Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Identity

I've often thought that Christians needed a new name. Not that being "little Christs" is not something worthy of being associated with, but all the negative connotations that come with the title have muddied the name. As I've sought for a new way to identify myself as one who follows Christ without at the same time associating myself with all of the muck that is out there, I have noticed some things. Christians have been looking for new names for a long time. In fact, they have found many of them, and have always needed to revise them. That's essentially where most of the denominations have come from. That's how plastic stick-on fish and WWJD bracelets came around but since then have become some of the fastest ways to buy your salvation. That's how the term "born-again Christian" came to mean someone who is a real believing Christian and not someone who is merely nominal and celebrates holidays.

But what I realized, is it's not the name that is important. Jesus said, "By this all men may know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35). His point is this: It's not what you call yourself. It's not wearing cross necklaces. It's not having the name "Baptist", "Bible", or anything else written on your church sign. It's not even not having one of those labels on your church sign. It's how you live, it's who you follow and how you follow him. I would probably be accurate in saying that every non-Christian person I've met that knows that I am a Christian couldn't tell me what denomination I was or even what version of the Bible I read. They simply know that I am a real Christian.

I came to the realization yesterday that I need to stop trying to disassociate myself but rather spend all that time more closely associating myself with what really matters. It's more offensive than it is defensive. It's Jesus Christ.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Well said! I don't believe there is much I could add to it.