I hate being lumped in.
I just don’t like sharing that name “Christian” with some of the other folks who call themselves Christian. We seem to have some different opinions on what that name means.
- I watch people on some news channel claiming to speak for the entirety of Christianity, and I can’t help but think –“You ain’t speaking for me!”
- I’ll hear about young people becoming atheists, and talking about all the bad things the church has done — money grubbing, hypocrisy, clergy with no boundary training, intolerance, etc., and I’ll think –“Hey, that’s not my Christianity!”
- I’ll read articles about how the church in America has failed in so many ways, and I’ll think — “Look at all my church accomplished this week. We’re trying! We’re really trying.”
- I’ll see a report about some church making a decree or taking a stand that is, in my opinion, against everything Jesus would do, and I’ll think –“Why would I want to be associated with them?”
Now, if you’re a critical reader, you may have figured out that some of these criticisms, especially hypocrisy, DO apply to myself and most Christians. Sometimes a lot. No church is perfect, as an institution or as a movement.
We have so much work to do.
But that doesn’t change the fact that some churches do things that, (at least from my Christian perspective), are reprehensible. Not just irresponsible or misguided, but dangerous and damaging.
Things like claiming an earthquake or 9/11 was God punishing certain people. Or treating women as subservient, second class citizens. That kind of stuff drives me crazy. Your criteria may be different.
I wonder. To keep us from being lumped in with Christians that give us fits, should we abandon the name all together?
Call me a Jesian, or a Christ-Follower, or part of the J-Crew (well probably not that last one), just don’t compare me to such-and-such Church as if we’re saying and doing the same thing.
I don’t know. There are a great many other denominations that I see acting in integrity, mission, and purpose. I want to be connected to them.
But there are some others out there I’d very much like to disassociate from.
Until we can all truly agree on what it means to follow Jesus as individuals, institutions, and movements, maybe we’re better off not being lumped into one category.
But who knows? In 50 years believers may go by lots of different names.
I’m not planning to arm-wrestle somebody over who gets to use the name Christian…
That’s not the sort of thing we Jesusites would do.
Have a great week,