I was listening to the radio the other morning, and the morning show host brought up this new ‘campaign’ that is being launched by some prominent Christians called ‘Not a fan‘.


Their idea is that they are followers of Jesus, not fans, because fans, like sports fans, are fickle and fall off the bandwagon. Personally, I disagree. So did a few others, including the dj. I unfortunately couldn’t phone in to give my two cents on the show, so I sent an e-mail a little later that morning. I don’t feel like re-writing, so I’m just going to post what I sent. It’s not very well written because it was my thoughts on the go, but hey, it works.


I’m interested on hearing the rest of you weigh in on this, whether or not you’re Christians. For the non-Christians that read my blog, I’d love to hear what it sounds like to you when you hear someone say they’re not a fan of Jesus.


“Hi Ben,


I’m sure I’m a little late on this, but I was on the road during the conversation and couldn’t call in. I did really want to weigh in on the discussion though.


To answer the question first, I am undoubtedly, un-equivocally and unabashedly a fan of Jesus. Of course, I am in agreement with you that we are most certainly more than fans of Jesus.


While I understand what it is that they are trying to say with this ‘Not a Fan’ campaign, I think it treads dangerously on the line of alienating further non-believers from Christianity. Looking at the definition of a fan, it seems they are focusing on all but one meaning – the fan of a specific person. Often when one becomes a fan of a person, they are less likely to fall off the bandwagon because the ‘fandom’ comes from agreeing with their ideals, their presentation and their interaction with others. It’s about following their mission.


The problem here, as I see it, is that many non-Christians already view Christians as mindless sheep, incapable of making up their own minds and believing and following in a God that is nothing more than a crutch. Which means indicating that we are not fans, but followers, translates thusly as us following a man because our faith tells us to. Following this person of Jesus, not necessarily because we believe in who He is and what He stood for, but because it’s dictated as necessary for our faith.


By stating we are not fans, we are telling the world that we do not actually agree with what He stands for, that we are not 100% sure of His mission, and that, in respect we are simply following. Following without expressing our own opinion or desires as to why we are following Him. Following, in my mind, is the result of fandom. And while we as Christians may be able to look at and understand what it is that those in this campaign are saying, the simple truth is that the majority of those who are not Christians or believers will not. And yes, we are supposed to avoid conforming to the world’s view, but at the same time, our mission is to bring Christ to the world. If what we are doing is going to give off the wrong impression, give off this idea that we’re not really in 100% agreement on Jesus, then our mission is failing.


Obviously none of us can say for certainty what this campaign will produce. Until it really is put into action, we won’t see the full extent of its success or damage. But I can’t help but remain skeptical that this type of campaign will do more damage than good.


What worries me more than anything is the segregation this could cause between the church – those who adamantly believe that you should not be a fan of Jesus and those that do. That’s the problem with semantics and theology, too many people get so set in the idea that they are the only ones that are correct that it causes division.


*sigh* Anyway, that ended up turning into more rambling than I intended… but I wanted to throw in my two cents’ worth in the hopes that it’s not too late.


God bless!


  1. Kathy S

    That's really well written and you definitely make some very good points. I hadn't heard of this campaign before but I'm inclined to agree with you on the situation.

  2. Shane Pilgrim

    Let's try an exercise. I'm going to type a phrase, and then I want you to focus on the first image that comes to your mind. Ready? Alright, here we go.


    What comes to mind? Some big obnoxious guy in a sports T-shirt with a hot dog in one hand, foam finger in the other, and a mouth full of obscenities? Or perhaps the scene girl who goes to a concert and convulses with every syllable spoken by the lead singer? Or those religious extremists who take their beliefs to unhealthy extremes?

    Am I stereotyping? Maybe. But whether we want to acknowledge it or not, on some unconscious level we all stereotype. Those of us who are enlightened enough can consciously push aside those stereotypes…but unfortunately, a large proportion of our population can't make that distinction.

    And those people, when they hear the phrase “fan of Jesus”, will equate Christians with these images that come to mind.

    I don't consider myself religious, but even I know that you don't Like Jesus. You don't become a Fan of Jesus. He isn't a Facebook page.


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