Christ follower or "CHRISTIANS" - Which one are yo

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Christ follower or "CHRISTIANS" - Which one are yo

Postby natman » Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:47 pm

In another thread, MatthewNeal presented the following set of ads produced by Community Christian Church in Naperville Illinois.

I'm a Christ Follower (Mac vs. PC Parody) Part 01
I'm a Christ Follower (Mac vs. PC Parody) Part 02
I'm a Christ Follower (Mac vs. PC Parody) Part 03
I'm a Christ Follower (Mac vs. PC Parody) Part 04

The ads, combined with events at a recent Bible study have gotten me thinking and convicted me. Am I following Christ, or am I acting like the "CHRISTIAN!!!" in the ad?

During the Bible study, the topic of "predestination" came up. We talked about what the Bible says about the topic for about an hour, but the bottom line was that regardless of how we see predestination, it should have little affect on how we live out our lives. We should still spread the Gospel to each and every ear, and hopefully heart. We should still show Christ's love and charity to everyone, including our enemies... especially our enemies.

Since coming to know Christ as my Savior some 32 years ago, I have had a constant hunger to know and understand God's Word and His plan for mankind and to dissipate the hope that, for those that truly believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior, the future is extremely bright (the Gospel), under the command in 1 Peter 3:15 to always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that lies within us. It has earned me a reputation as a "Bible Answer Man" of sorts in my circle of friends and acquaintances. Sometimes I believe that it has brought about what I have considered in hind sight to be brutal honesty, which is sometimes divisive. What I feel I need to keep in mind is that 1 Peter 3:15 also reminds us to do this with gentleness and respect.

Like the "Christ Follower" in the ad, I desire to show compassion to everyone and to live as Christ has lived, to be "other" focused rather than "self" focused. Like the "Christian", I desire to surround myself only with the Word of God, things and people that declare glory to Him. However, I want those thing on the inside, not the outside.

So which are you?
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

Get exposed to the sun, and get exposed to the Son.
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Postby jochanaan » Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:39 pm

Much as I want and try to follow Christ, I sometimes find myself acting more like "Christian" than "Christ-follower." "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Still, God has taught me many lessons about compassion.
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Postby Jon-Marc » Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:40 pm

Personally I'm not ashamed to say I am a Christian, a follower of Christ. In my nearly 44 years as a Christian I have never seen anyone acting like that "Christian". I think it was highly exaggerated. I dress according to what (if anything ) I am doing in my church. Wednesday evenings I am very casual (no, not nude :lol: )--bluejeans and western shirt. Sunday morning I am semi-casual since I wear a robe in the choir during the entire service. Sunday evening depends on what I'm doing, but since I could be called upon to lead the singing or sing a special I like to be at least semi-dressed up. I rarely wear a tie or suitcoat. This coming Sunday evening I will be wearing a suit because I will at the pulpit doing a solo. Last Sunday evening I wore a suit and tie, and people asled me if I was preaching. That included the person who WAS preaching. I said, "Not if I can help it." The pastor often doesn't wear a suitcoat, and the church is fairly casual. Not casual enough for me since I'd like to go nude. :lol: I have only one bumper sticker on my car, and that's not even religious. I have no bumper stickers on my two suitcoats. :lol:
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Postby natman » Fri Jan 19, 2007 7:01 pm

I think casual dress is typically fine; jeans, colored t-shirt, etc. I prefer slacks and a button down shirt or sweater (if it's cold). However, there is a point of being TOO casual. Some of the kids like to come to church in PJ bottoms, which wrap around their buttocks, revealing their boxers, in some cases, thongs on the girls, slippers, low cut and high cropped tops.

I don't think it prudish, but, for me, it's either get respectibly dressed or don't get dressed at all, although I have yet to find a church that will allow the second alternative. :cry: :lol:
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Postby jochanaan » Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:08 pm

Jon-Marc wrote:...In my nearly 44 years as a Christian I have never seen anyone acting like that "Christian". I think it was highly exaggerated...

Well, that was the point! :mrgreen: But I have met Christians that acted nearly that way. :cry:
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Postby LivingFree » Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:18 am

Why even talk about what one wears anywhere. Is that the essence of following Christ? When I go somewhere (anywhere) I just try to be"me," always in the process of being transformed by Christ. A Beatitude person? A Sermon on the Mount person? But anyway, just me. Whatever's on my body, I make sure a smile is in my heart.
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Postby bn2bnude » Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:41 am

For the last year, I have dropped the "Christian" word when describing myself.

Why?

Too much improper baggage associated with the word. While I have heard the word "Christian" means "Little Christ", most of those, at least in this country, who adopt the tag don't act like Christ, don't think like Christ and would end up, if challenged, walking away from Christ.

That sounds pretty judgmental but we tend to be culturally Christian. When you see church attendance swell by 50-100% on the two Holy days of the year, you know many of those who are showing up are not following Christ.

The Mac/PC parodies are excellent in pointing out the fact that it is the heart, not the external that matters.
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Postby Strandloper » Sat Jan 20, 2007 1:14 pm

bn2bnude wrote: “For the last year, I have dropped the ‘Christian’ word when describing myself.”

