Sunday, April 8, 2012

No More Discipleship

I'm currently reading Sacrilege, Finding Life in the Unorthodox Ways of Jesus, by Hugh Halter. (I'm often drawn to books about unorthodox, or unconventional ways of examining our Christian walk, mainly because I think the "church" has missed the point in teaching Christianity.)

 Though these pages are entirely about discipleship, I have an announcement to make: this is the last time I will use that word. It has been too sullied to be meaningful. From now on, let's change the word into what it really meant to Jesus.


Apprenticeship is not about morality, church attendance, sticking up for God, or being Republican. It's not about getting hired or fired by Donald Trump either. And as good as these things can actually be if done for the right reasons, it won't matter if you have a "quiet time" or are committed to a small group. It isn't important  what denomination you're connected to or what translation of the Bible you like. It's not about giving money, being nice, avoiding alcohol, not cussing or how long your daily prayer list might be. It is not about your end-times theology, whether or not you believe in a second baptism, or whether your pastor preaches exegetically or topically. 

Biblical apprenticeship is about three things:

  1. becoming just like Jesus,
  2. doing what Jesus did,  and 
  3. doing the above with the types of people Jesus liked spending time with.
Pretty simple. What's even better is that if we redefine the idea of apprenticeship, it becomes easy to assess how we're doing.
Here's how you can know if you are actually an apprentice: people respond to you like they did to Jesus. People are drawn to you. People seek you out for help. People like you, respect you, and want to live like you live. I'm not saying every introvert will become extroverted or the socially awkward will become the life of the party. I'm suggesting that if we  take on the purpose of becoming like Jesus, the people of the world whom Jesus died for will want to be our friends. That's what an apprentice will experience. 

Pretty cool stuff, huh?