Eleven different ways of experiencing Christianity—Part 8
There are many ways of seeing yourself as a Christian. You can add another way as your faith grows; you can have more than one at a time and move through them over time.
I am going to look at this through Advent this year. None of them is wrong when taken in context with the others; all of them are wrong on their own. The list is not exhaustive.
A sociological or anthropological identity
After the news was announced that the number of people on the 2021 census that put their faith down as Christian was down for the first time to under 50%. Fewer people are identifying as Christian. I have known people who identify as Christian as an identity without any belief in God at all. One, a former colleague not only identified as Christian but also as Protestant but not as any denomination within Protestantism but it was part and parcel of being Glaswegian, where the split between Catholic and Protestant is part of the culture and each part has its own football team, Celtic for the Catholics and Rangers for the Protestants. Being a Rangers supporter made my colleague a protestant in his eyes, yet it was clear that this identification of being both Christian and Protestant was part of an identity which our conversations made clear that he was also an atheist.
It’s all about Jesus
Christianity is all about Jesus Christ, that’s where the name comes from. I identify as Christian too, but this is through a belief in the creator of the universe who visited the world he had made as a human to save humans. That human, Jesus, is the reason for my beliefs and also the reason why I identify not only in Christianity, but in Jesus the reason that that identity exists.