As Christians

“As Christians, how do we…”

I have heard this sentence completed with almost every permutation of words in the English language. I only remember the questions. I don’t remember any of the answers.

The implication was that there was a way that everyone else does things (and perhaps a way that we are inclined to do it ourselves), but Christians ought to do it some other way. And we are Christians. Right?

As a Christian, someone is bound to spend a lot of time is spent reassuring himself that he is a Christian, along with assuring everyone else that he’s a Christian by beginning sentences with “as a Christian…” The intent is to make known that Christianity was the origin of the good deed (or the humble thought). Internally, the intent is more complicated.

It is difficult to imagine sitting in a circle with a group of Christians, and to have someone simply say “how should we respond to this hunger crisis?” The sentence would almost certainly begin with “As Christians…” Of course, everyone in the circle is Christian, so there ought not to be any need for the caveat. But there would be a need, hypothetically, if being Christian were a kind of theatrical role, or profession, for everyone at the table. Something you do in the on hours. Something you do when it’s time. Something you have to be reminded of.

As a musician, as a professional, as Prime Minister of Canada, as a friend, as a politician… there are certain things expected of me


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