Are you a Christ Follower or a Christian?
The phrase “Christ follower” has been in use among emergent Christians for several years, and like most things that have been in use for several years among such folks, Lutherans are just now starting to pick up on the phrase. I must admit that a good part of me can’t help but think that Lutherans, wanting to sound like they are in sync with the latest lingo, and suffering from that ever-present condition known as “Lutheran inferiority complex,” are using it to make themselves sound like they too are on the cutting-edge of missional thinking. The phrase, particularly when juxtaposed with the word “Christian” strikes me as pretentious and just plain, silly. I was poking around today trying to find where the phrase “Christ follower” came from and found this interesting article. When I tweeted this link, I received an incredibly profound response from Lewis Polzin, who replied to me: “I’d rather be a Christian (little christ) than be known as Christ-follower. The latter gives me an out, the former a commitment.” What do you make of the “Christ follower” language phenomenon? Are you a Christian, or a Christ follower? What is the intention behind using the phrase “Christ Follower”? What does Acts 11:26 have to offer in this discussion? Here it is, in the Greek, which is kind of cool to look at:
καὶ εὑρὼν ἤγαγεν εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν. ἐγένετο δὲ αὐτοῖς καὶ ἐνιαυτὸν ὅλον συναχθῆναι ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ καὶ διδάξαι ὄχλον ἱκανόν, χρηματίσαι τε πρώτως ἐν Ἀντιοχείᾳ τοὺς μαθητὰς Χριστιανούς. [<— Christians].