As I continue my study of Disciplines for the Inner Life by Michael Benson with my discipleship group led by Bob Chisholm, I am amazed at the depth of the ideas with which I am confronted. This week Bob could not be with us so the three of us met for breakfast at Cindi’s to discuss Chapter 9: Adoration. Until this week I did not fully grasp or understand what it means to adore God, nor do I now, however I have gained insight into a small portion or facet of it.
While we were discussing the deep quotes and interesting scriptures we had read throughout the week, my friend Ted Howard (@TedCHoward) told me something that his father had recently told him, to which I immediately responded “I’m gonna to blog that.”
I was reading an article by William Willimon called “Be Imitators of Me,” and came across a striking quote. It was so striking that I had to share it.
My previous post, The Evangelical Collapse, surprisingly got some good reactions and reviews both from people telling me verbally as well as others in the blogosphere. I had expected people to reject my ideas outright, but of course I might have been still viewing the post like it was written originally. Or maybe people are ready for a real change in the way we do church? I know that I am, and I’d like to think that more people out there are as well. Lots of people read this blog now and I’ve seen many people have the same reaction: I should be a disciple of Jesus, not this half-hearted pew-warming learner I am now. But when I mention discipleship and finding yourself a mentor and becoming their disciple, alot of people struggle with that. Some will ask: “Aren’t we all disciples of Jesus?” Sometimes even someone will bring up Paul in 1 Cor. 1:10-17 where he berates the Corinthians for dividing and saying “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” and etc, and use that as a reason against having human disciplers. But I think that going down the path of “we’re all just disciples of Jesus” has led us (in part) to where we are today. Allow me to explain…
Again there has been a lack of posts on this blog and that’s for two reasons. The first is that the last week this post has been weighing heavy on my heart and I haven’t wanted to post anything else. The second reason was because I was hoping for some replies to my crazy Paul idea, but oh well. Anyway, I wrote up my original post after reading an article linked to by Gordon Dabbs (preacher at my church). I sent my post to my wife because I knew it was written with passion and she recommended I send it to my sister and mother for further review and input, so I did. After speaking with them and thinking about it for several days, it turns out that original post I had written was not something I wanted to post, so I’ve tightened it down into something that I do want to say. I still think the post is rather radical, but try not to take offense at it. Paul wrote in Galatians some pretty strong words, some of which that come to mind are “You stupid Galatians!” (Gal. 3:1, JNT) Yeah, he was inspired and I’m not (at least, in the same sense that he was), but I think as Christians we need to be honest with one another.
The Christian Science Monitor has up a piece called The coming evangelical collapse, written by an evangelical (not some anti-Christian writer). I highly recommend the piece, not only because I share the views posited in it but because I think there is a startling truth: the evangelical movement has lost focus and needs to get it back. The article highlights problems such as youth programs designed to keep kids entertained and help them “feel” their religion rather than know it, and adults who feel at a complete loss for what Christianity actually means to them. I watched a video on YouTube the other night where a Christian youth minister had converted to Islam and he tried to refute Christianity by using Islam. It was the most ridiculous video I had ever seen, and its ridiculousness had nothing to do with Islam, but it was the guy in the video. (Just FYI: Islam is not riduclous and I’m not saying it is) He said at the start he had been raised in a Christian home and had even gone to school and gotten a degree in Christianity, yet what he had was so hollow that he couldn’t answer some basic questions and so he lost his faith and traded it in for one that (to him) had the answers. I’ve heard much better arguments against Christianity before and it was clear to me that the guy really didn’t know what he was talking about concerning either religion. What happened? When did church become so hollow that even our own ministers cannot come to grips with simple issues regarding the Bible and Christianity?