Not A Christian???

Read this article today. I like thinking through stuff like this.

Not a Christian, But a Christ-Follower?

The downside of trying to re-brand your Christian identity.
by Jason Byassee

Anyone can understand the desire for an alternative to the word “Christian.” There are plenty of “Christians” I’d rather not be associated with. I’d much prefer to maintain my relationship with Jesus while making clear to others I am not in relationship to Pat Robertson or Jack Spong.

Lisa Miller, true to form as an excellent religion journalist, has brought attention to efforts to follow Jesus without calling oneself a “Christian.” Non-Christian Christ-followers even seem to have some scripture on their side. The first name of the Jesus movement in the book of Acts is “followers of the Way.” There are plenty of other fully-biblical alternatives: disciples, apostles, friends of God. Apparently the movement has legs: more than 900 Facebook groups call themselves some variant of “follower of Jesus.”

There’s some sleight of hand here. Imagine a banker in the current financial crisis objecting when you name her job description. “I’m not a banker, I’m a cashier.” You would be unimpressed. Or a Major League Baseball player seeking distance from the steroid scandal this way: “No no no, I’m not a baseball player, I’m a second baseman.” It’s as if my alma mater, Davidson College, disgraced itself in some horrible way. When people cluck their tongues at me, I cleverly respond: “Not me, I’m innocent, I’m not from Davidson, I’m just a Wildcat.” I’d be fooling no one. So too with these non-Christian Christians.

Read the rest here…


3 Responses

  1. wow this is something to think about! I am weary about this new movement and see how this wanting to be set apart under a new name can lead a way to fall off the path. I will definately share this with others, I agree we are all one body of believers. thanks. We need to pray how we can be unified.

  2. I see your point. I can also see why people would want to distance themselves from certain people in the Christian realm. Some people do give Christians a bad name. We must remember that “Christ”ians are followers of Christ, not of Pat Robertson or Benny Hinn, or Joel Osting. We must stay focused on who we are following, not what we’re called.

  3. I’m one who understands those who desire a new label over the word ‘Christian.’ I heard a story of a couple of missionaries in the Middle East who identified themselves as ‘followers of Christ’ instead of ‘Christians’ because of the… well, basically the ‘anti-Jesus’ actions of ‘Christians.’ Also I’ve heard of others who take the word ‘Christian’ as being one who follows a religion, rather than a relationship. But after reading this article, my thoughts have changed a bit. Instead of us being so worried about the negative connotations someone might conceive if we approach them as a ‘Christian,’ what if we identified ourselves as Christians and actually lived that way? If ‘true Christians’ lived their lives righteously, a ‘Christian’ would just be someone who follows Christ. It seems all too simple.

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