Thursday, November 01, 2007

Not a Christian

What if we all stopped identifying ourselves as Christians? What would we say the next time a co-worker asks us about our faith? How would we describe what we believe to a stranger at a party or that person next to us on the airplane?

Here's what I think I'll say from now on; "I have been fascinated lately with the person of Jesus. So, I've been reading books about his teachings, especially the Gospels, and doing my best to follow his wisdom in every area of my life."

It seriously excites me now to think about my next encounter of this sort. Imagine the honest conversation you can have with someone by simply identifying yourself as someone who is fascinated with Jesus. Personally, I can't wait to introduce myself as someone who is curious about the teachings of Jesus and who is learning how to put his words into practice. I think this is a far more compelling response to someone who inquires about our faith. Much more so than simply saying, "I am a Christian" which instantly polarizes everyone, shuts down any hope of conversation and creates an "Us vs Them" environment.

This is an excerpt from another great article written by Keith Giles. I so agree with what this guy has to say and the way he lives out his faith. Plus, he has a really cool first name :-)

Check out the entire article here


Blogger Hannah said...

Wow, that was a great article. I am going to try that one day (when I can get up the courage and be honest with people).

2:12 PM  
Anonymous mom said...

Our pastor has used the term
"Christ follower" for several
years now in lieu of the term "Christian." This idea is not
new. I think many realize the meaning of the term "Christian" got blurred a long time ago.
The guy in this article has found a
good approach.

7:43 AM  
Blogger Crusader said...

It's true. I'm often convicted just thinking of how the early church lived for Christ. I want to be like them, to be like Jesus.
I tend to call myself a Christ follower for that very reason.
The word "Christian" usually brings thoughts of judgmental crooks to non-believers. I remember talking with my friend Adam a while back. He was an agnostic, who was striving to find God. He almost reminded me of a modern Buddha, and was pursuing Buddhism. He didn't know Jesus, and because of the judgment he got when he tried to go to church, he had no desire to be a "Christian". To him a Christian was a crook. Someone who tried to make themselves look good, while hating gays, and telling him he was going to hell because of his clothes, hair etc. One day the conversation came to God one day, I told my friends I was a Christian. I'd never really shared this, I'd just done my best to show them Jesus. They were pretty freaking surprised! After all, I'd never condemned them, or hit them over the head with the bible. I hope God used me to change their perspectives.

Jesus commanded us: "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
I say we listen to Jesus, follow His example, do what we see our Father doing.

Wow this is a long comment! Anyway, I agree.


11:46 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Crusader may have it right for you guys. Why call yourself anything? Live your life, and like Crusader, people will be drawn to you by the example, if the example is appealing.

I have to say that I'm a bit taken aback by the subject of this and a couple of the more recent posts. I can't imagine asking "what" someone "is." You really get asked?

The only times I've ever been asked, it's been by one of the "judgmental Christians" you speak about, wanting to proselitize, that give you a bad rep.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

I agree Dave that those "judgmental christians" have given us a bad rep. No doubt. That is why I post a lot about this kind of stuff. I put myself on the side of grace and mercy and loving ALL regardless of where people are at in their belief, or even if they believe at all in Christ.

I just try to live by the golden rule. But I am by no means perfect at it.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

I forgot to answer your question Dave. Yes, I do get asked. Usually though the question is "What religion are you?"

I usually respond with "I'm a Christ follower who believe's the words Jesus spoke. I do go to a church, but it really is not about religion. It's about accepting and loving ALL people, regardless of race, religion, sexual preference, etc."

4:10 PM  
Blogger Jeni said...

I think it is a sad, sorry state of affairs that so many people when they hear the word "Christian" tend to automatically think of people who often are very black and white in their thinking -no room for grey or other shades there. And if the "non-believers" would look closer perhaps they could see it's just another form of stereotyping, not seeing the forest for the trees. If someone were to ask me outright about my religion -if I am a Christian -I'm not sure how I would answer that question to avoid being labeled, not out of denial or shame, but not wanting to be mistaken for one who is as biased, bigoted and prejudiced as many of those who proclaim to be "Christian" seem to be. And by saying that here now, I become a bit like those I was just a second earlier somewhat condemning you know -like them, not seeing the log across my eyes. I'd rather state I am a member, maybe not the best, of this church and then, name the church. Hoping that the questioner would come to see and understand the tenets of the church I do try to attend - just don't get there often enough.

10:45 PM  

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