My experience is that many self identified agnostics or atheists regard followers of Christ as those who espouse religious rules but never live up to them, hold political convictions that place personal piety above people’s real needs, and are judgmental and intolerant of anyone who is not like them. For this reason, John Fischer wrote a critique of Christian culture. In his ironic self critique, Real Christians Don’t Ask Why, he states: “Don’t tell [non Christians] you are a Christian too soon. They may actually like you. And then when you tell them you are a follower of Christ, they will have to reevaluate their whole view of Christianity.” A sad but perhaps honest commentary on the perceived reputation and influence of followers of Christ in our culture.
At the same time, the Bible is pretty clear about what will happen to those who honestly follow Him.
Followers (disciples, learners) of Jesus Christ will
- Know a love, joy , and peace far above anything this world can provide – Galatians 5:22
- Have a supernatural power to love, not just tolerate, those who hate them – Luke 6:27
- Will be patient, kind, forgiving, bearing with one another – Romans 12: 9-13
- Will have a joy and peace that enables them to endure anything with grace – John 15:11
- Like their master, will serve, not judge or alienate, those who have rejected God – Matthew 20:28
- Will seek the blessing and prosperity of the city in which they dwell – Jeremiah 29:7
- Will be instruments of peace and reconciliation in a broken world – 2 Corinthians 5:18
- Will have a purpose in life that they would not otherwise have – Ephesians 2:10
So why is the world’s impression of “disciples” of Jesus so different from what Jesus says His disciples will look like?
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About the ResBlog
Members of staff and Vestry will be posting on the ResBlog to help us think through who we are in light of the gospel so that we might “spur one another on to love and good deeds.”