What Do You Call Yourself?

FollowJesusDouglas Lobb, retired minister and former executive secretary of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, recently wrote about an increasingly challenging and vitally important term often used as a means of identifying oneself with the Way of Jesus: Christian (The Congregationalist, Dec. 2013, p.21-23).  Relating his own experience, Lobb writes:

In the light of today’s Christian world, I find that I have great difficulty calling myself a Christian; because what is generally construed as Christian conduct is far from the teachings and life of Jesus.  I prefer to simply say, “I am trying to follow Jesus, and I am finding that it is difficult” (p.22).

So What?

Like Lobb, I also tend to use other language to explain my religious identification.  On Twitter and in other venues that value brevity, I tend to label myself a follower of the Way of Jesus or simply a follower of Jesus.  Of course, I recognize that can be nearly as easily misconstrued as the broad label “Christian.”  So, I often add clarifying words in advance of such including progressive, postmodern and post-denominational.

Do you think of yourself as a Christian or do you prefer to use a different term or phrase?

  • If you opt for Christian, what, if any, hesitation do you have about the usage of this term and the baggage it may have for your hearers?
  • If you opt for a different term, how did you come to the specific term you now prefer and what do you feel it more accurately conveys than would the term Christian?

Speak Your Mind