It is raining. I will have to walk later.
But I am sitting here screwing up my courage because my devotions led me to this…
Someone finally asked me this week. I guess they burden themselves with reading this blog and they noticed the words “follow after God in the Way of Jesus.” They asked why I use this expression.
I don’t like to be called a Christian. And I like it less all the time.
For a couple of reasons.
The first is because the label has become, very rapidly, a political identifier. I have noted with great alarm how folks wield “Christian” like a brutal club. Folks from polar opposite positions on almost every topic claim exclusive rights to the tribe. The Body is rent and torn and beaten and battered. It has probably always been so but with “our” (not God’s!) modern ease of communication the whole snowball effect of destruction is rapidly reaching the tipping point. We simply can’t be Christlike if we are going to be “Christian.”
And the Head of the Body has got to be distressed. The institutionalization of “Christian” has led to a horrible dehumanization of “Christians.” It is no coincidence that it has also led to a tragic distaste among people out there with tender hearts who observe this train wreck.
(You could probably say the same for Muslims, Jews, Hindus….but my concern is much nearer and much more personal.)
So my second concern flows from the first. When I say “Christian” I am lost. I am telling what I am. I am focusing the conversation on me. “I am a Christian.”
Talk about fraught with peril!
My focus darn well better be on something other than me.
I am convinced that we must change the conversation to be able to #changetheconversation.
So I settled on “follow after God in the Way of Jesus”.
Really awkward isn’t it?
Kind of forces me to slow down.
It moves my focus to God. It asks me to see how Jesus did it. And it includes “follow” because I sure as hell haven’t arrived.
And you know what? The folks I see around me who are inspiring me are on that journey. They are not “being”. They are “becoming”. They are not “believing”. They are “doing.” They heard someone gentle and sweet and loving and wanting say “I am the Way.” And they just had to go!
So now you know.