It seems to me that best, most concise and objective definition for Christian is: someone who follows Christ. This seems rather obvious at first blush but hold on! Perhaps it doesn’t matter so much what we profess to believe (the devil himself could arguably affirm the Apostle’s Creed) but who we actually *follow*. It is possible there are those who follow Christ without even knowing his name. Abraham, Moses and the prophets of old might fall into this category. Even today, there are many Christians who don’t know Jesus’ true name (it’s not actually, ‘Jesus’, btw). Could it be possible that some people who call themselves Buddhists, Taoists or even Secular Humanists are actually following Christ whether they know it or not? That one is far beyond me but I definitely think it’s worth pondering. Jesus told an excellent story which I believe illustrates my point: Matthew 21:28-32.
God is not only the God of the sufferers but the God who suffers. ... It is said of God that no one can behold his face and live. I always thought this meant that no one could see his splendor and live. A friend said perhaps it meant that no one could see his sorrow and live. Or perhaps his sorrow is splendor. ... Instead of explaining our suffering God shares it.