Calling myself a Christian in America seems almost meaningless anymore. It’s not a strong enough statement in this present culture. Everyone and their sister claims to be “Christian.” I recently heard someone describe himself as “Christian-ish.” The fact is, there’s no such thing.
I am a Christ follower. As a Christ follower, I truly FOLLOW Christ and believe his every word. He affects every part of my life. Just as a marriage relationship is entered into with two devoted, loving participants…so it is in a relationship with Jesus. I continuously pursue a thriving relationship with him (and he with me!) and over time, I become an imitator of the One I am following. He rubs off on me!
There were times when Jesus was unabashedly confrontational, not with “sinners” who flocked to him because they knew they needed saving, but with the “religious” who were full of arrogance and pride. Sadly, “American Christianity” is something contrary to true Christianity. As David Platt has said, “We make [the gospel] look like us and fit into our lifestyle instead of adjusting our lifestyle to the gospel. In the process we make following Jesus more American than it is biblical.”
What Jesus says to the church in Sardis he can say to us, “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.”
As Christ followers, we need to be sure we are AWAKE to the spiritual battle that rages around us. We need soft, pliable hearts – willing to repent and turn back to the God who made us and loves us.
So…are you a Christ follower?