I know how odd that may seem, especially coming from the guy who’s been ranting about Jesus for a semester, but I’m serious.
It’s bizarre, but I’m comfortable leveling with you all. Somewhere between the Facebook ads that entice me to hook up with “hot Christian singles” and the least God-honoring celebrities in our culture boldly proclaiming to be Christians, I decided that it wasn’t for me. The Christian majority doesn’t resemble its spiritual namesake, and that’s more than a minor problem for me. It’s a deal breaker. I love Jesus, but I refuse to be a Christian, and I hope you’ll understand why.
As an African American, I’ve learned important lessons about labels. Growing up as an “oreo,” mostly because of the way I speak, I found that my label let others know who I was and how I’d act way before they met me.
As someone who follows Jesus, I’m sure you can imagine the difficulty I’ve had with simply being labeled a Christian. For starters, I don’t hate gay people, and I enjoy the relationships I’ve cultivated with those who identify themselves as gay as much as I enjoy my interactions with Christians who have no problem sleeping around. The Bible says that both are in sin, and if you knew half of my story, you’d understand why I’m in no position to judge.
How Christians became known solely for the sins that the Bible preaches against is beyond me, though. That’s certainly part of the equation, but Jesus’ early followers were known for far more than that. Jesus didn’t just spout abstract facts about God — he brought God’s Kingdom directly to the people. He preached against sin but then went and ate with sinners. His supernatural love transformed the entire space around him, inciting the religious elite to vigorous hatred and everyone else to utter astonishment.
When Jesus told people to follow him, they did more than add him on Twitter. They gave up everything to pursue him. Somehow, Christians prioritized weekly meetings in a building instead of meeting daily with their Creator through prayer and scripture.
Sure this is all semantics, but I’m tired of special interest groups trying to hijack momentum from the Kingdom of God. I want my word back. I’m tired of people liking Jesus Christ’s page on Facebook and then living blatantly hypocritical lifestyles, as if the God who sees our hearts will accidentally press “like” on their eternity.
The world has seen enough of the lame substitute with the Biblical misnomer.
Hey, America, give me my word back! Hey, prideful-religious-group, give me my word back! Hey, people-without-any-intention-of-actually-following-Jesus, GIVE ME MY WORD BACK.
Until then, I refuse to be another “Christian”.