Friday, March 18, 2011

Responsible Discipleship

Today I saw in action something I have given a lot of thought and prayer to in the last few years; that being, the blindness that many believers are suffering from. I was looking over some books today in the Christian Bookstore when I was approached by another patron. We got into a discussion on the teachings of the Bible and how few there are who really hold strongly to the foundational truths that it contains. His position was that most did and mine was that most did not. I said, 81% of "Born Again's" do not.  I referred to a poll from the Barna Group at Barna Poll on Biblical Worldview to back up my statement. 

His response was twofold.

1) The poll is incorrect

2) "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"

In answer to the first response I would say Pollsters like Barna, have pretty good success rates. This one in particular has a + or - 3.5% error rate. That said, we still have a problem. To the second response, I say, that's a good old adage. And many would simply say, "Oh, you're right. We cannot force them to accept the Scripture." To which I would say, if dealing with the lost, that is one way to look at things. But does it really apply to believers? Good question, huh? Those who claim to be followers of Christ or "Born Again," as in the poll, had to have at one time come to the water and drank. This was my response to the gentleman. He realized this and said, "I guess my train of thought is just skewed from being raised in the church." In his worldview, it was impossible to think that so many so called “believers” could not trust the Scripture in its fullness.

His response made me realize two things, first, how distant some Christians are from the reality of what it means to be lost and without Christ in this world, and secondly, how often we do not think about the spiritual welfare of our brothers and sisters in Christ. There are many just like him who do not care to think much about these things and have thrown up their hands in apathy toward the lost and left the saved to defend for themselves. Yet the Great Commission of Jesus was to go into the world and "Make Disciples." 

Mt. 28:18-20 reads: 

All authority has been given to me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
One would think this final statement of Christ would carry a lot more weight than many want to concern themselves with.

Jesus’ desire is for all of His followers to be discipled. That means He wants us to be His students.

Question of the day

If the majority of the church at large cannot believe in the basic foundations of the Scripture themselves, and those of us who do believe cannot take the time to take someone under our wing to teach them the foundational truths of Scripture; thereby, heading off this delusion, then the message we preach is lip service and not that of Christ. But before you throw the stone you just picked up consider this, if Jesus knows we have no room for discipleship in our lives or our church then why would he send the lost our way? 

Maybe we should consider seeking the Lord for His direction in setting up true discipleship ministries. If we do not, our ministry will be nothing more than feeding sheep to the hungry wolves. There will be no great move of God in the Church that will not heed the Words of Christ. Amen!

God Bless

Bro. Mike


Robert said...

When we do not believe the words of scripture, we cannot reach the lost nor disciple those that are in need of dscipleship. How can we, when we are but babes ourselves in the word and do not know what it says? The sword of the spirit, the word of god, is one of (if not the) most important piece of our amour, without which we have no means to drive back the Adversary. it is no wonder then that the church in the West is in full retreat before the enemy and many hide within their "church buildings", which have become ornamented, gold-gilded prisons, and ultimately,spiritual tombs.

Jesus' comments to the churches at Ephesus and Laodicea come very strong to mind.

Michael (Mike) Henderson said...

I remember an older Christian song by Petra. "Rose Colored Stain Glass Windows" It was a song that told the same story. You are exactly correct about many people hiding behind the walls of the church. But in some cases they may not be really hiding; they just do not have anything exciting to share. That's because they never learn anything new..i.e. they are not being discipled in the whole Word of God. In those cases there is usually a leadership issue. Not surprising though, since there are so many leaders drinking the Kool-Aide of false teaching or self aggrandizement and preservation.

God Bless and thanks for the comment.