stored in: 2019

My Perspectives reading today revealed a flaw in my understanding of church. Wow, after all these years as a Christian and attending church, and now on the pastoral staff at church, I get a revelation that makes me think how “Western” I am in my Christian theology. Fortunately it’s not too late for me to adjust my perspective.

“The core reality of the Church is Jesus Christ being followed, loved, and obeyed.” Yes, I understand that, and that’s what we do when we disciple believers. However, the part that is eye-opening for me is teaching believers to obey all of Christ’s commands. We tell new believers to obey by worshipping God via coming to church and Sunday School. If they come regularly, we are happy, we assume by their attendance that their affection for Christ is there. We tell them to read the Bible, pray, fellowship with believers, witness to unbelieving friends and family. Those are all good ways to obey. But we don’t really follow up with them to see if they are obeying what they’re learning when they read the Bible. Are they obeying the command to love your neighbor as yourself? We think it takes a while for them to understand the Bible, get some more knowledge, etc. No! The Great Commission said to teach them to OBEY. That should be the priority in follow up.

“Teaching heavy theology before one learns loving, childlike obedience is dangerous. It leaves a person assuming that Christianity is having scripturally correct doctrine and he leaves it at that. He becomes a passive learner of the Word rather than an active disciple.” (p639 in the Reader) I think this is the case with many Christians in America. I am guilty of that too. We can have very good theology, excellent students who love to study the Bible. They do love God. But are they passive learners or active disciples? Are they obeying the commands with childlike faith?

Our church identified 4 indicators of a vibrant Christian – Love passionately, Live authentically, Give generously, Go courageously. These are not exhaustive of what a Christian look like, but it’s a good start to be active disciples, not passive learners. We must help each other to obey in these ways to live out Christ’s commands.

But sometimes I just enjoy being a passive learner, and only obey when it suits me.

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