One of the biggest dangers that threaten the western church to day is not the devil, secularism or even atheism, but our satisfaction with a kind of Christianity that is not found in Jesus’s teachings. Our satisfaction with a Bar-Code Faith. Think of the barcodes now used on goods in most stores. The scanner responds only to the barcode. It makes no difference what is in the bottle or package that bears it, or whether the sticker is on the “right” one or not. If the sticker that is supposed to be on the dog food fell off the package and was accidently stuck onto the maize meal – the scanner at the till responds through its electronic eye to the barcode and totally disregards everything else. It will read maize meal as dog food.
Toning down biblical discipleship into church-invented Christianity, intimate following of Jesus into church membership, accepting Jesus as your King ruling your everyday life into having Him only as your Saviour (an once upon a time decision – far away in the past) produces a Christianity that makes the salt tasteless, hides the light under a barrel – making the church co-responsible for the lostness of the world.
Kingfisher redirects the body of Christ into a different kind of discipleship where we see Jesus in a totally new view:
· He is a coach for everyday life – to be His student in kingdom living.
· Discipleship is to live interactively with Him – to be with Him and learn from Him – live each moment from the reality of the Kingdom of God – becoming like Him.
· I am learning from Jesus how to lead my life – my whole life, my real life – not only my “spiritual life” – my everyday, ordinary life.
Disciples of Jesus are people who do not just profess certain views as their own, but apply their growing understanding of life in the Kingdom to every aspect of their life on earth.
In contrast, the governing assumption today, among professing Christians, is that we can be “Christians” forever and never become disciples.
Our responsibility is to implement the Great Commission right where we are, not just to raise efforts to do it elsewhere. And if we don’t, it won’t even be implemented “over there.”
“From time to time starting a church may be appropriate. But His aim for us is much greater than that. He wants us to establish “beachheads” or bases of operation for the Kingdom of God wherever we are” (Dallas Willard)
The word “disciple” occurs 269 times in the New Testament. “Christian” is found three times.
Current Christianity have not made discipleship a condition of being a Christian. The result of our frantic efforts to lower the bar in order to get more members and more money is that it is very possible to remain a Christian without any signs of progress towards the character of Jesus – of repeating Jesus’s life.
Churches are filled with “undiscipled disciples”. People are baptised into church membership.
“The great omission from the great commission is – we lost what discipleship means. We have a Christianity without discipleship” (Dallas Willard)
“And a Christianity without discipleship is a Christianity without Christ” (Bonnhoeffer)
And so it became Christmas – the story of a God loving His people enough that He became like them – a baby – that they can become like Him.
To everybody in the Kingfisher-family: May you experience the unconditional love of God in a very real way in your family and your ministry this Christmas season and in 2020.