – and if so what are those characteristics? – and who – if anyone has the right to decide? eg is it resolved by doing a Church membership class?in which case should other denominations recognise other Church membership with different belief statements eg Catholics allowing Unitarians to take Communion from a Catholic priest. At one point Paul described himself as the greatest sinner. Since there is an obvious temptation for those who would not be recognised as Christian by others to use the term for themselves, should there be guidelines such as the signs of Grace to know who is Christian and who isnt? Your thoughts please.