James Joseph Jacques Tissot (1836–1902)
The longer I live and breathe, the less I like the terms “Christian”, and “Christianity”.
In fact, I don’t like Christians…huh????
If being Christian means you have to follow some predetermined set of rules or someone’s idea of proper criteria, count me out please. The phrase, “I’m a Christian”, does not set well with me anymore. Why not you might ask?
In part, I admit that “Christians” have attained a status that is less then desirable in today’s world…and have been in large part responsible for this happening themselves. Hard truth to swallow, but true nonetheless. In the DC Talk song What If I Stumble, there is a quote at the beginning that says,
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today
Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips
Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.
That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
There are so many definitions of what it means to be a Christian. I don’t feel any need to measure up to those definitions. If you ask ten people what being a “Christian” means, you may get ten different answers. Something about that just strikes me as being wrong.
What does being a Christian mean? I submit to you it means being a label; it means living up to someone’s preconceived notion of what he/she thinks being a Christian means. Sounds reminiscent of the Pharisees I think.
How about being religious…I dislike this one even more. I’m here to tell you…you can be religious to the utmost, and know nothing of what it means to serve God. Need an example of this? How about an example that comes right out of the bible? The Apostle Paul was the poster boy for being religious before Christ got a hold of him. Do you see the difference? If not read the book of Acts 7:54-60; Acts 9:10-30.
I much prefer the term “Believer”. What is a believer you say? A believer believes in God the Father, Jesus, and His atoning work on the cross. A believer believes that Christ lives today and forever, and will return some day to this earth, that Christ is the only way to the Father and that eternal life is found in Him. We as believers live to serve Him because we love Him and are grateful for what He has done for us. This is by no means an exhaustive list of what a believer is, that is not the point. Call yourself what you like, I like disciple as well.
What is important is what do you think about God?
- Do you believe in God?
- Do you serve Him or only watch from a distance?
- Does your worldview agree with the world, or does it coincide with what the bible has to say?
- Do you think that serving Him if you are truly His is an option or a must?
- Is Jesus your Lord and Savior, or only your Savior?
- Do you love Him for what He can do, or give you, or because you are grateful for what He has sacrificed for you?
- If you obey Him, is it because you love Him, or because it is a duty?
- Who do you serve, God or yourself?
- Are you God’s man or woman in church, but a different person altogether in the world?
- Is God the thing you do on Sunday, or is He Who you live for?
The answers to these questions are more then a little important. The answers define who you are in Christ if you are in Him at all. Don’t be a Christian, be one who abides in Christ. As Jesus abided in the Father, so must we abide in Christ. We must form a personal relationship with Jesus, not maybe, must.
Follow in Christ’s footsteps, as He did, so must we. None of us are perfect, that does not excuse us from trying our best by the power we have from the Holy Spirit to emulate Jesus the best we can. The actions of Christ were to be a servant, now if the One who created all that we see was a servant; we need to be servants as well. Love and serve…you will have the bible down pretty well if you can do that.