I am attaching a pdf for you to download that has all the occurrences of the word “disciple” in the NIV paralleled with the Greek New Testament. There are nearly 300 occurences of this word in the New Testament!
In contrast the word “Christian” appears less than half a dozen times. In our current way of thinking one can be a Christian without thinking of themselves as a disciple but one cannot be a disciple without also being a Christian – be a disciple. A disciple is a follower of Jesus. This is how the first Christians thought of themselves and we should as well.
Barton Stone thought we should be called Christians but Alexander Campbell used the argument that in reading the NT from Matthew to Revelation, the word Disciples shows up before Christian so that should be what we are called. I think this shows how Campbell had to have his way even if it took disingenuous arguments to support his view.
Do you have references for that? To me the weight of the evidence toward disciple rather than Christian is on two fronts:
1 – Christian is used 3 times. Disciple is used about 300.
2 – “Christian” seems to have been a label put on Christians from the outside (it isn’t positive in any of the three instances). “Disciple” seems to have been the normative term used at the time.
I think both Christian and disciple are great terms for a follower of Jesus. It is like the right Twix and Left Twix argument. Both terms are valid and good. There are many other terms as well, brothers, sisters, saints, children of God, etc.
IT is funny that the followers of God in the O.T. were called Israelite, Judites, Benjamites, Levites, etc. They used human names, but still managed to follow God and be recognized by God.
It is not what you are called, but who calls you and who you follow.
I agree with your assessment theoretically. The issue is how people use the terms can become an issue. If Christianity is no more than a demographic marker for some people we want to make sure we, as Christians, are seeing the terms as far more than that.