The word "Christian" is a great noun, but it can cause problems when we use it as an adjective. I am not an English teacher, nor a son of an English teacher, but my best friend, Chris, is an English major and she proofs all of my ramblings. I think I remember that a noun is a person, place, or thing. And an adjective describes. But, since Chris corrects for me, you will never know if I was right or wrong! Anyway...a Christian is a believer or a disciple (learning follower) of Jesus Christ. The word Christian is a type of person, thus a noun.
An adjective is a term used to show a quality of a noun or the quantity of something that it might possess. In other words, if we attach "Christian" as an adjective to a noun, then we are a labeling this person, place, or thing as possessing Christian qualities. Rob Bell, an author and pastor, while I do not agree with everything he believes, writes about this in his book, Velvet Elvis. So who decides if music is "Christian?" Wal-Mart employees, as they stock CD's? Who decides if a television show is "Christian?" Direct TV or perhaps the networks? I am a Christian, and God does speak to me and teach me through some bizarre circumstances and unusual avenues, that others might not label as Christian. All of this foreward is to begin to explain a recent "Amen" experience.
Chris and I love to watch the television show, The Dog Whisperer.
I do not know if Cesar Millan is a Christian. I know his show would not be considered a "Christian" show, but it is entertaining and many times educational. As Cesar likes to say, he trains people and rehabilitates dogs. I think that Chris, with her counseling background, is intrigued with the way that the dogs usually display the problems and shortcomings of the owners. I just enjoy watching the dogs try to bite him!
Last week, Cesar was at a monestary in Washington D.C., that is in a bad part of town. The priests had obtained a German Shepherd to help them protect their property, but the dog, Jerry, was out of control and violent. Cesar was called to the scene. He then began to teach a lesson of balance to the priests. He described the spiritual world and the earthly world. Cesar said that his grandfather taught him two important lessons. First, do not go against nature. Do not try to humanize a dog. A dog is a part of the "earth world." And the second lesson was that activities require balance. A dog becomes a reflection of you and the balance that you have in your life.
One priest then asked, "Why did we end up with a dog that requires so much?" Cesar Millan answered the priests by saying, "God does not give us what we want. He always will give us what we need to help us grow." Yes, Cesar, I agree! Isn't it awesome to hear God speak through a venue that we don't expect? A scripture that was shared today in worship agrees with the Dog Whisperer.
19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Phil 4:19-20 (NKJV)
Why do I have cancer? Why not? C.S. Lewis says, "Do not ask why the righteous suffer, ask why not? We are the ones who should be able to handle it." Thank you, Cesar, for reminding me (even through a show that is not labeled "Christian") that God is more worried about my character than my comfort. The praise be to God!