Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I don't want to be a Christian

This week, I became keenly aware of the difference between a Christian and a Disciple.

During a sermon at a local church, I watched as the pastor illustrated with great clarity the difference between the two.

A Christian says that they follow Jesus. And for the most part, they sort of do. But as they follow him, they become distracted. They stop to get drunk at the local bar. They take a night off of their faith to sleep with their girlfriend. They take a few minutes to spew the latest gossip. They return to church on Sunday but on the way there, they lose their temper with their children. They get in a fight with their husband. They go off on a telemarketer. They lie to their boss about the reason they are taking off work on Friday. Then they get back on course, following Jesus a bit, before steering off course again.

But a Disciple? A Disciple follows Christ without wavering. This was illustrated for me as the pastor asked a congregation member to play the role of Jesus. Our pastor followed this volunteer around the sanctuary without any bit of wavering. What Jesus did, he did. Jesus waved. He waved. Jesus prayed for someone. He prayed for someone. He was a student of Christ. He studied Him. He acted like Him. He was a representative of Christ.

While a Disciple may sin, that sin is not as common. It is the exception. Not the rule. A Disciple is striving every single day to be like Christ.

And as the sermon concluded, I decided in my heart that I want to stop being a Christian and instead be a Disciple. 

When I lived in Turkey, many people there would say they were Muslims. As Americans, we often picture these Middle Eastern countries filled with devout Muslims. But this was incredibly far from what I witnessed. What I witnessed were people who were born a Muslim. But for many of these people, the faith was simply something they were born into. Not something they lived.

Living in the south, I find the comparison very similar. In other places in the USA, witnessing is almost easier because people will flat out say, "I don't believe in God. I'm an atheist. I'm not a Christian."

But here in the South? Nearly everyone says they are a Christian. They all claim that they know God. But their life doesn't illustrate what a Christian life should illustrate.

And I'm not pointing my finger at them. I know I've seen the same thing in my life on occasion.

So I want to be done with the whole Christian thing. Anyone and everyone seems to call themselves a Christian today. In fact, 83% of Americans identify themselves as Christians! I'm sure you are all thinking what I am thinking? If this is the case, then how do 50% of Americans believe that abortion is okay? And how is it that 3 out of 4 women in the U.S. have lived with a partner before marriage?

I do not write these facts to judge. I have my own sins that are equal to the two examples I just listed above. I write these facts to say that if the majority of people say that they are a Christian, I don't want to be lumped together with Christians if this is how Christians live.

I want to be SOLD OUT for our Heavenly Father.

I want to be MORE than a Christian.

And so today, I change what I am to a Disciple.

Who's with me?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

AMEN! You said this so well! While I stumble on a regular basis, my prayer is always to "be the light of Christ" so that others may see Him through my actions & in my heart. Well written - prayers are you disciiple on! Lynda