Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Are You a Disciple?

I am attaching a link for everyone to watch this video called "Experience the Life" when you get a few minutes. In the video Bill Hull is discussing something that God has been teaching me over the last several years. When I read God's word He convicts me of the state of the Church today. Becoming a Christian these days has been lowered to "just walking an aisle" or "praying a prayer" etc in order to be saved. Yet it is so obvious in America today that "so called" Christians have no transformation in their lives. They continue to live life the way they have or at best they may have cleaned up their act a little and go to church to check off a set of religious acts. But, what God has showed me is that to be a Christian, means to be a disciple of Jesus.

Bill Hull states in his article "What must change now" that: The word Christian-used three times in the New Testament has been preferred over Disciple, used 269 times. Christian seems to be a word that has lost its meaning more so than those who think Disciple is passé. It seems that outside the Church Christians are thought of as intolerant, even hateful, they are critics and judges. It is a title that has disappeared into the fog of Western culture to define religious origin. Inside the Church, Christian has become a word that describes agreement with a set of religious ideas; it does not require action or movement.

Disciple is a robust word; it calls upon a person to give an answer to God, to do something, to follow and in doing so create an opportunity for transformation. Answering the call to discipleship means positioning oneself for spiritual formation. It requires intentionality, self-denial, and commitment to follow Jesus wherever He leads. As Bonhoeffer aptly stated, “Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”

We are called to be disciples of Jesus. Are you a disciple?



Anonymous said...

Brittnie, your posting reminded me of Michael Vick's recent conversion. The sad thing about people professing to be recent converts is that only time can tell whether their repentace is genuine. While Jesus instructed us not to judge hearts, He clearly said to judge fruit. Only time will tell whether Michael Vick, or any one else, is genuine in their repentance (and I sincerely hope that Vick is indeed saved). Likewise, people can identify us as Christians (and hopefully, they do!) by our fruit.

There has been speculation regarding whether Vick knows what it means to be a "Christian," which is even more interesting in light of the points Bill Hull made. Vick made the comment that his turning to Christ was "the right thing to do, at least at this time." A statement of that nature does not lend itself to a relationship of discipleship with Jesus. But again, time will tell.

Both Bonhoeffer's quoted statement, "'Christanity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ,'" and Bill Hull's statement, "[Answering the call to discipleship] requires intentionality...and commitment" offer stark contrasts to the belief of many people today, both inside and outside of church walls. So, this posting forces me to ask myself, "Am I a true Christian? Am I a disciple of Christ?" I hope and pray that the fruit of my life bears unquestionable witness to my being a disciple of Christ. ~Joy