Post image for Did Jesus Tell His Followers To Be Known As Christians?

Did Jesus Tell His Followers To Be Known As Christians?

by R. Jerome Harris on January 11, 2013

I maintain that a vast majority of those proclaiming to be followers of the Christ do not know him; even though they claim that they do. I also maintain that the vast majority would not recognize his voice if they heard it and if they did, they would not respond to him. I further maintain that the vast majority of these so-called proclaimers have demonstrated a preference to listening to the man-made establishment of the bulk religious system they call Christianity INSTEAD of listening to the Christ.

This listening posture is to the men and women within the religious system who station themselves as authorities and leaders above the flock and feed them teachings not of God and Christ. The flock, in turn, listen to them and are led to believe that this is what God wants them to do.

At John 10:3-5 Jesus makes the following statement:

The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.

Christs followers would definitely recognize the voice of their Master as he would be the one directing, leading and teaching them. Yet, did the Master direct or teach his followers to be known as Christians? Or, was this expression one created by men and pushed upon the world as if it is from God and Christ? Does it matter?

Did Christ Direct His Followers To Be Known As Christians?

The answer is easily verifiable: No, Jesus did not. There are persons who will disagree and say "The Bible" does. True, the Bible does use the expression "Christian" twice; once at Acts 26:28 and once at 1 Peter  4:16 and the expression "Christians" once at Acts 11:26. Yet, Jesus [the] Christ himself is not speaking here. Additionally, Jesus had already ascended.

Further investigation shows that Jesus NEVER used such expressions in reference to his followers and NEVER do we see these expressions used among his followers. Jesus' call was very simple: That we be his disciples. John 8:31-32 has Jesus saying:

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

There are many who use what is written at Acts 11:26 as proof text that Christ directed his followers to be known as Christians. I state again, Christ himself did not mandate this. Let's take a close look at Acts 11:26 and you will see what I mean.

And when he found him (Saul of Tarsus), he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

First notice that Christs disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. Also notice that the expression Christians was not used among the disciples, but was rather used about them from persons who were not disciples.

At Acts 26:28 King Agrippa – a person not a disciple – uses the expression Christian with reference to Paul. This shows that the expression was not used by one disciple to reference another disciple. This expression is always used by persons who were not disciples to reference those who were disciples of Christ.

The expression Christian was used by persons not disciples of Christ in a derogatory way to describe persons who were disciples of Christ. 1 Peter 4:16 shows this:

However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

Here the Apostle Peter is saying if you suffer and people label you with the expression Christian in association with this suffering, then suffer derision gracefully.

As an African American myself, I can certainly appreciate such negative and derogatory labeling. The use of the N-Word is not a label African Americans gave themselves. It was a label given to us by those who held us in derision; and many still do.

Permit me to say that those who call Black people by the N-Word expression are Anti-Black. Furthermore, those Blacks who accept this expression and who use it themselves are Anti-Black; against, their own race as they use a derogatory expression with reference to each other.

Likewise, those who claim to be followers of Christ who accept the derogatory expression of Christian – a label someone who held them in derision gave – then they are anti-christ. Why? Because they accept an expression to describe themselves that someone else – a non-disciple – gave them and they do not primarily take upon themselves the title Jesus told them to be known as: Disciples. They call themselves Christians and Christ says to be known as his disciples.

They oppose Christ and accept a derogatory expression the world gave them.

Yet, what is clear is that the expressions Christian and Christians were used by non-disciples in their persecution against Christs disciples.

Does It Matter?

What we chose to label ourselves as opposed to who Christ said we are to be is very significant. Christs followers are in the business of truth; and, the truth is that Jesus did not tell his followers to be known by the titles Christian and Christians. The truth is that he told us to be known as his disciples and to make disciples to him. (John 8:31-32). 

Matthew 28:19-20 has Jesus giving this command:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

The expressions Christian and Christians were created by non-disciples in reference to the disciples of Jesus and intended to be used in a derogatory manner.

Something else to consider: The expressions Christian and Christians are used today by Popes and Presidents, homosexual and child-molesting clergymen, persons preaching from the pulpit, TV Evangelizers, Hollywood celebrities, and military persons. The expressions have become associated with vice, corruption and hypocrisy. Not only that, they do nothing to amplify Christ and his teachings. In fact, they confuse and misrepresent Christ and his teachings and causes the world at large to reject them. With friends like these, God and Christ need no enemies, I say.

