Discipleship, is something of great worth, in fact I would say it is priceless. However, in my recent discoveries and studies, there seems to be this overwhelming sense that most of us have not truly been discipled. Sure, many of us have gone to church, had a mentor or two, and read the bible on numerous occasions. But from there we venture on thinking that we have some parts or understanding of what it is to be a disciple. Of course our limited knowledge is so limited that we truly know nothing, but we are not capable of seeing our own incapacity.
Let me share; I have been a Christian for years and years, have grown up in a fundamental baptist church, in a Christian home, and went to a private Christian school, and then also Bible college. I have had numerous people that I have grown close to and who have helped develop my character and who I watched as an example. Though, I have been fortunate and do not wish for my journey to have been any different, I now see there is a problem.
The problem exists in the bubble that I found myself in. My epistemology or how I came to know the things I know is skewed. Those I have encountered over the years and knowledge that I have apprehended has ultimately been from one train of thought. If you grow up baptist, you might just be a baptist when you grow up. Is there something wrong with being Baptist by no means, but ultimately this is a bubble of Christianity that limits itself to one thought pattern never questioning whether or not things are as they should be.
For example, the disciples in Jesus day were Jewish, their hopes and aspirations for what Jesus would do was confined and defined by that background. But when Jesus’ ultimate plan is revealed and sketched out it was far from their Jewish expectations. In the same way, the more I learn and study the more i realize my expectations for Jesus in my strictly Baptist background are etched incorrectly. For some of you this might be shocking (my statement that is), but when you start studying the Bible in its context, using correct exegesis, the truth speaks for itself. That said of course ,I am not stating that I have a realized gnosis, and have been marked out as a chosen one to know truth. Albeit, I have come to the conclusion that the things I know and believe to be biblical might just be unbiblical.
A few small examples…we have people pray a sinners prayer to go to heaven. First of all there is no prayer in scripture and secondly, our destination is not heaven but the new earth. Just take a look at Revelation. In this same realm of thinking is the idea that our spirit lives on when the body dies, and this is our new existence. This pattern though derives itself from Plato, known as Platonism, that the body is bad, and the soul is good (this is just a part of this belief). This leads to the belief that we are going to go to heaven, because the material earth is bad, but the truth is; God is going to restore the earth and there we will live and God will reign. Heaven and earth have always and will always be connected.
Now I know the examples shared are short, but they make a point…do you really know what you believe? Have you really got it all together? Is this denomination truly the one special (gnosis) one? Could it be that you only know in part the story of God, and an amazing reality lies ahead of you?
To begin this journey of discovery is difficult for it comes with questioning things and ideals. But questioning is necessary for true change and a new path to discipleship. The best place to be, where i continue to head, is realizing you don’t have it together, and ultimately that you will never have it, so that this walk to follow Christ will be a life-long one. As soon as you think you have something figured out, will be the moment you cannot be taught in that area again. But as Isaiah was told, ,God’s ways are not our ways, his thoughts are not our thoughts, and therefore you will never figure him out. His truth will be revealed in its eschatological framework and setting, but until then, study to show oneself approved, a workman created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
As always this is a beginning of a framework of thought, not an end.