While this could be a useful approach, it might also play into the world’s drive to neutralise Christianity.
Are we going to divide ourselves now into Christians and Christ-followers?
Clearly the “Christian” in the video is a parody, while the “Christ-follower” is a Christian – and not a typical one either . . . indeed, is there such a thing as a typical Christian?
Let’s not throw away perfectly useful words just because somebody abuses them.
It would make us no better than the trendy types who abhor “homosexual” and prefer “gay”, or those who find the word “disabled” demeaning and demand that we talk about people who are “otherwise enabled”.
Shalom,
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Postby Jon-Marc » Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:18 pm

I have always heard that the word Christian means "follower of Christ". The Bible says somwhere (I just tried to find it and couldn't) that they were first called Christians at Antioch (sp?). I assume that was because they were followers of Jesus Christ and preached and taught about Him. I agree with Natman that people do sometimes dress too casual. However, my idea of casual for church is not shorts and a T shirt like I've seen. I used to wear a suit and tie to every service, but that was because I handled the music part of the service. I don't think casual dress is proper for being behind the pulpit. I will be there this Sunday night as I do a solo, and I will be in a suit.
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Postby LivingFree » Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:52 pm

Jon-Marc wrote:I have always heard that the word Christian means "follower of Christ". The Bible says somwhere (I just tried to find it and couldn't) that they were first called Christians at Antioch (sp?).


Acts 11:25-26
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Postby jochanaan » Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:43 am

Jon-Marc, I think part of that depends on the kind of music you lead. I've played in the praise band at my church for some twenty years now (although my doing so has been very irregular lately), and somehow contemporary praise music seems to call for a less formal dress. Besides, if I have any say, I'd rather never wear a tie when I'm playing music.

I suppose my dress for leading music can be called "business casual:" shirt sleeves and slacks rather than suit and tie. But my classical gigs are strictly "black tie." (Of course, it's so much more comfortable in the nude! :D )
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Postby bn2bnude » Sun Jan 21, 2007 8:29 am

Strandloper wrote:bn2bnude wrote: “For the last year, I have dropped the ‘Christian’ word when describing myself.”

While this could be a useful approach, it might also play into the world’s drive to neutralise Christianity.
Are we going to divide ourselves now into Christians and Christ-followers?
Clearly the “Christian” in the video is a parody, while the “Christ-follower” is a Christian – and not a typical one either . . . indeed, is there such a thing as a typical Christian?
Let’s not throw away perfectly useful words just because somebody abuses them.
It would make us no better than the trendy types who abhor “homosexual” and prefer “gay”, or those who find the word “disabled” demeaning and demand that we talk about people who are “otherwise enabled”.
Shalom,
Strandloper


I guess the way I look at it is that if I say "I am a Christian", at least in the American culture, it can mean anything from the tele-evangelist, to the extreme right wing guy who blows up the abortion clinic to guy who shows up in church on Easter and Christmas.

If I say I am a follower of Christ, it pegs me a little closer. Not just in what "I am" but also what "I do".

I am not really trying to be divisive, I believe, however, that when the world around you is culturally Christian, the word has not only been abused but has really lost it's meaning. When I am happy, I would not describe myself as gay because that meaning has been hijacked to mean something else culturally.
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Postby Jon-Marc » Sun Jan 21, 2007 8:51 am

One problem I do have with the word "Christian" is that you have (1) People who say they have been a Christian "all" their life. In other words, they were born a Christian. (2) People who say, "Of course I'm a Christian. I'm an American." All Americans are Christians aren't they? (3) People who don't know Christ but call themselves "Christians".

With the way many Christians act (myself included sometimes) I'm often ashamed to call myself one because of my fear of bringing a reproach upon the name of my Lord. Also, there are the pretend "Christians" who call themselves Christians and live like the devil. Like the little boy said after his dad explained to him what a Christian is, "Dad, have I ever seen a Christian?" If only others could see Christ in me!
Last edited by Jon-Marc on Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Strandloper » Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:49 pm

Hi, Jon-Marc –
it’s not only Americans who have that problem with getting a grip on what or who a Christian is.
We have the same kinds of benighted individuals in South Africa.
But besides that situation, you have the Muslim definition of anyone who is not Muslim (or Hindu) as being Christian. Boys attending madrassah schools are told that Christians drink alcohol (okay, many of us do) and get drunk (not Christian, although many churchgoers do). Christians, they are told, are immoral, and support prostitution. Christians, they are taught, eat filth (read: Christians sometimes eat pork).
But this will not persuade me to use another word to describe my belief system.
I will, whenever I have the opportunity, speak of Jesus Christ, and what He has done in my life.
If this takes the focus away from the word Christian, this may help. But I am a Christian, and if I am to be condemned for it, I will take my place among those who have suffered before me.
Shalom,
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Postby bn2bnude » Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:14 pm

Strandloper wrote:...and if I am to be condemned for it..


I apologize to you if my posts appeared condemning... I didn't mean it that way.
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