The question- Are you a Christian? - is a loaded one in the context of the American religious experience. In another land the question might mean do you practice some form of “Christian faith”, as opposed to Islam or Buddhism for instance. However, in our part of the world, one can readily assume that the question translates thusly- Have you done what is required to be acceptable to God? More than likely the question is driven by a perception that one man is wiser in spiritual matters than another and that superior wisdom carries a responsibility to instruct.
A negative or ambiguous response to this inquiry is usually the prelude to a call to admit, to commit, to do, and thereby to change. The emphasis will undoubtedly be on what the hearer must know, accept, and act upon. What God in Christ has done is significant, but what the hearer must do is ultimately conclusive.
The question of who is a Christian has been fertile ground for all the man made constructs of the institutional church. With this issue much debated, the various denominational forms of “Christianity” have developed and flourished, generating an accompanying confusion. One must wonder how the 2000 pages of the sacred text distill down to so many different “plans of salvation”.
I don’t personally claim the name “Christian” in any conventional sense. I don’t even recognize the term as being relevant to our day. The word “Christian” only appears three times in all of the KJV Bible, so it is hard to imagine that this appellation was universally and eternally chosen by God or the 1st Century disciples. Whatever my spiritual state today, I hesitate to describe it using a name which historically demonstrates such varied and nebulous meanings.
Rather than questioning one another about our “God status”, why not focus on living out our convictions such that the question of our beliefs requires no verbalization. The question of our “God status” can then be left in the hands of God alone.