Don’t just be called a Christian
18 August 2009 Early Church
I came to these great words from Ignatius of Antioch last night:
It is right, therefore, that we not just be called Christians, but that we actually be Christians, unlike some who call a man bishop but do everything without regard for him. Such people do not appear to me to act in good conscience, inasmuch as they do not validly meet together in accordance with the commandment. (Ignatius, Magnesia, iv)
Ignatius took quite seriously the importance of the body (i.e. the congregation in a city or area) submitting to the bishops, or the elders. And while it’s one thing to be called a Christian, or to call yourself a disciple of the Lord, part of being a Christian is involves being a member of the greater community of disciples and being under the guidance and leadership of elders.