Posted by: twobigyellowcranes | 9 July 08

A rose by any other name…

I’ve blogged about Facebook before (I’m up to 124 “friends” by the way now if you are keeping count). One thing that gets me on Facebook is the “Religious Views” section that people can complete about themselves. And I’m not talking about what non-Christians put (I have friends whose views range from “don’t like it” to “all bollocks”) but rather what Christians put.

Firstly, I appreciate that calling yourself a Christian might conjure up lots of negative images in someone’s mind, nearly always because of bad encounters that that person may have previously had with Christians/people who call themselves Christians. However, that is what I am and I am still proud to call myself one because it means I have put my trust in Jesus Christ. People who put things like “God is love”, “God follower” or “Jesus freak” to my mind are just confusing the issue – I doubt very much that anyone outside of the Christian faith is going to really twig onto the point that I think that they are trying to make.

The second thing that I don’t get is when people qualify their Christianity by reference to their denomination. I belong to and am an elder in a Presbyterian church in Belfast, largely because I like that particular church, its emphasis on Biblical teaching and children/youth programmes. As for being a Presbyertian, I am comfortable with the general style of worship my denomination follows and by and large agree with a number of its incidental teachings (in areas such as child baptism etc). However, if we moved house to a different area, whilst I would probably try the local Presbyterian church first, I would be quite happy to try a number of different churches until I found one where I felt comfortable with the style of worship, where the teaching was good and which we thought K would enjoy.

Sometimes we seem to be looking for ways to justify or sub-divide ourselves into smaller, more acceptable categories.I am a Christian because I believe in Christ and I think that that is all anyone needs to know about me in terms of my religious views as stated on Facebook. If they want to find out more or ask me what it means to be a Christian or even talk about their own experiences (good or bad), then they can. But lets not be afraid to stand united under the name of the man we believe to be our saviour.



  1. it does say ‘religious views’ though.. ‘Christian’ isnt really a succulent religious ‘view’ is it?

    people don’t like labels. not because they are ashamed, but because its not very informative to the reader.

  2. Absolutely fair point. So leave it blank. A number of my friends have for that reason. I think “Christian” will at least give people an indication of what I subscribe to.

    My beef (such as it is) is with people who seem to want to say what they believe but not wear the tag “Christian” or who place what I believe to be too much emphasis on their denomination.

    I was in a bad mood when I wrote this blog, so I’m feeling much more charitable about things now (other than about people who use the term ‘Jesus freak’).

  3. figured.

    just wanted to give you a ‘comment’ … as you’re very forhcoming on my wee site 🙂

  4. Yeah, it’s a real dilemma. For quite a while I had left my “religious views” segment blank, for the same reasons. But finally I filled in “Christian” after all. I thought it dishonest of me to list my political beliefs, musical tastes, etc, on Facebook, and not mention what is the most important thing (well, person) in my life.

  5. QM, much obliged, but don’t feel obliged to pity post because I am gracing your page!!! Your blog is much more engaging than mine (and more often focused on the important things of life…)

  6. Interesting – I have thought about this a bit myself. While opting for the blankety blank option I’m also intrigued by some of the views people indicate – from “Jesus is a mate” to “BOC” – being something of a dimwit the latter took me ages to figure out! (BTW – I enjoy reading your blog.)

  7. Cheers Stu and thanks for commenting. I haven’t seen BOC before your post and it took me a while to work too!

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