By Stephen Mattson 2-23-2017

Christianity gets labeled as many things, but what exactly makes someone "Christian" in today’s society? Many have mistaken the spirit of Jesus for something else, but consider this:

People call us hippies for caring about the environment, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us liberals for addressing and acknowledging systemic racism, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us naïve and gullible because we want to provide shelter, aid, safety, and hope to refugees, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us leftists for wanting to value and support the lives of immigrants, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us Democrats for loving the LGBTQ community, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us feminists for standing up for women’s rights and combating misogyny, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us healthcare advocates because we want people to receive affordable and quality medical services, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us Socialists for wanting others to receive fair and equal pay, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us anti-American for embracing foreigners and treating them as we would like to be treated, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us “addicts of political correctness” for loving our Muslim neighbors, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us stupid for trusting in God instead of our military, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us traitors for criticizing governmental policies that are contradictory to the gospel, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us foolish for putting our trust in the cross instead of a president, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us troublemakers for standing up against injustice, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us extremists for protesting against hate and xenophobia, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us unwise to resist evil instead of basking in comfort, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us irrational when we prefer sacrificial love over martial strength, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us unreasonable for seeking the well-being of the poor, oppressed, downtrodden, maligned, and outcast, but we do so because we’re followers of Jesus.

People call us insane for wanting to give instead of get, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us despicable for pursuing justice over gaining wealth, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

People call us weird for prioritizing spiritual strength over economic strength, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

WATCH: We the People Cannot Be Silent 

People call us irresponsible for wanting to preserve and save the lives of others instead of advance our own interests, but we do so because we’re followers of Christ.

We’re Christians because we follow Jesus Christ.

The simple standard for Christianity is how well we’re emulating Christ. So how Christ-like are we? Right now, American Christianity isn’t doing so great, which is why non-Christians can be—and often are—even more Christ-like than many self-professed Christians.

A church, pastor, or denomination doesn’t make anyone a Christian, and neither does our political affiliation or national citizenship. Jesus is what makes us Christian.

The question is, will we choose to follow Jesus? God help us. 

Stephen Mattson is a writer who currently resides in the Twin Cities, Minn. You can follow him on Twitter (@mikta) or on Facebook.

Don't Miss a Story!

Get Sojourners delivered straight to your inbox.

Have Something to Say?

Add or Read Comments on
"We’re Not Anti-American. We’re Following Christ "
Launch Comments
By commenting here, I agree to abide by the Sojourners Comment Community Covenant guidelines and acknowledge that my comment may be published in the Letters to the Editor section of Sojourners magazine.

Must Reads

Subscribe