In a grad course this past semester, a debate ensued about what people of faith in the postmodern, millennial generation want to be called. The term “christian” is tainted with images of people who have hurt them and are hypocritical, intolerant, politically-right leaning conservatives that don’t care about the environment, social justice or the poor.
I asked for some terms that this generation accepts and will willingly wear. Here are their replies: Christ Follower, Follower of Jesus, and Child of God. Not bad…biblical and very individualist.
Christian means “little Christ” and began use in the church in Antioch in Acts 11:26. Prior to the rebranding and name change, those who followed Jesus were called people of The Way (Acts 9:2, 19:9, 22:4). “Christian(s)” only appears 3 times in the whole New Testament (Acts 11:26, 26:28, 1 Peter 4:16).
So what is my point. Terminology is not what makes someone saved. Being a Christian, Christ Follower, or a Child of God has nothing to do with what title you hold. It has to do with your soul. Secondly, terminology changes and should not be seen as antithetical to orthodox faith.
Consider other changes in terminology:
Preacher, to Reverend Garrison, to Brother Shane, to Pastor Shane to Shane.
Or Lydia’s House, to the Church in Philippi, to Riverside Bapt. Church, to Philippi Community Church, to The Gathering@Philippi.