Many will say, "So, what's the big deal?" It is this: Truth. There is no little truth or big truth, just truth. And, if we dismiss this as insignificant then the many other things masquerading as Christs teachings will easily be dismissed.

The Apostle John at 1 John 4:1 had this to say:

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

All things spoken or written that are claimed to come from God must be put to the test to see whether or not they genuinely did. The test is easy: If God and His Spokesman – The Word of God, Jesus [the] Christ – did not speak it, then those things fail the test.

Jesus NEVER said to be known as Christians.

B e s t   D a r n   D V D   B u r n e r   O n   T h e   P l a n e t   !!!

DVD Copy Software

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

tim January 15, 2013 at 10:21 am

ive been reading some of ur post… u make sense but does it matter the live we live today since in another post u talk about Christ 1000 years reign? i saw a youtube video with Creflo Dollar about the truth of hell and this dude totally contracted the bible and im like wow. there were like hundreds of people in front him. secondly, y do u think everyone have so many different interpretation of the bible its really confusing?

Reply

Ivy M. Mckay February 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm

The Lord’s expression–“disciples indeed”–implies a distinction between real and merely nominal disciples. And since we desire to continue to be his real, sincere disciples, let us mark the expressed condition: “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” The hypocrisy of merely nominal discipleship is an abomination to the Lord.

Reply

R. Jerome Harris February 5, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Many “assume” discipleship to Christ but are not. They are more “disciples” of religious organization and the rules, regulations, and teachings that issue out of them. I would be very careful in saying that “The hypocrisy of merely nominal discipleship is an abomination to the Lord.” Christ never said that it is from men and the devil.

Either one is a disciple or one is not. I do not see “nominal” discipleship.

Reply

racquel June 29, 2014 at 6:57 pm

I love what you wrote sir. I have struggled with saying I’m a Christian and I do follow the teachings of Jesus. I will day to those that question me from here forward that am A disciple of Jesus not a Christian. Good bless

Reply

Jon October 26, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Well said, I’ve been dealing with this subject from time to time over the past few years and I once again find myself delving into this subject. I continued think that I was never a truly a believers in Christ Jesus because of these fact, among others. How can I attend a church if most people in them hold to these beliefs? I find myself giving into to the sin of my flesh because it’s as if there is no hope, no one is truly saved and even if I we’re then I am alone? I’ve trying to express myself concerning these issues in my blogs but I have not been very successful.

PS, I thank God for allowing me to find your website.

Jon

Reply

Jon October 26, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Well said, I've been dealing with this subject from time to time over the past few years and I once again find myself delving into this subject. I continued think that I was never a truly a believers in Christ Jesus because of these fact, among others. How can I attend a church if most people in them hold to these beliefs? I find myself giving into to the sin of my flesh because it’s as if there is no hope, no one is truly saved and even if I we’re then I am alone? I've trying to express myself concerning these issues in my blogs but I have not been very successful.

Jon

Reply

Tina Blackson August 28, 2016 at 6:18 am

Shalom my brother well said recently TMH work me up to his truth and I had been fighting with the same topic as well.  I know that I am Hebrew a child of Israel which is my nationality and I don't subscribe to any religion because  TMH did not teach any religion. Your article reinsured me even that I am a disciple of the Mashiach. I pray for Yah's children that they heed to his voice and hardent not their hearts. He is awakening his children all over to teach the Gospel to those which are lost. I pray that Israel comes from amongst all religion and turn back to the Father by obeying his Laws, Statues and his commandments.

Tina

 

Reply

R. Jerome Harris September 4, 2016 at 7:54 am

Hi Tina,

In the world, many claiming to be godly or followers of the Mashiach are still not getting it. They still fall short in filling the gaps and void that prevent placing them on the path to truth,

The Mashiach willingly gave up his life so that his property – ALL of mankind, dead and alive – would not have to keep a set of laws, statues and commandments – whose failure to keep would lead to their everlasting destruction. Destruction is much more than death. One can be resurrected from the dead as the Mashiach aptly demonstrated and promised would occur on a massive scale in the future. (John 5:28-29)

Also, it is the matter of what many call the Gospel. What Gospel? What is this Gospel that is to be taught? Know one I have spoken to can show me “sepcifically” what this Gospel message is that is to be taught. Did the Mashiach leave his disciples with a Gospel? Did the so-called believing world today ASSUME that the Bible and teaching the Bible is the Gospel? No such book called “The Bible” existed when the Mashiach said at Matthew 24:14,

