“Are You a Christian?”

“No, I’m a Jesus Follower, because calling myself a Christian is open to too many interpretations…”

When I heard his answer to the question, I had to laugh a little. I committed my life to Christ almost five decades ago, and have watched people re-label my “kind” every few years. Some have called us Bible Thumpers. Holy Rollers. Jesus People. Fundamentalists. Evangelicals. The Religious Right. “Spirit-filled” this-and-that, and you can probably add to the list. Jesus Freak remains my most memorable name.

Whatever someone chooses to call us, our follow-up conversation must clarify who we are, to satisfy curious or desperate seekers.

For me, a Christian is a person who has concluded that God is not a myth.

I realized that my life had no purpose, and that I needed God’s help to find meaning. I chose to believe that Jesus is God, who lived on earth and physically died on a cross, then, by his own power, rose to life again. I promised to love and honor this living Jesus. He came into my heart (the part of me that is eternal), and he gave me the ability to overcome any force, human or spiritual, bent upon corrupting my soul.

I have felt “born again,” a spiritual reality that is continuing to grow stronger every moment, despite my lifestyle mistakes. I treasure a kinship with my friend and confidante—Jesus. He points me to fulfillment as I study the roadmap he has provided—the Bible. I can unequivocally state from experience that Jesus is guiding me in a beyond-natural way because of the decision I made as a child.

Someday my eyes will dim to the radiance in my loved-ones’ faces, and Jesus will carry me into his promised eternity because of my simple faith in him. At that instant I’ll be content that my grandchildren remember me as a “Christian.”

John 3:16, 17

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.


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