I have been thinking about this for a while, and the idea of this post came sort of from this post, on Feet in, Arms out. The followers of Christ in the first century were first called “Christians” in Antioch. The word Christian means “little Christ”, which is what His followers strove to be. However, the term has been twisted over the years, particularly in the last three centuries, and has often been associated with hate groups that have misinterpreted the God’s Word and used it as an excuse to hurt innocent people because they are different. They claim that God uses natural disasters, poverty, AIDS and other diseases to bring His judgment on people. Unfortunately, these “Christians” are the ones that make the news, and are the ones usually portrayed in the media. So oftentimes when people think of Christians, they think of these groups and believe that ALL believers are like that, particularly if they don’t actually know a Christian. A missionary couple from my church came one Sunday during a trip home and did a presentation on all the things they are doing in Indonesia, like helping farmers grow and sell their food and establishing house churches. One of the things the couple told us that stuck with me, was how they would introduce themselves as Christ followers, not Christians, because even in that country, Christians have a reputation of believing in things that are just wrong, like cannibalism and three separate gods, instead of the one God. Introducing themselves as Christ followers gives them a better chance to explain the Gospel to the people they are helping. That is why I believe that Christ follower is a better way to describe myself than a Christian, because oftentimes the “Christians” that most people think about are not really believer and don’t represent the truth of the Gospel at all, which is that you don’t have to get your act together, that you don’t have to be prefect to accepted by God. When you accept Him into your heart, He will help change you. That doesn’t mean that all your problems and sins will just go away, never to bother you again, but He will help you weather the storm of addictions, tragedy, pain and life in general, if you let Him. You do however have to choose to let Him help you, love is not real love if it is forced on a person.