Now that I have your attention, let me clarify that. I don’t mean that I don’t ‘follow’ Christ. What I do mean is that I don’t ‘self-identify’ as a ‘Christ follower’. I don’t get upset when people ask me if I’m a ‘Christ follower’, I just don’t like to call myself a ‘Christ follower’.
Here are my 5 reasons::
1. Anyone can be a ‘Christ follower’. One need not even have met and embraced Christ as Savior to be one. Think about it.
2. Although claiming to be a Christ ‘follower’ means more than just being a ‘fan’; meaning that I ‘do’ something rather than just hit the ‘Like’ button on Jesus’ Facebook page, it also tends to tickle the ‘boast’ button attached to my flesh.
3. It tends toward a sense of ‘works’ righteousness. See number 2.
4. It misses the gospel, in that it’s about what I ‘do’ and says nothing about what God has done on my behalf. In all fairness, it does have the name of Christ, and that could lead to a discussion about what God has done through Christ. Also, the label ‘Christ follower’ is a safe term for those who want to avoid the tough discussion(s) that address things like the gospel themes of sin and repentance.
5. The term ‘Christ follower’ falls woefully short of all that it means to be a Christian. It just doesn’t say enough about who I am as a believer.
So what should I call myself? What term/label could I use that might best identify who I am as a Christian and that also speaks to what God has done? Well, after considering about a dozen possibilities, I decided to just go ‘old school’ and tell folks that I am a ‘Christian’.
Yes, I know that it’s not P.C. in today’s evangelical environment and that we’ve been told over and over again to avoid ‘cristianese’ (I read another article a couple of days ago), but I’m going with it. ‘Christian’ says more about who/what I am as a repentant believer in Christ than any other label I could come up with!
So whenever I’m asked if I’m a ‘Christ follower’, I’ll just say “No, I’m a ‘Christian’ in anticipation of an opportunity to talk about what it means.