"Christian" vs. "Christ-Follower"

January 31, 2007 — 3 Comments

A couple of months ago I posted a video from Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois which was a parody of the Mac vs. PC commercials. The video was one of a series of videos used by CCC in a series in which they compared “Christians” to “Christ-Followers.”

I received some strong criticisms for posting that video even though I took no position as to the message. I just thought it was interesting.

Well now, after reading this week’s edition of the Christian Standard (http://www.christianstandard.com/) I realize that CCC’s series and the video were from Dave Ferguson, Jon Ferguson, and Eric Bramlett’s new book, The BIG IDEA.

The article reads like two different articles: one on The Big Idea and one on “Christians” vs. “Christ-Followers.”

I found the sections on The Big Idea both interesting and informative, but I found the sections in the rest of article “No More Christians!” somewhat troubling.

The first sentences of the article–“If you’ve been calling yourself a Christian, you should stop” & “If you have ever encouraged someone to become a Christian, you should never do that again”–shocked me.

I haven’t read the book, yet, and I’m sure that they are using shocking statements to make a point and stimulate thought, but I hope the book includes a more balanced discussion of this issue.

I initially found the idea (Christian vs. Christ-Follower) intriguing . . .

I, too, am turned off by people who call themselves, “Christian”but who appear to be living lives inconsistent with that name.

I am disgusted by statistics that show show no real difference between Christians and non-Christians on key moral issues.

I long to be a Christ-follower and not just a person
wearing the title “Christian.”

But, I love the name, “Christian.”

I am the name, “Christian.”

It is the name of my Savior.

It is the name used of Christ-followers in the Bible (Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28; I Peter 4:16).

Like you, I get their point: If we aren’t going to follow Christ in every way, then we shouldn’t call ourselves “Christian” because all we’re doing is bringing dishonor to Jesus . . . or something to this effect.

And, I agree to a point just this side of shedding the name that identifies me as a follower of Christ.

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3 responses to "Christian" vs. "Christ-Follower"

  1. 

    I’ve struggled with this myself a bit. On one hand it bothered me to see these same statements from the likes of Erwin McManus and others but then I began to realize there is a whole generation of people who have turned away from God not because they don’t believe in God or aren’t receptive to Jesus but their trust in the “religion” of “Christianity” was corrupt due to their perception of what the church was all about. Perception is reality for many who fail to dig deeper and give it a try.

    I guess I can see it from two vantage points. I didn’t grow up in church, actually had one bad church experience after another. In that capacity, like so many others, I can understand how one would want to show a way that differentiates itself from the “religion” of “Christianity.” I don’t mean to single anyone out here as I am speaking only from my own experiences but I know a lot people who grew up Catholic for instance and never even read the Bible. Their religious experience was very empty and ritualistic. They did not have a true relationship with Christ even though they called themselves a Christian. Again, I don’t say that in a negative way because many of these friends have come to know Jesus in a brand new and exhilarating way.

    On the other hand, now that I have found my new life in Christ I want to proclaim my “Christianity” and let my life serve as an example to others that it’s not about the “religion” of “Christianity” it’s about the relationship through Christ and so much more.

    I think there is a new reformation movement happening. Churches these days seem to be moving in a direction that is less about what you “can’t do” and more about love in action. I think these pastors who leverage the use of “Christian” are more so just trying to send a clear signal to others that it’s not about religion; it’s about believing and following Jesus on the path to righteousness.

  2. 

    I read the article in this week’s Christian Standard “No More Christians”. I found the article very thought-provoking. I preached a sermon once where I compared “church members” to “diciples”… same concept as that of Ferguson (et al) saying, “No More Christians.” I challenged the people of East Side to step up and start engaging Christ rather than attending “church”. I’m a little too fond of the name Christian to let it go (as were early believers). However, I understand their use of hyperbole and “shocking” statements to get their point across (Jesus used hyperbole as well… so I guess they learned from the Master). But let us never shed the name Christian, which declares we belong to Christ, in an effort to shed the negative perception coming from those who associate themselves to a vague, deistic type of “God”, rather than the living God revealed through Christ. Instead of changing our names, lets working on discipling Christians… it requires more work, but also produces deeper & lasting results.

  3. 

    mmmmhhhmm, yep.
    aka i agree, and i have nothing else intelligent to say.

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