Be a Christian…
If you call yourself a Christian, then be a Christian:
I implore you, brothers, be as I am, because I have also become as you are. -Galatians 4:12, NAB
It seems simple enough. Be who you say you are. The Galatians called themselves Christians, so they should be like St. Paul, a Christian. That was St. Paul’s message: follow the other Christians and leaders of the Church.
The Galatians were struggling to find their identity. They were being led by conflicting leaders. St. Paul’s only goal was to set them on the straight path again. He was trying to teach them what it meant to be a Christian. This meant following the teachings of the Church, not the teachings of those false leaders.
Being a Christian in today’s world can be just as a confusing. There are Catholics, Orthodox Christians, and Protestants. When you look at those even more closely, the Protestant church has thousands of denominations within themselves. Finding your identity as a Christian can be a difficult process.
As I tried to find my Christian identity, it led me from Lutheran to a numer of non-denominational churches to the Catholic Church. Eventually, I realized that the Catholic Church was the original, one true Church – the Church that Christ entrusted to St. Peter. I was like the Galatians, but I realized that if I wanted to be Christian, I must be a Catholic Christian.
How do you want to be a Christian? By following the ways of a church that is, at most, 600 years-old (and many are less than 100 years-old), or by following the Church that can trace its roots all the way back to St. Peter, St. Paul, and Christ Himself?
If you want to be a Christian, then follow the ways of the Church, follow the examples given to us by the saints, and follow the successors of the Apostles – the Pope and his bishops. In my mind, if you want to be a Christian, be a Catholic.