“If I thus truly imitate Christ, I do not imitate anyone, I emulate no one, but go my own way, and I will also no longer call my self a Christian.” – Carl Jung
Despite the quote above, I’m not here to tell you whether you should be a Christian or not. I think that is an individual decision. I’m just here to offer a few things to consider.
Christian can mean many different things. The term Christian can be tied to a cultural group of people. It can be tied to a certain set of doctrines. It can be tied to Jesus Christ. It can be tied to a mixed positive and negative history dating back 2,000 years. It can be tied to the institution of the Church.
I think as one deepens their faith, labels should matter less and less. We’re deeper than any distinctions or definitions made between us. But the fact remains that we use language to communicate and understand each other. I think its helpful to think of how to answer the different variation of the question: are you religious? What do you believe? Are you a Christian? etc.
Personally, I have decided to no longer identify as a Christian. My focus is on bringing more unity between different groups of people and a global perspective of oneness. I would rather use labels that unite, rather than divide. I still go to church and am focused on reforming the church, but I do not want to be confined to that group either.
If I am pressed, I answer that I am a mystic. That takes explanation, but I think it opens up the potential for a deeper conversation than the many assumptions made when someone says they’re Christian. I also take it as a challenge to not have to fit in, be comfortable, fit other people’s expectations, or placate people’s anxiety or sense of rightness. And if I’m honest it fits my tendency to go against the crowd and be a little rebellious. But I also think these things fit Jesus and I am in good company.
Whatever you decide, make sure that it is your decision and its something you can respect. You don’t owe anyone an explanation or justification, but if you are able to articulate your position well you could potentially help someone come closer to truth and connect with them in love.