I stopped being a Christian this weekend…and I challenge you to, too!

That’s right. This weekend I renounced my (cultural) “Christian” ways, and have decided to live a new chapter of my life.

What do you think of when you think of a “cultural Christian”?
Most of the time, it is not the qualities that Jesus said we’d be known for..
ie: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Most of the time, these are the things we think of when we think of “Christians”:
hate, depression, animosity, impatience, disdain, evil, hypocrisy, callousness, and a major lack of self-control.
Am I right?

You see, this weekend I went on a retreat type thing.
It changed my life.

I saw that I am really good at being a “Christian”, but I am really bad at following Christ.

Did you catch that?

I am really good at tweeting things that SOUND great and are biblically accurate (most of the time), and I am really good at talking to people about my ‘faith in Jesus’. I am also really really good at faking people out – at letting them see the good side of me. Not the side that struggles with lust (and we all know what that means when a guy says that…It means I struggle with looking at porn every now and again), greed and laziness.

Christian; can we put to death our cultural “Christian” selves and live a life for Jesus?

Can we finally come out and share that we are broken, sinful, struggling (yet redeemed) individuals who are leaning on the love and grace and understanding of Jesus?

Can we be up front and honest about our sins, pitfalls and doubts?

Can we please stop acting like we’ve got all the answers and our lives are hunky dory?

Can we please stop demanding grace from everyone around us while being selfish in sharing it?

This weekend I vowed to stop being a cultural “Christian”.
This weekend I vowed to follow Christ…to be a little Christ.
To be real.
To be honest.
Whatever that looks like. Whatever that means.

I challenge you to do the same.

God bless.

—————————————————–

EDITS: This post has been edited for clarity’s sake after being addressed by a few men (and women) that I trust. Leading the pack was my good friend Ryan Dalgliesh. I have edited the post to be clear about the TYPE and STYLE of ‘Christianity’ I died to this weekend. Thank you all for your comments, shares, and rebuke. I am still learning how to effectively communicate my points.


19 thoughts on “I stopped being a Christian this weekend…and I challenge you to, too!

  1. I love the way you make your point! I have felt the same way as you… the label gives us a false sense of belonging.. almost as if as long as we identify ourselves as Christian, we are freed from sin. Rather it is an act.. an emotional AND physical act of following Christ! Well said! I wrote a post very similar to this called “Atheists make the best Christ Followers”

  2. I have been on the same road and have made the changes. Church members hate. Lol. Jesus is our judge not people in the church. Plus! People are coming to me to learn more.

  3. There is a difference between being religious and being a true believer, a true Christian. One preacher put it like this, “Don’t judge yourselves by other Christians. Don’t judge yourself by what your mother says. Don’t judge yourself by what your father says. Judge rightly by the Word of God.” 2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us to examine ourselves. No, you did not stop being a Christian, you started being one.

    When we cease the religiousness of being a church goer and start living the biblical Christian life, then that is where the real starts. Living holy and striving against sin, being a living witness in all we say and do, being totally and completely dependent upon Christ is part of being real. We fall, we come short, we sin, but we have an Advocate with the father, Jesus Christ. It is OK to admit to falling short, for the Bible teaches we all do. But, the truth comes about with what we do when we fall short…
    We get back up again and keep fighting the good fight.

    I encourage you to keep fighting the good fight, to be real, to walk as you know you should walk according to the Word and the Spirit. I pray that the Word and Spirit would manifest even more in your life. Remember, the word Christian means Christ like, or someone trying to live like Christ. Don’t ever stop being a Christian, just become more real about it.

    1. These were my exact thoughts while reading, Will! I see where you’re going with the post, John but I think saying to stop being a Christian but to be more like Christ is impossible because that’s what the name means.

      1. The point of this post is to put to death the normal idea of Christian in America. I am no longer Christian – in the common term – I am now living my life for Christ…meaningfully.

  4. Intriguing.
    Stuff Christians don’t talk about.
    A month or two ago I was thinking a lot about not just being known by the mask.
    I guess at the same time why we hide behind the mask is shame, condemnation, and even pride.

    So I guess for me I wonder what living life unmasked looks like.

  5. I too get the point of what you’re saying John, but I agree with Will and Amanda that to live purposefully for Christ is to indeed be a Christian, regardless of how you feel most people who identify themselves as Christian behave. It would be comparable to a husband saying he is going to be faithful and love his wife selflessly, so don’t call him married, because half of all marriages end in divorce. Don’t let lies redefine the truth.

  6. We can speak the lingo, do the deeds, and fake the funk all we want, but at the end of the day we only fool ourselves and delay genuine transformation. Only when we begin to honestly confess, confront and surrender our struggles can Christ begin to truly be formed within us.

  7. I am a Christian. One who is of Christ. The definition I have in regards to this is based from scripture. I am a new creation, the old is passing away. The new is coming. What I don’t want to do us trade one “cultural” Christian concept of whitewash for another “cultural” Christian identity of licentiousness. An allowance of applying a false identity of sin into the new life that is in me rather than the pure life that has been given when I was born again. What I really feel we need to do and understand us that we love with both realities as found in Galations 5:17. It does seem freeing to deceive ourselves and embrace the fact that we are living in a sinless day to day life, and it also seems freeing to embrace an acceptance of sin as part of our identity as well. But both are only a part of the whole truth. Those who are born again still struggle with sin and will until their natural current bodies pass away.

  8. Not sure my comment went through. Trying again.

    No John. You made your point perfectly well. It’s just that often people get stuck on certain usages and definitions of certain words and can’t see outside the box. Ironically I posted these yesterday before I was aware of this blog.
    “I am not ashamed of Jesus or the gospel, but I am often ashamed to be a Christian.”
    “Sometimes it’s hard to see Jesus through all the extra crap that gets piled up around him and gets labeled as Christianity.”
    I guess we’re thinking along the same lines. God bless.

  9. This is awesome John! It’s the main reason God put it on my heart to do a blog and to be COMPLETELY honest with my writing.
    It definitely doesn’t always feel right, but afterwards it brings a certain freedom knowing that you don’t have secrets, all your mistakes and flaws are out there for the world to read, so you can’t put a mask on.
    Keep on writing! God bless!

  10. Thanks for this refreshingly honest post.
    Pope John Paul II often made the distinction between doing and being (essere and operare). It is easy, as you point out, to do Christian ‘things’, to seem Christian, but it is a whole different thing for us to BE Christian, that is, to be another Christ. We therefore cannot just be a conduit through which flows the teachings of Christ, but a vessel which must be filled with His very being, and then overflow for the rest of mankind!
    At the same time though, we recognise our limitations and weaknesses, and so we strive to do what is within our capabilities, and let God do the rest!!
    Peace.

  11. I would accept your challenge if I hadn’t reached the same conclusions myself! In Christ there is no Jew, Greek, barbarian or Skythian and I’m sure no Christian either. We share in the anointing, which means we are Christ, not Christian (that is: cheering Christ on from the sidelines).

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