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?”
I’ve been gone for a bit . . . deciding what to do with this blog. Originally my intent was to use this blog for personal use as a repository for bits and pieces of Christian thought from around the web. That worked for me, although I don’t think that was understood by all as some may have thought I was simply copying other bloggers and posting here. That’s simply not the case.
Regardless, the focus of this blog is going to change and I’m going to try to post to it a few times a week – regarding my own personal meanderings and whims related to my Disciples Journey. While you’re waiting for that first post – feel free to take a look at my NPC 2007 blog and read about my recent experience at the 2007 National Pastors Convention.
I’ll be back soon . . .
- “Taking no risks is the greatest risk of all.”
- “Our calling is much higher than simply running away from what’s wrong. We’re called to chase lions–look for opportunities in our problems and obstacles, and take risks to reach for God’s best.”
- Lion chasers “thrive in the toughest circumstances because they know that impossible odds set the stage for amazing miracles. That is how God reveals his glory–and how He blesses you in ways you never could have imagined.”
- “At some point in your life you have to make a choice between fear and boredom. Lion chasers choose fear.”
- “Maybe prayer is less about changing our circumstances than it is changing our perspective.”
- “You have to do something counterintuitive if you want to reach your God-given potential and fulfill your God-given destiny.”
- “Maybe faith has less to do with gaining knowledge and more to do with causing wonder. Maybe a relationship with God doesn’t simplify your lives. Maybe it complicates our lives in ways that they should be complicated.
- “Most God-ordained dreams die because we aren’t willing to do something that seems illogical.”
- “Most of us regret sins of commission in the short-term. But it’s the sins of omission, the missed opportunities, that haunt us the rest of our lives.”
- “We need to stop criticizing culture and start creating it.”
- “If you wait for perfect conditions before you seize an opportunity, you’ll be waiting till the day you die.”
tony morgan | one of the simply strategic guys
Blogged with Flock
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
James 1:2-4, ESV
I have spent quite a bit of time pondering the words of Jesus’ brother James in recent weeks. He says that in the midst of trials we are given an opportunity to have joy if we trust that God is using our circumstances to make us increasingly mature. To be honest, there are days when I wish there was a route to maturity other than trials. Nonetheless, James seems to be teaching that when trials do come, we must receive them as gifts of God for His glory and our joy if we hope to benefit from them. The past few weeks have provided an opportunity for me to learn this truth, though I confess I have not mastered it.
Mark Driscoll’s blog | TheResurgence
Blogged with Flock
I have a growing appreciation for the sovereignty of God. Nothing is too big. Nothing is too small. In a nutshell: my sense of destiny grows stronger!
The Batterson Blog – Thoughts on Life and Leadership
Blogged with Flock
I received this via email today and thought it worth “meandering.”
COFFEE CUPS …
A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.
Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite. He told the group to help themselves to the coffee.
When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:
“If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, Leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups….and then you began eyeing each other’s cups.
Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of the Life we live.
Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us. God brews the coffee, not the cups…..Enjoy your coffee!”
The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.
- Live simply.
- Love generously.
- Care deeply.
- Speak kindly.
- Leave the rest to God.
I just found this copy of a church marketing advertisement on Church Marketing Sucks. This one hit home for me, trust me when I say that if you desire less you end up with more; not stuff, but life.