Monday, November 12, 2007

A Follower of Jesus

One of the things I appreciate about our friend James Lankford, who spoke this weekend at Come Thirsty, is his careful use of the expression, "Follower of Jesus" as opposed to the description, "Christian." Certainly I'm not implying that the word "Christian" is bad or negative in any way, and James doesn't avoid using it altogether, but he also understands that different people have different perceptions about the meaning or definition of the word. Some people actually believe that by being born in the U.S. they are automatically Christians (no, that makes you a citizen). Others believe that having been baptized made them one (no, that makes you wet). Still numerous other fallacies abound.

Most significant for me is the reminder that just being a Christian doesn't give me license to act however I want, but that being a follower of Jesus means I act in accordance with his response to things. Immediately, that places into most minds the idea of a namby-pamby, yielding pacifist, but please remember John 2:12-17. Jesus cleared the temple grounds of profit-seeking marketeers. And I love how he didn't just do this on an impulse or whim. Verse 15 says he made a whip out of cords. He had time to think about what he was doing as he braided those cords together. Yet, this same Jesus knew when to act with vigilance and when to wait in silence. John 8:2-11 records a time when the Pharisees were demanding an answer from him, but he knew that he would merely be embroiling himself in a fray that would accomplish nothing but disharmony and bitterness and deepen prideful arrogance. As James reminded me this weekend, when Jesus calls people to himself, he doesn't say, "Be a Christian and do the following things...." He says, "Follow Me." So, when I woke up this morning, I asked him where we were going today. I hope you did, too.

No comments: