I am not a Christian because I don’t know what that means anymore in today’s world. Do I have to be a Republican? Must I deny climate change? Do I need to revile gays? Am I required to espouse young earth creationism? I am not a Christian because the term has become repulsive to the very members of my generation that I care the most about. I wish that this care had been there my whole life, but it hasn’t. Only recent friendships and gradual maturity have deepened my care for and respect for the skeptic. I am starting to feel called to them.
I am not a Christian because it not longer means “little Christ”. It may mean that I want a Lexus or never to be sick. It may mean that I want business contacts or social acceptability. It may not be about me at all. It may be about who I do not want and whom I wish to argue with. It may mean hours in the Fox News echo chamber. It may mean I view the poor as lazy. It may mean nothing more than being a mid-westerner. And what does that mean?
I am not a Christian. So what am I? I’m certainly not sophisticated enough to defy categorization. My mind craves categories and conceptual frames. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. If I fail to bring every word, thought and deed back to that, then I am only a Christian. If Christ is my true north, then I can bravely ask what he would say about my words and attitudes toward real people that I actually like.