I find it helpful to separate those who self-identify as Christian into three categories: cultural, congregational and convictional. About three-quarters of Americans identify as Christian, and for the sake of discussion, I’ll break them down into these three categories, each representing about 25 percent of the population.
1) CULTURAL CHRISTIANS. This first category is made up of people who believe themselves to be Christian simply because their culture tells them they are. They are Christian by heritage. They may have religious roots in their family or come from a people group tied to a certain religion, like Southern evangelicals or Irish Catholics. Inside the church, we would say they are Christian in name only. They are not practicing a vibrant faith.
2) CONGREGATIONAL CHRISTIANS. The second category is similar to the first group, except these individuals at least have some connection to congregational life. They have a home church they grew up in and perhaps where they were married. They might even visit occasionally. Here again, though, we would say these people are not practicing any sort of real, vibrant faith. They are attendees.
3) CONVICTIONAL CHRISTIANS. The final group is made up of people who actually live according to their faith. These are the people who would say they have met Jesus and that He changed their lives. They would say that their lives have been increasingly oriented around their faith in Him. http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/43298-christian-it-s-more-than-just-a-label
This article excerpted from The Discipleship Course.
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