The Hyphenated-Christian? :: By C. Gray Adams

***There is a special message at the end of this article***

Anyone paying attention to what is going on in the church world is aware of the various deceptions that are making inroads into the church. This should come as no surprise since Jesus and the apostles warned about deception ramping up after their departure. It is very important that we understand that the primary reason for the prospering of any deception in the church is the prophesied departure from enduring sound doctrine (2 Tim 4:3). [1] Unfortunately, instead of this being the exception, rejecting God’s truths for man’s truths has become the hallmark of the modern-day church. This reality is very noticeable in the ever-increasing desire to allow parts of the old nature to linger in what should be the new nature. [2] Perhaps the most noticeable instance of this is the recent push to force God into accepting ‘the Hyphenated-Christian.’

Those who do this are essentially saying, not your will Lord, but mine be done.

What is a hyphenated-Christian? Largely, this new reality stems from the growing trend of hyphenation that has become commonplace in the world. Indeed, many now keep their former names and simply hyphenate their new last name as they no longer desire to forsake the old for the new. In the church, this is someone who has chosen to retain a part of his or her former self after professing belief in Christ. Worse yet, these people not only want to hold on to their past sinful behaviors, they also want God and His faithful servants to accept them as they are. No, it is more than that; they demand acceptance of their bilateral condition to the point that they expect to be called by the name of their sinful behavior hyphenated with the surname – Christian. This contradicts Scripture, which indicates each believer must forsake all to be a disciple.

Disciples must Forsake All to Follow Christ

Jesus explains the primary error made by those who attempt to hang on to part of their old nature in His explanation about the cost of following Him, which is found in the book of Luke, chapter fourteen:

Luke 14:26-27, 33

“And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not [love less] his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple…. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” [3] (emphasis mine) [author’s comment]

Jesus makes it very clear that a disciple must forsake all to follow Him. Take special note that He said the disciple must even forsake his own life in order to be a disciple. This makes it very clear that no part of the old man can transfer into the identity of the new man now referred to as Christian. After all, Paul said:

Galatians 2:20

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Can you imagine the audacity of someone taking the exact opposite position of Paul and trying to force Jesus into accepting part of his or her old nature? If you think about it, those that attempt to do this are really saying, “I am not crucified with Christ; therefore, I can live my life just as I am, and God and the world are bigoted if they do not accept me for who I am.” Clearly, Christ does not know those who dare to pursue this lunacy; therefore, salvation eludes them.

Those who are cheering on the hyphenated will undoubtedly find this message disdainful. Indeed, they will more than likely take offense to the correction set forth here. However, without hearing that they are misguided, those in error can never repent of sinful behavior, and they will miss heaven. Sadly, those who are encouraging or cheering on those who are trampling on the grace of God are themselves in grave danger of eternal judgment.

Paul speaks about the woes of these cheerleaders in Romans chapter one after he defines what God does to the unrepentant:

Romans 1:32

“Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them [The cheerleaders are guilty of the same offenses, and they will suffer the same fate…death].” (emphasis mine) [author’s comment]

Paul here issues a serious warning to those who know better. In so doing, he is trying to provide a reason to repent, to turn back from assuring the unrepentant in their sin. This is crucial because we must remember that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23).” Therefore, we should all desire to understand our shortcomings so we can turn from them, not celebrate them in a prideful manner by hyphenating our sin with the surname, Christian. [4]

The Lunacy of Hyphenating

The term ‘Christian’ identifies those who have decided to place their faith in Jesus Christ, the sinless one who died for their sins. Therefore, it is a great honor to bear this name because it means the bearer is Christ-like. These are Christ-like because they follow Jesus in forsaking their own will for the will of the Father. This is why it is sheer lunacy to adulterate this precious name with any hyphenation. Here are some examples of just how ludicrous these hyphenations can be:

  • Adulterous-Christian
  • Murderous-Christian
  • Christian-Thief
  • Lying-Christian
  • Covetous-Christian
  • Gay-Christian
  • Christian-Pedophile
  • Christian-Atheist

Each of the above hyphenations represents an impossibility, for one cannot be both of these terms simultaneously. Indeed, one is either a Christian or the other term in the hyphenation. This is because when a Christian behaves in a sinful way, the Holy Spirit brings conviction, and the offender must confess their sin before God, who is faithful and just to forgive them and cleanse them from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

John is not presenting a way for man to live in sin. Instead, he is illuminating the pathway for forgiveness for the times when one falters. Therefore, no matter how much some desire to make way for a sinful lifestyle, it is simply not permissible in the life of a Christian. Therefore, to drag the old man’s sin nature around by hyphenating it with the word ‘Christian’ is like dragging a dead man around one’s neck, which is the epitome of insanity. The good news is God has provided instruction in His Word of truth that, if accepted, sets every captive free.

