What is a Christian?

TV/radio host and author Amy Goodman recently wrote a newspaper article in favor of the proposal to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero. In that article she asks, “Does anyone seriously say that there shouldn’t be a Christian church near the site of the Oklahoma City bombing, just because Timothy McVeigh was a Christian?”

What!? Timothy McVeigh was a Christian!? I thought that he was a hateful coward who murdered a large number of innocent people—including children—and never showed a hint of repentance or remorse. That doesn’t seem like the actions of a person who is a disciple of Jesus Christ!

Perhaps McVeigh had some water sprinkled on him when he was a baby (a practice that is foreign to Scripture). Maybe he attended church as a youth. He may have even had his name on the roll of a church somewhere. But it is utterly ridiculous to call him a “Christian”!

So what is a Christian?

Some insist that we believe President Obama when he professes to be a Christian. Never mind that he is the most pro-abortion person to ever occupy the office of president. Overlook the fact that he is in favor of special rights for those who practice homosexuality. It doesn’t matter that he followed a false teacher, Jeremiah Wright, for many years. Forget his arrogant, condescending attitude toward those of us “bitter people who cling to God and guns”. He says that he is a Christian, so we must accept that. So they say.

What is a Christian? The debate rages on in our society today, but there seems to be little consensus.

Here is the problem. For some people, “Christian” is nothing more than a box to be checked on a survey. It has nothing to do with your beliefs or your actions. It is simply a category that you choose to put yourself in.

I disagree. Being a Christian means that you model your life on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. You won’t ever perfectly achieve that goal, but you strive for it nonetheless.

What do you think? What is a Christian?

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