Don’t Call Me “Christian” Anymore…

Terms can change in meaning, what may be represented as one definition for this generation may hold a completely different meaning to the next.  I think many defining words are in constant state of flux as people seek phrases to distinquish themselves from others with stackpoles and other idioms.  I think I need to relinquish a word that had defined me for many years of late but today seems almost obsolete.  I’ve taken pride being referred to this word for years, even when it would sometimes provide derision, I was so passionate about being on this team I proclaimed it boldly.

Not any more.

The word is Christian.  Emotionally it is a word that will be hard to shake, at least the way I understood the word.  I admire what the term in its original definition meant.  It described a devoted follower of Jesus,  a person who sought to bring peace, hope, and joy into a world where such attributes often seemed like they were missing.

Today that same word has so many new meanings that seem to dispel any connection to my understanding of its intent and therefore, to me, all but nullify it.  Today the term Christian is a synonym for a political ideology that represses the weak among us, supports the powers that crush us, and single out followers as superior moral creatures.  The term Christian is not only fighting with progressives like me but it is at war with itself to find the purest form of the word  and has cast off the losers to the pile of forsaken godless infidels.

So now I need to find a word to define my faith journey, my spiritual travels, and even my inner hope about a promise of a better tomorrow.  Terms that define what I’ve experienced about the nature of Jesus; compassion, gentleness, meekness, inclusive, and most importantly loving.   No need for flag wrapping here, as that never was a priority for the master, only His followers.  That’s my new challenge.  Maybe one new word isn’t the answer.  Maybe the real response should be to sit down and force an encounter with the person who inquires.  Introduce them to my heart and my challenges.  Maybe that is a more genuine approach to a definition of a person anyway, taking the time to get to know them and what makes them wake up each morning. 

Moving on!

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2 Comments

  1. Don Harp said,

    June 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    How about simply being a “Christ-follower?” That fits my bill.

  2. a.w. marks said,

    June 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I understand why people feel the need to change the language, but I think there’s very little in a word. We get caught up in being falsely associated with a distortion of a term, as if our reputation is Christ’s greatest concern. It wasn’t even close to His greatest concern regarding Himself.

    “Christian” or not, those hungry for the Gospel will gravitate towards those that are living according to truth. I personally allow them to wrestle with the terminology; it requires too much unnecessary energy to sell a new title. I would much rather redeem the word according to its purpose. Unbelievers are fully capable of determining between real Christianity and its distortion…if our lives dictate such a determination by being set apart. If they don’t, we’re only creating yet another shallow word.

    I would challenge you to cast aside your concern about reputation; being ashamed of a name because of other’s abuse will only make you look proud anyway. If your legitimate worry is that you’ll be disregarded by unbelievers by continuing to call yourself a Christian, your own life will serve as the better counter against the hypocrites, not a new word. This means that true Christians have to do the hard work before we earn the privilege to be heard, which is probably the way it should be.


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