Recently in a Bible Class I was teaching someone came up to me after class and said, “You are a _________.” My reply was no, I am a Christian. We are a world full of labels. Some of the labels describe the group we belong to, the type of work we do. Some are considered positive, other are intended to demean and put down. Others describe our social and financial status.
Wouldn’t you love to be apart of a world where simply because of your faith in and commitment to Jesus that you would just be called a Christian. Sounds kind of New Testament doesn’t it?
The main thing that keeps us from being just Christians is that we have been branded; no, not with a hot iron, but with certain beliefs that make us unique. While we may argue that these beliefs are not a matter of salvation and that we can have fellowship with God and His Son with these differences, they still keep us apart. You know the “birds of a feather” thing. We don’t do things together because we worry who would get the credit, so we go our separate ways serving Him with those different adjectives that keep us apart.
Our definition of unity doesn’t help either. I have heard for years that unity means we all have to say exactly the same things in the same ways. Yet none of us have ever been able to do it. I don’t think this is what Jesus had in mind (John 17:21), or the Apostles either. The unity they spoke of was centered in a faith in Christ and it was already present. Our instruction was to preserve and protect it, not establish it. (Eph. 4:3). Judaizers were the big issue in the first century. What was challenging the unity that already existed was a difference of law and grace, the heart and core of what make one a Christian in the first place.
Division is so ingrained in those who wear the name Christian that individual religious groups separated by adjectives have their own groups separated by even more adjectives. I think that the only way we will ever be able to get rid of the adjectives is to focus on Jesus and not our adjectives. Can we all agree to worship Him, and love and accept each other? No more labels, pigeon holes, boxes…yes and no more adjectives.
I just want to be a Christian. If we could do that then the world would know that God sent Jesus and many of them could be just Christians too.