Anyone can call themselves a “Christian”.
I read some posts Tuesday on LinkedIn from a man who wrote a series called “Gay Christianity: My Tsunami” The gist of the series conveyed this man’s change of heart from someone who adamantly denied a Christian could be gay, to someone who could accept a homosexual claiming to be a Christian.
The discussion drew a number of comments, including one from me. Members who commented focused their responses on homosexuality and all the myriad arguments and theories discussed and debated over the years on either side of that issue. These folks Tuesday were debating the theology of the issue. They were mostly debating the Biblical theology of sin and homosexuality.
But, I’m not going there.
In my comment I tried to persuade them that their focus was all wrong. They should be more worried about how they defined the term “Christian” rather than what their views were on homosexuals, sin and the Bible. According to some folks homosexuals can be Christians. To other folks all homosexuals are going to hell, they believe. Some Christians put their stamp of approval on abortion. Some people who call themselves “Christians” abhor abortion and join organizations in hopes of stopping it. Some “Christians” believe it’s okay to dance. Some “Christians” say it’s a sin. Some “Christians” believe women should not preach the word of God. Other “Christians” say it’s okay. Some “Christians” say Catholics are not saved and are going to hell. Some Catholics believe they’re the true church and the only ones going to heaven. Can Catholics be “Christians”? It depends entirely on how you define “Christian”.
Pick An Issue
Go ahead. Pick any social issue in our culture today. I can find just as many folks who call themselves “Christians” land on both sides of the issue you pick. And the funny thing is this: line up both sets of “Christians” across the table from each other. Both groups will swear up and down that they are right. And not only are they right, but the folks across the table are wrong and they are going to hell because they believe the way they do.
Editor’s Note: I’ve written about this Christianity business before on this blog. I’m including links to a few related blogs at the end of this post you may find interesting reading.
I’m Not A Christian. I’m An Authentic Follower Of Jesus
I no longer refer to myself as a “Christian” because, for me, I don’t know what that means. And no one I’ve talked to or read can tell me either. Can you legitimately call yourself something if you don’t know what it is? I can’t.
The term Christian, which originated as a harsh criticism of those who followed Jesus, has gained wide-spread acceptance in modern times for people who consider themselves saved. But getting past salvation the definitions I have heard or read are miserably inconclusive and fall abysmally short of describing me.
I think of myself as an authentic follower of Jesus. Now that I can wrap my arms around. For me, I can define authentic follower in four Bible verses.
When the Pharisees asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, He told them, ” “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39.
He said it another way in John 13:
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35.
I wrap those two verses into one command: Love God, Love One Another.
I claim Galatians 2:20 as one of the verses that describes who I am in Christ.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
The other verse I claim as my true identity in Christ is Luke 9:23
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
Will these verses work for everyone. No. Are they adequate to describe a Christian? Probably not. But I believe they describe who Christ wants and expects me to be. These few verses are very specific and I can easily tell someone who I am by trusting these Scriptures in God’s word. I also use these verses to fulfill my responsibility Peter gives us in 1 Peter 3:15b:
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
I’m so blessed that you stopped by For His Glory today. Did you enjoy reading today? I’ve included some links at the bottom of this post you may find interesting. If you did enjoy reading, why not subscribe to my blog. It’s easy. Just go to my home page. In the top right corner click on Follow This Blog via Email. Then enter your email address. That way, you’ll get an email notification each time I publish a new post.
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