Please don’t call me a Christian. I have many reasons for this plea.
“Christian” has no meaning. People are called “Christian” because they once said a prayer or because they go to church or because they live in a “Christian” nation. Maybe they just claim the title. There are no standards for being a Christian.
Christians have been embarrassing. Some of these people who are called Christians have done embarrassing, sometimes hateful things that I don’t want to be associated with. Some of these things are mass sins like persecutions or enslavements. Others are personal like individual hateful words or hurtful acts.
Jesus didn’t call me that. Jesus didn’t call us “Christians.” He called us disciples or followers. He described us as salt and light. These terms describe our ability to grow to be like him through his power and grace and to reflect his goodness and glory. Disciples are identifiable by what He has done and not what we accomplish. “Christian” has come to mean “holier than thou” or hateful. Jesus said we would be identified by our love. That’s based on how we reflect his light and love, not on what we say we believe.
It’s risky to abandon the “Christian” label. There is some comfort and security in its vagueness. When we claim the mantle of discipleship, salt and light, there are objective signs that confirm or deny our claim. Our status can be proved or disproved. There’s a need to continually seek his face and, thereby, reflect his glory.