I absolutely hate the term Christian. I dislike it almost as much as the term vegan.
As I write this article, I am sat in a coffee bar in Leeds (UK) city centre. To get here, I passed 2 street preachers. Both working in the name of Christianity.
One was a lady who at first glance (and second glance) seemed mentally unstable.
She was holding flyers saying ‘Jesus’ while rocking from side to side and stared at the floor. She was mumbling “Jesus loves you” hoping someone would take her leaflets.
The second street-preacher was a man in his 50’s. Stomping his way up and down the main high street yelling that we were “going to hell if we don’t accept Jesus”.
Both working in the name of Christianity.
The Jesus that I know would not do either of these things. He carries a charisma that is bold but humble, powerful yet comforting and personable and passionate. Not scary and psychotic.
The UK and western world is full of people who say they are Christians. A recent survey puts 60% of the UK classing themselves as ‘Christian’. (Christian Research 2011).
But that covers a range of beliefs ranging from “I got baptised as a baby” to “I occasionally go to church” to ”I am a spirit filled believer” and many, many more.
I am personally finding more and more that I am drawn to the term ‘follower of Jesus’ rather than Christian. I think that better describes who I am and what I believe. I want to become more like Him.
If every ‘Christian’ in the UK, took one step closer to Jesus this week, then our communities would look very different. Not a step towards Christianity, or towards a church or religion or towards ‘being a nice person’, but a step to become more like Jesus.
That single shift would completely revolutionise our homes, communities, school, work places and our own lives.
How can we as ‘Christians’ take a step closer to becoming a ‘follower of Jesus’?
Christian Research. 2011. http://www.christian-research.org