The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. Acts 11:26

The name "Christian" is a great honor to wear for it bears witness to the marks of Christ. The designation as Christian has been cheapened and diluted over time by misuse. It used to be a disgrace in the world to wear that label. The world used to mean someone who follows Christ, demonstrates His life, studies His teachings and witnesses His Spirit in them and toward others. At one time being a Christian was out of favor with the world. Christians are by very nature (not will) an offense to the this world. And so it must be since all true Christians are members of His Church – the called out ones. By the very name you are to be distinct and separated from this world system. In it but not of it.

Nowadays, it is kinda cool to be considered a Christian. That means you are a "good" person who has warmed themselves by thoughts of God. It means you associate with all that is good in the world (except when and where it is cooler to be worldly). It means you decided one day that association with that group was in your best interest so you wanted to exercise that option. Just another way this world is here to serve me and my desires, just another option among many. Yea, go ahead and put that in my bag of goodies. It might be handy. I am told it will be important to have that when the end comes. Its so cool that mass marketers, hypesters and spin-doctors all make use of it to their personal gain. It is even profitable. There are sharks trolling the church buildings looking for weaker fish.

I think the Church needs another label for those who say they are Christians but have not paid nor are willing to pay (at this time) any price to wear the name. How about "Shoppers". Shoppers browse but they are not buying, they’re "just shopping". It is crowded around the foot of the cross. There are those who are intrigued by His pain. There are those who are interested in His teaching, those who enjoy the songs that surround Him, those who admire His sympathy and compassion toward others, those who yearn for the excitement of a battle cry, those who desire to associate with Him for political and personal reasons, those who are curious to see what the commotion is about, those who like to be where the crowd is gathered. All these have one thing in common – they are just looking.

I’ll tell you where there is plenty of room. There is room on the Cross. No line there. Plenty of seating available. You must get on the cross to become a Christian. You must offer yourself as a personal, living sacrifice. If you are to be a Christian (meaning little Christ) you must be conformed to His image. Don’t place that responsibility entirely on the Holy Spirit. He is the Helper not the Doer. He is here to help, you must do everything that God commands and that His Spirit teaches. You must obey, you must exercise faith, you must seek Him. When you begin to think about your duty toward God continually instead of your rights and what you get that is when you are being transformed. Its about giving, not getting. God so loved the world that he gave. (TV – 6/8/09)
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