5 Reasons I’m not a ‘Christ follower’

Now that I have your attention, let me clarify that. I don’t mean that I don’t ‘follow’ Christ. What I do mean is that I don’t ‘self-identify’ as a ‘Christ follower’. I don’t get upset when people ask me if I’m a ‘Christ follower’, I just don’t like to call myself a ‘Christ follower’.

Here are my 5 reasons::

1. Anyone can be a ‘Christ follower’. One need not even have met and embraced Christ as Savior to be one. Think about it.

2. Although claiming to be a Christ ‘follower’ means more than just being a ‘fan’; meaning that I ‘do’ something rather than just hit the ‘Like’ button on Jesus’ Facebook page, it also tends to tickle the ‘boast’ button attached to my flesh.

3. It tends toward a sense of ‘works’ righteousness. See number 2.

4. It misses the gospel, in that it’s about what I ‘do’ and says nothing about what God has done on my behalf. In all fairness, it does have the name of Christ, and that could lead to a discussion about what God has done through Christ. Also, the label ‘Christ follower’ is a safe term for those who want to avoid the tough discussion(s) that address things like the gospel themes of sin and repentance.

5. The term ‘Christ follower’ falls woefully short of all that it means to be a Christian. It just doesn’t say enough about who I am as a believer.

So what should I call myself? What term/label could I use that might best identify who I am as a Christian and that also speaks to what God has done? Well, after considering about a dozen possibilities, I decided to just go ‘old school’ and tell folks that I am a ‘Christian’.

Yes, I know that it’s not P.C. in today’s evangelical environment and that we’ve been told over and over again to avoid ‘cristianese’ (I read another article a couple of days ago), but I’m going with it. ‘Christian’ says more about who/what I am as a repentant believer in Christ than any other label I could come up with!

So whenever I’m asked if I’m a ‘Christ follower’, I’ll just say “No, I’m a ‘Christian’ in anticipation of an opportunity to talk about what it means.

Categories: Christianity

18 replies

  1. Absolutely brother! If anything I can say I’ve been pushed/moved/encouraged by Jesus, I’m in front only because He makes sure to keep taking me by the shoulder and guiding me along. If I was just a “follower”, I’d probably end up in a ditch somewhere! Great observation thanks for the blog.


  2. Wasn’t it Rick Warren who was the first who coined the term “Christ follower” or did he just popularize it? I’m also very uncomfortable with that term whenever I hear it being used as a modern “hip” replacement.


  3. Lighthouse trails has a good article entitled:

    “Christian or Christ-Follower – Two Terms with Different Meanings”



  4. As I read this article, I definitely understand your perspective. Unfortunately, labels carry connotations and issues like this are often an argue over semantics. The term “Christian” was derogatory when it was first coined and can mean just about anything now. I know lots of people who call themselves Christians because they attend church on Easter and Christmas. It is sad that our culture has twisted most anything to the point that no label can clearly define anyone. I’m not trying to argue but wanted to state some observations. God bless you as we continue to serve the same Lord – the Lord Jesus Christ.


  5. I love the analogy about the clicking the “follow” button, but like Bonhoeffer said, when Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die. Following means taking up the cross to do so, (which I still have difficulty with, BTW!!)


  6. Reblogged this on a simple man of God and commented:
    I went through basically the same process a few years ago, but I like the way this is put. It kinda hits in the gut, too.



    • Thanks for your input! It’s valuable! ‘Christ follower’ seems to be a big part of the ‘seeker sensitive/purpose driven’ world. I fully understand the reasoning. There is some ‘baggage’ associated with ‘Christian’ that is less than Christian. Using a different term might get rid of some of the unwanted baggage. I just think ‘Christ follower’ says far too little about who we are as believers.


  7. You know I’ve never heard that term used by any hipsters “Christians” before until your posts and from the comments especially with Rick Warren. I’d just go old school too and call myself a Christian.


  8. ‘Sorry Dan – I must respectfully but strenuously disagree. The term “Christian” is so broad as to be essentially meaningless. Whereas “follower of Jesus” is at least descriptive, and puts the focus on the person of Jesus rather than on a religion. Here are my top 4 reasons:

    1) Nowhere do the scriptures teach that Jesus came to establish a religion called “Christianity.” Rather, he came to the “Jew first and also to the gentile” to establish the kingdom of God and a New Covenant. His command was, “come, >followfollowingcan< accurately say these groups do not follow the Jesus of the Bible.

    4) Perhaps most important to me is the issue of our relationship to Jewish people. The problem becomes clear when one asks the question, "Is it necessary for a Jewish person to become a Christian in order to be saved?" When you and I say "become a Christian" we mean to believe and accept the gospel of salvation by faith. But a Jewish person hears "renounce Judaism and accept the Christian religion." After nearly 2000 years of being persecuted by gentile "Christians," Jews now see Christianity as a gentile thing. How ironic since Jesus and the apostles were all Jewish. In Acts 15 the question was: can a gentile become a follower of Jesus without becoming Jewish! So, no, a Jew need not become a "Christian." He/she must embrace the Jewish messiah who was the fulfillment of the law and the prophets, and follow him.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post. I guess you pushed a button with me. Here's a post that details some history for anyone interested: https://artandlifenotes.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/painting-simeons-inspired-declaration/

    Grace and peace.


  9. Moderator: On my screen, I see that the reply I just posted got truncated – missing a couple of points. If you don’t see numbers 1 thru 4 on your end could you let me know so I can repost? And you can delete this.

    Thanks – scottnmollie@yahoo.com (email)


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