#56. Christian vs. Christ Follower – Theological Thursday

Bible_belt_buckle

You may or may not have noticed, but in many of my profiles, I describe myself first and foremost as a Christ Follower. There has been some controversy around this and I’ve read several articles on both sides of the fence, but I do this simply because I believe the core of my identity is found in Jesus Christ. He died for my sins and rose from the grave justifying me and giving me right standing before God, and I try to live my life in such a way that reflects that incredible gift of grace.

But many people get hung up on the terminology of Christian vs Christ Follower. Are they the same thing? Maybe. Maybe not. If a person believes in Christ, that He was and is the son of God, that He died for their sins and rose again. And if that belief stirs up affection and desire to be obedient to His commands, to love Him because He first loved us, then that person is a Christian or whatever label they choose to describe the relationship.

The reason I choose to use the term Christ Follower is for only one reason: To make people think. Sure it probably means the exact same thing as Christian, at least by my definition, but here in Dallas, smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt, everyone is a Christian. Heck, Fort Worth could probably pass as that belt buckle in the picture, which would make Dallas that first belt loop you slide the extra part of the belt through. Meaning the Bible Belt is literally two layers thick here in Dallas. (Dang, I knew it was bad, but I had no idea, until I followed the analogy all the way through.) Here in Texas you don’t ask what religion you are or what denomination. It’s just assumed that you believe in God. The polite question is “Where do you go to church?”

Anyway, a good friend of mine introduced me to the idea of using the phrase Christ Follower, and even if it only makes someone stop for half a second to think about what that actually means, or to spark a follow-up question, I think it’s worth it.

Question for Texans:

            Where do you go to church? And what do you call yourself?

Question for everyone else:

            What do you believe in?

 

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