I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the term “Christian.” As I’m sure you have noticed, if you’re reading this, I chose to use the word “Disciple” in my blog title, not “Christian.” My reasoning is quite simple – I don’t beleive that the term “Christian,” in todays culture, truly identifies who I am nor who I should try to be.
Dan Kimball, speaking recently at the National Pastors Convention, played a video consisting of a number of interviews with people about their thoughts on “Christians.” Overwhelmingly, the respondends in the interviews spoke negatively about Christians and attributed to them descriptors such as judgemental, hateful, homo-phobic, unloving and evil. Ironically, these same respondends spoke highly of Jesus and attributed descriptors such as loving, caring and great to Him. Although I’m proud to be a Christian based upon my understanding of that term, I don’t want to be known as one based upon these impressions.
As a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, I want to follow Jesus’ teachings and reach more people for Him. When I think of outreach, going out and winning more souls to Jesus, I think of a quote I heard recently that went something like this “Why would I want to be a Christian if it meant being a jerk like you.” I don’t know who to attibute that quote to, nor who it was said to. I do beleive that it is an all to accurate opinion though of many non-believers when they look at Christians. As such, I believe that I personally need to move away from the descriptor of “Christian” and towards the descriptor of “Disciple.”
I realize this is largely semantics – yet I believe it’s also important that we use terms in todays culture that accurately reflect who we are based upon the filters and lenses that those in the culture will see us through. Therefore I strive to be a disciple. This morning, while reading my Bible, God led me to this verse as encouragement for my thoughts on this:
Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31b-32 (NIV)
So, I guess I need to ask. Are you a “Christian” or a “Disciple?”