I venture to say, based on observations as far as I am able to see, more people are calling themselves Christians while more Christians are denying the title for all its negative connotations. Have you heard anyone claim their faith as “believer” or “follower of Christ” or “Jesus lover”? That’s dandy, and true. But the term “Christian” has been taken away from us, much as the symbol of the rainbow has. As a young person learning that I am in the midst of much needed revelation and change for “the church,” I fear the negativity toward the church. I fear for non-believers because it will keep them away, and for believers because of unforgiveness and bitterness toward those who have been getting it wrong. I fear the anger I’ve seen. I fear more splitting, more division dangerously close at hand within the whole Christian body. I pray it doesn’t happen that leaders who are making right changes due to convictions about how the church has been failing begin to find new titles. I don’t want to see a new movement rise up again only to lose itself in its mission once more. I want to see the church be taken back; for the term Christian to be taken back. To bring them back to mean the body of Christ and Christ-like. The only way to know those meanings is through Christ himself and we find him in the Word, our Bibles, and in prayer. I think this means we must look at the broken church with a heart of forgiveness. Jesus saw the broken and flawed and he forgave them, then said, “now sin no more.” Forgiveness and correction. Jesus was, is, for the church, his bride, so I want to be, too. Jesus’ heart probably breaks for her, I want mine to, too. Let us lift the church back up to what it should be, not break it down.
“And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had… they worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity- all while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” Acts 2.44, 46-47