One of my favorites is her “Ultimate Ginger Cookie.” This is just about my favorite cookie ever, which is saying a lot for a cookie that doesn’t have chocolate in it. It’s a chewy cookie, something else I like, and I have added my own little twist by rolling the balls of dough in sparkling sugar before baking them. But what makes it “ultimate?” Not only does it have powdered ginger in it, but also over half a cup of chopped crystallized ginger. There is no question what kind of cookie this is—it’s a ginger cookie.
I have several recipes with that word “ultimate” in the title. My “Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie” is good too. Not only does it have half again more chocolate chips than the usual recipe, but two kinds, bittersweet and milk chocolate. My “Ultimate Fudge Brownie” is maximum chocolate with minimal flour. My “Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookie” has no flour at all—just gobs of peanut butter, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Do you get the picture? “Ultimate” in a recipe means “a lot,” “more than usual,” and “well above average.” “Ultimate” means there is no question what kind of cookie this is.
I started thinking about the word “Christian” in that context. Technically speaking, the word means “a disciple of Christ.” That is not the way we use it today. “Christian” gets tacked on to anything that is even remotely religious. People can claim to be Christians just because they believe in a few of the Ten Commandments, which in itself is ironic when you understand the relationship of Christ to the Old Law. In our vernacular, Christians do not even have to be members of a church.
To keep that from rubbing off on us, maybe we should start thinking in terms of recipes. We should be “Ultimate Christians.” If we are really followers of Christ we should be different from those who merely claim the name with a few allusions to prayer and God in their vocabulary.
Real disciples of Christ, by the definition of the word “disciple,” are trying to be as much like their teacher as possible. They talk like he does and behave like he does. They know what commitment means—they serve as he did, sacrifice as he did, and fight the Devil like he did every day of his life. In fact, they are not afraid to acknowledge the devil as a real and dangerous being (like He did), even when others laugh at them for doing so. They condemn hypocrisy, especially among those who try to claim the same discipleship. They abhor sin, yet seek the vilest sinners in their own environment, knowing they are the ones who need their Master the most. They have compassion on the ill, the hated, and the lost. They will yield their lives to their Teacher by yielding their rights to others. They live by the Word of God, take comfort in the Spirit of God, and glory in their fellowship with them. In every decision, every event, and every aspect of their lives, they ask themselves how their Lord would have handled it. They are completely consumed with the spiritual; nothing else matters.
So, the question today is are we Christians in the modern vernacular, or are we real Christians, “Ultimate Christians?” Maybe if more of us started showing the world what the word “Christian” really means, we could stop making distinctions.
Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked...A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher, 1 John 2:6; Luke 6:40.
For the recipe accompanying this post, click > Dene's Recipes page