What Does It Mean to Be a Follower of Jesus?

Unashamed – 2 Timothy 1:8

Let me start off this week’s musing with a few questions.

– What do you think of Christianity in today’s cancel culture world?
– Would you consider yourself as a Christian?
– What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus?

That is enough questions to make a good start. So what does it mean to be a follower of Jesus? Notice how the question is specifically asking about being a follower of Jesus and not a Christian. Are you curious why the distinction? Stick with me as we will get to that question in due course.

Religion in Today’s Cancel Culture World

First off, let’s start with some definitions from Merriam-Webster.

cancel culture
- the practice or tendency of engaging in mass canceling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure

religion
- an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods
- a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

I liken modern religions and the cancel culture we see today to the boycotts from the 1990s. Does anyone remember when Christians boycotted Disney because the company was just too gay-friendly? More than 28,000 Southern Baptist congregations in 1996 boycotted Disney which amounted to approximately 16 million Christians playing the cancel card on the mouse. Check out this public service announcement from the American Family Association in 1996 – a Christian organization still active today.

“We must show Disney that families are tired of a place where molesters and lesbians are hired to make films and movies that say it’s OK to go against morals and grow up gay.”

LA Times, July 2nd 1996

If the internet had been more prominent in 1996, a tweet might have looked something like this.

Fake Cancel Culture Tweet from 1996
Fake Tweet – This is not real

Please do not take this wrong as I am in no way advocating for or against gay rights. Homosexuality is still a sin just the same as gluttony is a sin – and those who know me know that I love food. I am simply trying to prove a point that may not be very obvious to some Christians. Christians did not invent Cancel Culture – they perfected it.

Christians did not invent Cancel Culture – they perfected it.

– Me

One passage from 1 John comes to mind:

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. - 1 John 1:8-10

So, are you a Christian?

If someone were to ask me today,

“Jack, Are you a Christian?”
or
“Jack, What denomination is your religion?”

My answer would be No, but I am a follower of Jesus. There is a huge divide in today’s “Christianity Religion” where Christianity has morphed into something that would likely be unrecognizable to the first-century believers. As an example, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormons, and Baptist all identify as Christians today. However, examining each of their docterins, and you will find very little similarities.

Let’s face the facts, First-century Christians had it very rough as many died defending their faith; as do some today in radical religious countries. And to be blatantly honest here, I doubt that my father who passed into eternity in 1999 would recognize today’s Christianity.

So am I a Christian? No! I do not prescribe to any religion or denomination. I follow Jesus and His teachings. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Remember that those first century Christians referred to their religion as “the way”. He is the way folks, the only way.

Christians! We must return to the Truth. Jesus is Lord and there are millions upon millions of people in the world who desperately need Him.

;


If you made it this far, please consider commenting below, subscribing, and also sharing on your social media sites. Most importantly, I ask for your prayers. I write this weekly blog as an outlet in my fight against depression. However, my hope is that something I write here may help others who may be struggling. If you would like to help with my battle against depression, check out my online Etsy store and affiliate links. Most proceeds are donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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