The hyper-fundies are at it again, swallowing camels and straining out gnats. A recent article at Slice criticizing the Emergent Church’s use of the term "Christ-follower" instead of "Christian" provoked me to post a comment. Unfortunately, most of my comments never make it past their filter, which in general only allows sycophants by. Here’s a sample from Slice:
No longer are disciples of Jesus Christ to be referred to as Christians
as they were in the Bible (see-Acts 11:23), O no, now we’re "Christ
followers." This is a direct influence of the new cult of liberalism
called the Emergent Church.
Here’s my response, which may or may not show up on their site:
The term "Christ followers" is used by many evangelical churches also, for some good reasons. Chief of which is that, esp. overseas, the term "Christian" is associated with western, American foreign policy, as in "Christians love what’s on western TV, and western porn."
Not only is the term "Christian" (as well as "evangelical") associated with specific and sometimes acrid political views of the far right (like being anti-immigration to a fault), it has come to be seen as synonymous with the sanctimonious, judgmental, heartless religionism of the more Pharisaical among us.
While the emergent church has much that deserves criticism, the use of the term "christ follower" is used by many, not just theological liberals, to distinguish between those who call themselves Christian and those who are actually following Jesus.
You shouldn’t spend your time on such a superficial criticism when there are more substantial things to criticize. In fact, I’d say that such criticisms make you look like just the gnat-picking Pharisees that many earnest and biblically conservative Christ followers are trying to distance themselves from.