the word christian is misused.
christian used to mean a follower of Christ.
in today’s culture christian means people who try to behave and sometimes go to church.
the world is full of people who CLAIM to be christians but who are not true followers of Christ.
lots of people SAY they are a christian (meaning they celebrate christmas and easter), don’t go to church, and claim they are lutheran or catholic or baptist or presbyterian or what have you.
a follower of Christ is much more than claiming a title (or even going to church for that matter).
i can say i am swedish, german, english, norwegian, irish, scottish, etc. but i know nothing about that culture. my lineage is such, but i am an american when it comes right down to it. there are people who claim they are christians because they grew up living in a home where they went to church. their parents may well be (so their lineage has christians in it), but unless they have claimed Jesus as their personal savior, they are not followers of Jesus. unless they have been personally transformed by accepting the power of the cross in their lives, they can’t say they are followers of Jesus.
i am not trying to be condemning and if i sound like i am, i apologize. it is NOT my role in this world to condemn others. Jesus will come to judge the living and the dead. what i am trying to do is to be real. i don’t want to be counterfeit.
it’s not that i’m intolerant. people have the right to believe whatever they want to. and i have the right to align my beliefs with the Bible; many people will see that as intolerant (even if it technically is NOT). no matter what the case, i am not doing anyone any favors if i am not real. for myself (not for anyone else), i need to test my own actions (Galatians 6:4) and i need to examine myself (1 Corinthians 1:28). it is not loving for me to watch something running full speed ahead blinded by the wind in their face and the exhilirating feeling of running fast toward a cliff and say, “oh, well. they would stop if it mattered to them” and then watch them fall to their deaths.
no, not at all.
i want to love my friends and at the very least say, “hey, there is a cliff over there. you don’t have to believe me, but i wanted to warn you.”
and then from there, they can decide. i can’t FORCE them to follow Jesus. I can’t MAKE them do anything they don’t want to do (believe me, i try this with my kids DAILY).
i just can’t be scared anymore.
if someone is running toward that cliff and i have been put in their path, i gotta at least say something. if i don’t, i’m a fake.
and i want to be real.