“Christian” Is a Noun, and Scripture Is Not for Decoration

In this episode:

Is “Christian” a noun or an adjective, and what difference does it make? In Episode 185 of "Life Repurposed," host Michelle Rayburn dives into the implications of the title "Christian" in various aspects of life. She explores the significance of embodying the qualities of Jesus in everyday decisions and challenges listeners to seek spiritual transformation over “plastic” versions of Christianity.

What happens when we use Bible verses out of context for decoration on t-shirts, mugs, and wall art? Michelle also explores the importance of understanding the context of Bible verses to avoid misinterpretation and misapplication, providing practical tips to achieve this. Zooming out to look at the context has changed her personal Bible study so much, and she gives examples of how she’s experienced a repurposed life in this area.

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Michelle Rayburn is an author and podcast host who helps others find hope in the trashy stuff of life. She has an MA in ministry leadership and writes Christian living books, humor, and Bible studies. Together with her husband, they've raised two sons and gained two daughters-in-law—plus three granddaughters (go estrogen team!) and a grandson. Dark chocolate, an iced coffee, and a good book in the hammock top Michelle's favorites list.

Show Notes

In the latest episode of Life Repurposed, host Michelle Rayburn delves into the intricacies of living out Christian values in various aspects of life. With a thought-provoking approach, Michelle discusses the true essence of being Christian, steering away from mere labels and delving into the genuine embodiment of faith in actions and decisions.

Michelle presents two hypothetical business scenarios to illustrate her point. The first scenario involves a business rooted in Christian values but lacking overt Christian branding, while the second depicts a business openly touting Christian branding. She argues that the authenticity of Christian values is not contingent on flashy signs or grand declarations but rather on the genuine display of love, compassion, integrity, and humility in everyday decisions.

Referencing the parable of the good Samaritan, Michelle emphasizes that being Christian is about embodying values in a way that mirrors the actions of Jesus. She elaborates on the qualities that make someone Christ-like, including selflessness, wisdom, inclusivity, faith, and courage, challenging listeners to authentically embody these qualities in their lives.

Michelle also addresses the importance of understanding the context of Bible verses, highlighting the potential misinterpretation and misuse of scripture when divorced from their original context. She urges listeners to delve deeper into verses and correct misconceptions in their interpretations, advocating for diligent study, application, and intentional exploration of scripture for spiritual growth and closeness to God.

Listeners are prompted to reflect on the significance of the title "Christian" in relation to their actions and choices. Michelle invites contemplation on whether the use of "Christian" as a label reflects true values and beliefs or has become a fashionable accessory.

Michelle will be exploring these concepts further on Substack after this episode.

Questions to Think About and Discuss with Friends:

  1. How do you personally differentiate between a business run by a Christian individual and a business that overtly brands itself as Christian?

  2. Do you believe that labeling a business as "Christian" is important, or do you agree with the host's view that it's the actions and values of the individuals that matter?

  3. What do you think are the risks of misinterpreting or misusing scripture, and how can you personally guard against these to ensure a more accurate understanding?

  4. Do you have an example of a verse taken out of context that you have encountered or heard about, and how did understanding its context alter its meaning for you?

  5. How can you integrate the concept of embodying the qualities of Jesus, such as selflessness, wisdom, inclusivity, faith, and courage, into your own life and relationships?


Additional Resources:

Life Repurposed Episode 141

When Amy Fritz's husband’s job at Ramsey Solutions ended because he refused to be silent about what was going on in the organization, it shook their world. They had to learn to differentiate between Christ and Christian culture. It tested their integrity when they had to choose between money and following God with consistency and honor. Now, Amy is helping others by telling her story and pointing them to resources that can help them through spiritual abuse and more.


Life Repurposed Substack Magazine and Bonuses

Life Repurposed is where midlife meets inspiration, practical guidance, and renewed purpose amid life’s evolving chapters. We navigate faith questions and messy, uncertain twists with humor and a commitment to pursue treasure, even in the trashy stuff.

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This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. I sell my books via Amazon but I’m also a part of their “Associates” (i.e. affiliate) program which pays a commission on books and any other Amazon products people purchase via my links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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