Monday, January 01, 2007

Christian or Christ follower

Christian or Christ follower
Article from the Lighthouse Trails Blog
Christian or Christ follower. It's a distinction that is being made more and more today, and often the latter term, Christ follower, is replacing the former term, Christian. Even many Christian leaders are making the switch. But just what does it mean? Emerging church leader, Erwin McManus says his "goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ." In McManus' book, The Barbarian Way, he talks about being "awakened" to a "primal longing that ... waits to be unleashed within everyone who is a follower of Jesus Christ." McManus says that the "greatest enemy to the movement of Jesus Christ is Christianity [i.e., Christians]." A video series on YouTube.com called "Christian No More" (by Christian Community Church) exemplifies this view by portraying those who call themselves Christians as shallow church-goers who wear suits and ties, have Christian bumper stickers on their cars and prefer the King James Version. This video is evidence that it is increasingly more popular to call oneself a Christ follower rather than a Christian.
Interestingly, most of those leaders who seem to be downplaying the name Christian and promoting the appropriation of the term "Christ follower" are contemplative spirituality proponents. One contemplative advocate, Rick Warren, has the term throughout his pastors.com website. Lee Strobel refers to it in his book Case for Christ (Student Edition), and Wesleyan pastor David Drury has a Christ Follower Pop Quiz on his web site to help determine if you are really a "Christ follower."
This theme of anti-"Christian" sentiment is not going to disappear any time soon. Book titles, for example, express this growing attitude. One book, Why One Can Be a Christian or a Christ Follower (But Not Both), by Floyd Henderson, is a case in point. Emerging church leader and labyrinth promoter Dan Kimball has a new book coming out next spring called, "They Like Jesus, But Not the Church....