Thursday, March 19, 2009

What do you call a Christian?

I was just reading an article from Newsweek. It was titled, "A Christian By Any Other Name". It discussed how believers in Jesus Christ have gone by many different names over the past few decades. Titles included evangelicals, Christians (which only appears 3 times in the Bible), fundamentals, decriptions based on denomination (Lutheran, Catholic etc) and now follower of Jesus. According to the article, the titles have evolved along the way due to the media and it's influence on their image based on any given title. The article references the terms "evangelical" and "religious right" which definitely conjure up images, mostly negative, even for Christians (or followers of Christ which is the true definition in Greek.)

According to this article, it's now hip to call someone who professes Christ a "follower of Jesus." I don't know when this became the official title just like I don't know when Americans of African descent officially African-Americans. No one called to tell me about the change of title but as a "Christian", I feel side-swiped. Why didn't anyone tell me that I am now a "follower of Christ". Where was I when this decision was made and do I get a vote? Was this a decision based on the Bible? Does it come from 1 Corinthians 1:12, "What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas[a]"; still another, "I follow Christ."

I'm okay with saying that I follow Christ. That is the role of the Christian to do as Jesus did and as He would have done, thus the creation of WWJD. I guess I hesitate because it's another attempt to group us all together and give us a title. As a society, we long for titles to simplify life. group like-minded (or like-looking) people together. There is something rebelliious in me that wants to break away from the stereo-types and the molds. Maybe that is where this title originated. People want to be seen as individuals, people who try to do what Jesus does/did. Therein lies the problem.

On earth we will always mess up whatever title we give ourselves. We are not Christ. We are not perfect and we will sin whether in big, visible ways, or small ways only seen by God. He lived perfectly, without sin and for that reason, He is THE sufficient sacrifice for our imperfection. As Easter approaches I hope to dwell more on this, thanking Him for His gift of propritiation of my sin. He alone is sufficient.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really great, thought provoking post. Thank you. He alone IS sufficient.