Monday, June 26, 2006

The dangers of "instant discipleship"

Dan Edelen has written some particularly valuable thoughts on antiwitnesses to Christ:
Antiwitnesses are those poor souls who taste the goodness of Christ, but are never encouraged to grow deeper in Christ. They tend to comprehend just enough of the Gospel to be able to enunciate a few Christian truths, but they've ultimately been inoculated against any deeper life. They live exactly like the world—or worse—but continue to cling to some idea that they are real Christians.
And why are there so many antiwitnesses in North America?
At its core, Christianity is a relational, community faith. But as self-actualized Americans who have lived under the shadow of rugged individualism and bootstrapping, we tend to forget that discipleship is not handing someone a Bible and pointing them to a church with a hearty "Go get 'em, Tiger!" pat on the back. Many religions are like that, but Christ did not come to establish a loose affiliation of believing loners.

As Dan points out in his essay, building discipleship takes time, community, work, and love. There are no shortcuts to discipleship.


Blogger Dan Edelen said...

Milton, thanks for the link! I hope we can get a gut check on these kinds of issues. The story of Stu is more in-depth than I shared, but it's entirely real and broke the heart of the guy who worked with him.

12:48 AM, June 27, 2006  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

You're welcome, Dan. Thanks for sharing Stu's story in particular and the essay in general. It's one of your best.

4:19 PM, June 27, 2006  

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