Monday, May 30, 2011

Religion or Discipleship

My friend Nick Davis sent me this text. It is used with his permission:

“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”At once they left their nets and followed him.” (Mark 1:16–18)

To paraphrase D Bosch, the disciples of Jesus - called as firstfruits to us all - stand in stark difference to the disciples of the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law

  1. THE CHOICE.............The religious student chose his own teacher; but Jesus chose his disciples. We have not enrolled, but been enrolled. This is not a career move but the Call of God.
  2. THE FOCUS...............The religious student enrolled to study the Torah – the law of God; Christ’s disciples are enrolled to study Him. He is the Word of God, the radiance of the Father.
  3. THE RELATIONSHIP....The religious student was only a student; Christ’s disciples are his servants too. They serve with Christ, even as He serves the Father’s will. Students become lecturers, servants become friends.
  4. THE MOTIVE..............The religious student enrolled to be trained, so he could get a chief seat; Christ’s disciples always remain his students, and being discipled by God is their destiny. Only Christ enjoys elevation.
  5. THE HALLMARK.........The religious student can boast in his teacher; Christ’s disciples boast in the Lord. We also learn from Christ through community; we are not “of Paul, Cephas, Apollos”. No man hallmarks us.
  6. THE PURPOSE............The religious student learns the Law to be able to teach others and preserve Judaism and her ethos; Christ disciples learn from Him to enjoy God and proclaim his kingdom to the world.
  7. THE TIME FRAME.......The religious student learns from the past and preserves this knowledge in the present; Christ’s disciples learn from Him and lean into the future. The knowledge of God will keep increasing until His appearing.

So, religion today would include:
  • being in charge more than responding to God (control).
  • being a student of the Bible more than one who studies God (knowledge)
  • being a learner but not a servant (obedience)
  • being a means to an end, not making Christ the Worthy End (worship)
  • being known as disciples of a system or teacher, more than disciples of Christ (sonship)
  • preserving Christianity more than propagating it. (purpose)
  • being a conservative in the present day rather than a progressive for the future kingdom (relevance)

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