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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

Sept. 9, 2010 - Christian?

By Scott Harrup

On a recent Faith & Reason blog, USA Today’s Cathy Lynn Grossman poses the question “Who, exactly, is a ‘Christian’?”

Grossman doesn’t offer any direct definition of Christianity, although she quotes Franklin Graham’s description of a salvation decision. She is more interested in people’s self-identification with the term Christian and their reluctance to apply it to others.

Grossman’s goal is to generate discussion, not offer any parameters for truth. But the question considered in her title demands a clearly defined and truthful answer. Each one of us must come to terms with whether or not we are Christian — not in the social demographic understanding of the word, but in terms of our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Jesus himself did not coin the term “Christian,” but He clearly explained what He looks for in His followers. Two of Jesus’ statements come to mind when I consider how different His expectations are from the increasingly “social” Christianity of today.

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:34-36, NIV).

I believe a lot of people pursuing grand life goals would have trouble with that one. And, guilty as charged, I must come to grips with giving up my life for the gospel every day.

Then there is Jesus’ well-known claim that is so troubling for those who exalt pluralism.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’

“Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’

“Jesus answered: ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me’” (John 14:6-11).

Grossman’s blog stirs some soul-searching. I can spend all day trying to put the people around me into “Christian” and “non-Christian” boxes while I give myself an automatic pass. But Christ would redirect my attention to just how faithfully I am carrying the “cross” of complete identification with Him, and whether within that identification, I understand that I am relating to “very God of very God.”

— Scott Harrup is managing editor of the Pentecostal Evangel and blogs at Out There (



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