What is a Christ-Follower?
Christ-Follower is a term that is often used for people who have a deep respect for the teachings of Jesus Christ but wish to distance themselves from negative stereotypes or specific practices associated with Christians. Exactly what a Christ-Follower believes is inherently defined by the individual so I can’t be more specific. Though I can say it is an invitation to ask the person what they believe rather than simply associating them with the nearest stereotype.
What does this means to me?
To me, being a Christ-Follower means distancing myself from religion. I’ve heard religion defined as “Man trying to get to God”. Well, Jesus Christ was all about “God trying to get to mankind” (no sexism intended). In other words, religion is all the trappings of legality, tradition, and practices designed by some other person. I do not have to believe what the Pope says is true. I don’t have to believe what John Wesley says is true. I don’t even have to believe what my church pastor says is true. I’m only interested in following Jesus Christ and if other people happen to agree with him, that’s great, that makes you my ally.
I’m also not averse to agreeing with someone simply because they don’t hold the label of Christian. I’ve found a striking number of similarities with Christianity in every religion I have studied. So I’ve started studying other religions more. The golden rule, for example, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you” shows up in variations in almost every religion. Other teachings of Christ resonate in every religion and culture. I think this is really quite amazing because it means that we all have some kind of common ground. Sam and I for example, go to the Pagan Student Alliance at CSU every week. They’re very nice people and they have a deep respect for individual beliefs which I really like.
Carl Madiras, who I respect deeply, encouraged all of us to abandon our religion when he came and spoke at church. He pointed out that we tend to put a lot of obstacles between us and talking to other people. In reality, there’s only one thing that we really know. That is that “Jesus has done some awesome stuff in my life and he’s really a great guy, and I’d love to talk about him.” He told a story about some Mormon missionaries who were going around his neighborhood when he was sitting out on the front porch. Other Christians in the neighborhood were either hiding or being really weird with them. Finally, he waved for the missionaries to come over and talk with him. “I noticed your name tag says your from the Church of Jesus Christ. I think that’s really awesome Jesus Christ, I know that guy, I’d love to talk about him with you. What has he done in your life?” Carl has been amazingly successful winning people over in the Middle-East because instead of bashing heads with Muslims he simply says, “Jesus is in your Koran. That’s awesome! I’d like to talk about him.” Carl sees bridges where everyone else sees walls and he does a lot of things that would shock the Christian establishment in America. That’s the kind of person I want to be.
Try reading this Article “Christian no more”, ironically written by someone at Community ChristianChurch. There’s a Series of videos on Youtube based off the idea:
I’m a Christ Follower (Mac vs. PC Parody)
Part 01 .
Part 02 .
Part O3 .
Part 04 .
There’s lots of other labels that people have adopted over the years. Christian was actually an insult that was assigned to “People of the Way” early on in church history. I’ve thought about calling myself a Wayist, just to confuse people. The core of the matter is that communication is based on common experience. If I say, “I’m a fundamentalist” and you hear “Back away slowly then run” then I’ve failed to communicate. If I say the same thing and a person hears “I care deeply about my beliefs and I try to apply them to everything in my life” then they got the message. The label doesn’t really matter so much as what people associate with it, so it’s audience-dependent. “I’m a Christ-Follower” means to me “take a closer look” so I hope you will.