did the romans call us christians to insult us?

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by UnchartedSpirit, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. UnchartedSpirit

    UnchartedSpirit
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    just asking, is this a name we should adhere to? or was it meant to mock us being followers of a carpenter in the roman eyes?
     
  2. Gwyneth

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    It doesn`t say carpenter-ian it says CHRISTian, so I wouldn`t feel mocked ..... rather happy to be called by / and to adhere to this name. Having stated that, it was probably meant to offend.
     
  3. standingfirminChrist

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    The Word 'Christian' means 'Christ-like'. That being said, was it a slander on us to be called christians? or on Christ, seeing that we can never attain Christ-likeness while we are in this flesh?

    Calling us Christians in our bodies that do give in to sin from time to time, is like saying Christ gave in to sin.

    Just a thought...
     
  4. UnchartedSpirit

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    I meant were the romans insulting us because of a preconcieved notion of ridicule against Christ?
     
  5. Deacon

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    It's been a while but I think I remember reading that the Romans called the early Christians 'Atheists' because they would not worship the many gods of the culture.

    Rob
     
  6. Gwyneth

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    to try to be Christ-like is surely our goal though, and this name should make us/the people of that day feel glad, not insulted.
    Gwyneth
     
  7. Gold Dragon

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    ESV - Acts 11:26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

    I've heard of the tradition that Christian may have been a derisive name but I don't see any indication of that from Acts 11.

    It seems to be in line with Greek cultural tradition the way followers of Pythagoras were the Pythagorians, etc.
     
  8. Gold Dragon

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    Self-correction, they were the Pythagoreans.
     
  9. JGrubbs

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    It was the unbelievers that first called the disciples "Christians." What the world saw in those early disciples was a Christ-like character and power. Would the world today call the Christians in America "Christians" had the word not already been established? Would they see us like Jesus in character and power? It saddens me to hear the world now calling us hypocrites!
     
  10. rsr

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    I think there is no evidence either way, though there is speculation.

    There is, however, evidence that the Roman establishment was using the word in the late first century and second century, both in denigration and matter-of-factly. (See Tacitus and Pliny)

    The word, unfortunately, has been besmirched through the centuries not so much by outsiders but by people who — at least outwardly — claim to follow Christ but do not in fact.
     
  11. Bismarck

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    I'm glad to see someone post from Scripture.

    According to the PBS documentary Peter & Paul, the word "Christian" was probably first a derogatory slander used by the Christians' detractors. Presumably, this means the unBelieving Jews who rejected the Messiah.

    The logic seems to be that the first (Jewish) Christians would have made no effort to marginalize themselves. Afterall, they viewed themselves as the True Believers who acknowledged the fullfillment of the Messianic Prophecies in Yeshua the Messiah.

    Therefore, the term was probably a slander by unBelieving (Greek-speaking) Jews who thereby labeled and marked-out the "Christians" as a separate (to wit, rejected) sect.

    The term arose as Greek-speaking Jews sought to expel the Believers in Yeshua truly being the Messiah from their midst.

    For the record, this is the tenor of the documentary, but I have embellished it with my own thoughts.
     
  12. rsr

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    Again, no more than probably. You have asserted something for which there is no evidence.
     
  13. Bro. James

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    When and where has the term "Christian" ever been used as a term of endearment? Jesus told his disciples that the world hated Him and the world would hate them. That has been literally fulfilled for nearly 2,000 years. For hundreds of years, real Christians worshipped God in Spirit and in Truth while fearing for their lives and property. Millions of them were killed for refusing to baptize their babies. Imagine that: Christians?? killing Christians.

    It is on the news today: Moslem who converts to Christianity is arrested in Afganistan; Moslem leaders want him executed.

    Real Christians have never been loved in this world, in fact quite the contrary.

    Now what?

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  14. time like this

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    The word "Christ" means "anointed" or messiah depending what language is being used.
     
  15. EdSutton

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    Actually, it was the Antiochians who first called believers this, as Gold Dragon and Bismark have pointed out. No mention of any Romans roamin' around, per se.
    Ed
     
  16. Salty

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    It would be nice if we had a first hand account to answer this question.

    Too bad Dr. Bob is on Vacation [​IMG] :D
     
  17. tinytim

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    If someone is calling themself a Christian, but living like the devil would that be a form of "taking the Lord's name in vain?"
     
  18. The Parson

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    Actually, every name we were called was given to us in one form of scorn or another. The term AnaBaptist was given to be scornful. Ana meaning to repeat was a term saying that we rebaptized those coming out of the RCC when quite frankly we didn't recognize the Roman Catholic baptism as scriptural.

    Other names we received out of scorn and spite were Paulician, Waldenesse, Henricians, Albigenses, Petro Brussians, Arnoldists, Donatists, Paterines, Cathari, etc. I even remember reading where we were called Antiochians, however I wouldn't consider that as scornful as that was the name also given to the Received Text sources. (Antiochian Text) [​IMG]
     
  19. Linda64

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    From Way of Life Encyclopedia

    CHRISTIAN

    This term is used only three times in the Bible, and means Christ-like or follower of Christ (Ac 11:26; 26:28; 1Pe 4:16) . In the early churches the term Christian was first used in Antioch (Ac 11:26) .

    In the Bible, other words are more commonly used to describe Christ's followers.

    (1) They are called DISCIPLES (Ac 1:15; 6:1-2,7; 9:1,19,25-26,38; 11:26,29; 13:52; etc.)

    (2) They are called BELIEVERS (Ac 5:14; 1Ti 4:12).

    (3) They are called SAINTS sixty times in the N.T. (for example, Ac 9:13; 26:10; Ro 8:27; 12:13; 16:2; 1Co 6:1; 16:1; 2Co 1:1; Eph 1:1; Php 1:1; Col 1:1; etc.).

    (4) They are called BRETHREN 73 times in Acts and the Epistles (for example, Ac 9:30; 12:17; Ro 1:13; 1Co 1:10; 2Co 1:8; Ga 1:2; Eph 6:10; Php 1:12; etc.).

    Each of these terms emphasizes a different truth. "Christian" speaks of Christ-likeness. "Disciple" speaks of dedication to Christ to His service. "Believer" speaks of faith in Christ and in His Word. "Brethren" speaks of Christians as members of one spiritual family.
    ***********************************************
    Before the "followers" or "disciples" of Christ were called "Christians" at Antioch (Acts 11:26), they were called "followers of this way" or "those of this way" (Acts 9:2). I believe that those "Christians" were easily identifiable in the first century--today the word "Christian" has become very generic--anything termed "good" is called "Christian". Therefore, people call themselves "Christians" who really aren't "Christ-like".
     
  20. Bro. James

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    The followers of Joseph Smith Jr. (LDS) consider themselves "Christians". This makes the term even more ambiguous.

    Jesus said, "Why do you call me Lord and do not what I say?" That kind of boils it down to those who follow. That pretty much puts most of "Christendom" in the nominal category--that is to say: in name only.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     

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