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Did the world assume that Christ spoke of his followers being entrusted to preach and teach a Gospel message? I believe that it has. For three reasons:

(1) The “Gospel” message the Mashiach spoke of would have to be preached to the ENTIRE world as a testimony to ALL nations before the end comes. This is simply not possible to accomplish in a world full of religion and a world divided because of religion. There are over 44,000 contending “Christian” demoninations who teach the Mashiach differently and many of them claim the “other” Christian demoninations are wrong. And none of them can tell you or show you specifically what this all important Gospel message to be preached is.

(2) The Gospel (Good News) message has not been given yet. It cannot be found in the Bible or in any book.

(3) According to “The Revelation by Jesus Christ (The Mashiach) that God gave him” at Revelation 14:6, humans will be entrusted or commissioned to preach a Gospel to the world. Rather, an angel (one angel) will be. Rev 14;6 reads;

“Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.”

What I see is an entire world alienated from the truth about the Mashiach. 

I see a world that believes it is enslaved by a set of divine rule, regulations and commandments none of which the Mashiach bound any to, but freed us from. I see a world that stumbles about in the dark unsure of itself concerning what the Gospel message is.

My Sister, we must be very careful. No Gospel message has been given to mankind to preach or teach. We should not assume that has been given. If it has been given then it should not be a difficult thing for any follower of the Mashiach to detail specifically what that message is and where one can find it written down. Additionally, any person claiming to follow the Mashiach – no matter who they are or where they live in the world – should be able to utter that Gospel message.

Unfortunately, if one ask 10 different people “What the Gospel message is” one would get 10 different responses.

Yet, the truth is that no Gospel message has been given to mankind to preach. Even the angel that will be entrusted with declaring it to the world, has not received it yet.

I simply want us (myself included) to think, ask questions, and not blindly assume matters as truth with regards teachings about The Most High God and his Mashiach.

Reply

Stephanie May 10, 2017 at 12:13 pm

Isn't the Gospel, the Truth in fact Jesus? Isn't the Law of Love the message of the Gospel? When it speaks about the Fruit of the Spirit and there being no law against them, law meaning no restriction, is that not the message we are to give the world? Or are you saying there is a specifically laid out plan that should be stated in the Bible that here is the Gospel message that should be given? Why would God give Jesus toHe become Truth and be the example of Love and how His Disciples should live if He in fact,. His character and His Spirit is not the message that we as learners and followers of Christ should take to the world?

Reply

R. Jerome Harris August 15, 2017 at 10:13 am

No, the Gospel is NOT the truth. May I ask who told you that? Jesus said that he is the truth. (and the way and the life).

Obey God command at Luke 9:35 to listen to His Son, not to a book that someone gave a name to and call Gospel and Word of God.

Satan is quoted in this book also. Are his sayings Gospel?

Only that which is spoken by God and Christ is what one is to listen to.

Anything else we want to know, we ask the Father – through His Son – for. There is no book or volumes in this world that can provide God’s wisdom, understanding, and knowledge to us. No book is the way, the truth, and the life.

It shows a lack of faith to rely upon and consult a book; something God did not send us. He sent his Son. And, when his son ascended, that son said that he would send us a Helper/Comforter (The Holy Spirit). It would teach us. Not a book.

Reply

Tina Blackson August 28, 2016 at 6:20 am

Shalom my brother well said recently TMH awakened me up to his truth and I had been fighting with the same topic as well.  I know that I am Hebrew a child of Israel which is my nationality and I don't subscribe to any religion because  TMH did not teach any religion. Your article reinsured me even that I am a disciple of the Mashiach. I pray for Yah's children that they heed to his voice and hardent not their hearts. He is awakening his children all over to teach the Gospel to those which are lost. I pray that Israel comes from amongst all religion and turn back to the Father by obeying his Laws, Statues and his commandments.

Tina

 

Reply

George February 5, 2017 at 12:01 am

GREAT article Jerome.   I totally agree with you. 

I am a devout follower of the Word of GOD and the 

Biblically documented life of His Son Yeshua. 

About 10 years ago I stopped using the words 

Christian and Christianity.  They were NEVER

used Yeshua or any of his Apostles.  Also calling 

myself that name associates me with hundreds of 

millions of FALSE "Christians". 

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: