Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. Colossians 1:28
Christians have come under fire lately. Big time. We’re forever being rendered as anti-gay, anti-women, anti-environment, or something similar. And it’s no surprise that many Christian writers and bloggers have taken a defensive stance against such accusations. Personally, I have taken sort of a “duck and cover” strategy. I figure most of those standing up for the Christian community are doing a fine job, and anything I could add would probably just get misconstrued and cause more confusion and dissension.
Then I saw this video: I’m Christian, but I’m not . . . I was both surprised and impressed to find a defense of Christianity from a website as secular as BuzzFeed. But the video also struck me as being very . . . modern.
I say this because it deals with a modern phenomenon I will call “identity management.” Think about how much you do to craft your identity. The music you listen to, the clothes you wear, the pictures you post on your social media profile, and even the place you worship all factor into how people perceive you. I’m not saying you choose these things just because of how it will make you look, but they can all provide you with a sense of identity.
And it’s not enough to identify with a specific group. Everyone wants to point out how they, individually, are unique. “I’m a Christian, but I’m not a Republican.” “I’m White, but I’m not a racist.” “I’m this, but that.”
My point is that all of the posts I’ve seen about what it means to be Christian are essentially a form of identity management. And my question is, why are we wasting our breath? My identity doesn’t come from my association with a group of people called “Christians.” It comes from Jesus Christ himself. And he’s the one I should be talking about. It’s all well and good to stand up for what you believe in, but better to just leave yourself out of it all together.
Paul says, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” His identity was completely wrapped up in his relationship with Jesus Christ and nothing else. In the same spirit, I’d like my life to say, “I’m nothing, but Jesus . . .”