The Truth Shall Set You Free

All who walk in the old nature are bound by the sin of that nature. However, all who hear the gospel and repent are set free from the bondage of sin, and everything changes. As the Christian renews their mind by the washing of the water of the Word, the old nature becomes more and more disdainful. At the same time, the new nature becomes more pleasurable as the maturity that comes from abiding in Christ causes the Christian to bear more fruit.

Romans 12:1-2

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (emphasis mine)

The word ‘conformed’ in this passage could be translated as ‘fashioned.’ Therefore, we must avoid following the fashions of this world, such as the current trend or fashion of hyphenation. Instead, we must allow God’s Word to renew our minds to the point that we become a peculiar people who sin less, not more. This can only happen by the daily application of God’s Word:

Ephesians 5:25-27

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

The only way to become this church is to fully surrender to the will of God and renew our minds daily with the ever-present flow of God’s Word. This is absolutely impossible if we attempt to drag the old man around with us through the process of hyphenation. Paul wants to make sure we understand the consequences of holding on to the wicked things of this world:

1 Cor 6:9-11

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who submit to or perform homosexual acts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. [Past tense – no hyphenation allowed] But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Knowing that we are set free from the old man is key to our success. Sure, some of us were indeed terrible sinners. However, hearing the gospel set us free from our old sinful nature. Now our part is to think about the things above so we will not fashion ourselves after the old man who loved this world:

Colossians 3:1-11

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. [The old nature cannot hide in Christ, for He is still sinless.]

“Mortify [put to death – not hyphenate] therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. [This is the old nature.] But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” (emphasis mine) [author’s comments]

When Christ is truly our all and all, we will indeed bear much fruit. After all, Jesus said:

John 15:5

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

But with Him, we can do all things:

Phil 4:13

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

The Name ‘Christian’ is More Than Enough

When considering whether or not being just a plain old Christian is enough, it is crucial that we never forget the fact that the lying god of this world, Satan, would that everyone holds on to their old nature so they can never fully embrace their new nature. This is because he knows that he must flee when a Christian resists him after fully submitting to God. However, full submission to God means we accept our new nature and desire to be recognized as simply Christian, a term that means one who is like Christ.

One last consideration. Perhaps we can look at hyphenation as the process of diluting something that, at full strength, is able to deal with whatever it was designed for. Examples of some common items should suffice. Watered-down milk has less taste and contains fewer vitamins and nutrients. Using inferior, watered-down paint requires more coats. Using building materials that have been made with cheaper ingredients can actually become hazardous. You get the idea. Hyphenation causes anything to become less, not more. This is why being just a plain old Christian is more than enough.


Since Christ is sinless, it would be unthinkable to add any of the aforementioned hyphens to His name. Likewise, it should be equally unthinkable that a member of the bride of Christ would desire to cling to any form of hyphenation. Instead, we should desire to be the best Christian we can be by forsaking our old nature and putting on the new by bearing our cross each and every day as we imitate and follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Doing otherwise is unthinkable indeed. For to attempt to force God and man to accept the polluted nature of ‘the hyphenated Christian’ is to choose man’s will over God’s will. This will not end well for the disobedient because only those who do the will of the Father enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 7:21).

Special Message…

There has been much to-do lately about the LGBTQ community desiring to maintain their former identities while simultaneously proclaiming to be Christians. Please understand, reader; this is not acceptable to God. He will not be coerced into accepting any form of hyphenation. God will only allow those who do His will entry into His kingdom.

Remember, there is one entity that desires more than anything that you, Christian, retain your old nature — your mortal enemy, Satan. He is, after all, the father of lies, and he is THE master deceiver. Please do not follow him. Follow Christ instead.

This ministry believes the rise in the desire by the LGBTQ community to be affirmed in their sin in every arena is a sign of the closeness of the rapture and subsequent Day of the Lord in which terrible judgment will be meted out upon the wicked. Therefore, the following articles are recommended:

First Horseman of the Apocalypse

The Coming False Flag of Pride

Website: In His Commission

[1] For greater understanding, see the article, “Dealing with Deception.”

[2] For greater understanding, see the article, “The Return of the Godless.”

[3] “Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the King James Version.”

[4] For greater understanding, see the article, “The Coming False Flag of Pride.”