You can’t live a “Christian” life today.
It’s a label, not a lifestyle. Pastors use it, evangelists use it, ministries use it, missionaries use it, Bible teachers use it, lay people use it, Chreasters use it. “Chreasters” are those folks who go to church on Christmas and Easter. That’s the subject for another blog.
According to research studies I’ve read, lots of folks like to call themselves Christians because it’s more politically and socially correct than saying, “I’m a non-believer,” or “I’m an agnostic,” or “I really don’t know what I am, so I guess I’m a Christian.” It’s a positive affiliation. It’s a nice thing to call yourself.
“Christian” is a relatively modern label. Only in the past several centuries has it become popular. “Christian” appears only three times in the Bible (KJV, seven in the NIV). It was first used at Antioch by those outside the group of Jesus’ followers to criticize and ridicule them. Today “Christian” is “culturally correct.” in many circles to be associated with anything “Christian”. It is also used as a label to identify people who associate with the cultural aspects of Christianity, irrespective of personal religious beliefs or practices.
Richard Dawkins is an atheist scientist with a global reputation for speaking out against creationism and religious fundamentalism. He calls himself a Cultural Christian. “This is historically a Christian country,” he said. “I’m a cultural Christian in the same way many of my friends call themselves cultural Jews or cultural Muslims. I like singing carols along with everybody else. I’m not one of those who wants to purge our society of our Christian history.”
Are we evolving into a nation of “cultural Christians”?
It is vital, in my opinion, that each of us knows our true identity in Christ, what we believe, and what our purpose is in the body of Christ. Here’s a list of categories off the top of my head. Which one would you call yourself?
- I’m not sure what I am
- A “Cultural Christian”
- I’m religious and I follow the Ten Commandments
- A Believer (Be careful. Satan and his angels believe in a Holy God and His power)
- A Christian (Be careful here, too. Do you know what that label means? Theologians can’t even define it.)
- An authentic follower of Jesus, a disciple — This is not a walk in the park. (John 13:35. Luke 9:23)
I call myself an authentic follower. That takes longer to say than “Christian”, but I refuse to call myself something unless I know what it means and I’m confident I can explain it to someone who asks.