No longer Christian, but disciple

Monday, October 15, 2007

I have decided to no longer call myself a “Christian”. Before you panic, let me explain. We throw around this term ‘Christian’ all the time. We talk about a Christian nation. We talk about Christian leaders and Christian families. Unfortunately, the name which used to signify someone being a dedicated and committed believer in Jesus no longer means that at all.

ABC News recently ran a poll and discovered that 83% of Americans call themselves Christians. Wouldn’t this country be a much better place if that were certainly true! I believe that the term Christian has simply become a term that someone believes in God. And that’s about it. Maybe they go to church once or twice a year for a holiday. There is no difference in lifestyle or worldview. Author Bill McKibben discovered that 40% of “Christians” can identify onlyfour out of the 10 Commandments.

The word ‘disciple’ has more of a deeper meaning and identification with Christ. If you remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 28: “Therefore go and make disciples…” Notice he didn’t use the word Christian, but the word disciple.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26-27.

The cost of being a disciple is steep. Being a disciple is more than going to church on Sunday. It’s more than participating in a committee. It is living out the faith every single moment of the day. From the time we wake up, to when we go to sleep. Faith is more than just calling ourselves “Christians”, it’s living it out every single day no matter how difficult it may be.

So I no longer identify myself as a Christian. That’s what 83% of Americans call themselves. I am a believer. A disciple of Christ.


katbradley said...

Ditto, Dj

katbradley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deep Funk said...

Is this an issue at all at your church? I know that the Christian Church/COC don't have a denominational body, but I thought that the "call Bible things by Bible names" thing included preferring to be called simply “Christians” and reject any man-made label.

Hmmm. I suppose "Disciple" is an equally "Bible name" label.

My issue with the word Christian is that is shouldn't be used as an adjective, only as a noun. Music, movies, etc. can't be Christian.

I preferred the label "follow of Christ" for a while, but eventually went back to Christian. Various reasons, one main one.

Deep Funk said...

Heh. Just realized that the Christian Church is also known as the Disciples of Christ.

So. Nevermind.