Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Following Jesus and Following Christianity

Lately a recurring thought of mine has been that I simply want to follow Jesus.  There are so many different ideas, traditions and groups that I could follow.  Many of these people are good people with good intentions. It can get complicated.

I wonder if there is sometimes differences between simply following Jesus and following Christianity?

I suspect for many Christians there is overlap. I struggle with this post as I don't want to sound judgmental. I suspect many people follow Jesus as they follow Christianity.  I used to be one of them. I don't believe any of us have it all figured out, there is a lot of mystery in this to me, and I believe God's grace is sufficient.

But as I try to sort out what it means for me to simply follow Jesus I am considering some possible distinctions.  

Following Christianity Following Christ
serving God typically means serving in some church program or Christian organization serving God will mean serving wherever and whenever God directs, it may look different for each of us
is concerned with understanding and agreeing to beliefs about God and Jesusis concerned with getting to know Christ personally and following Him
is concerned with fitting in by conforming to how other Christians live and/or how they want us to liveis concerned with conforming to the image of Christ
is concerned with making more converts to Christianity and members of a churchis concerned with introducing people to Christ
involves following some other people who have placed themselves in positions between you and God, claiming some authority over youinvolves following Christ personally, and includes some mutual relationships with other Christ followers that build each other up to become more like Christ
includes sectarianism and divisiveness as there are so many different brands of Christianity - so many different groups to followrecognizes that all who follow Christ are Christ followers
is submitting to something managed by menis submitting to God.

It is often OK to follow the example and teachings of other Christians, but I think this warning may sometimes apply to us today:

"Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees" (Matt 16:6)

Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

I am finding a new freedom as I simply want to follow Jesus.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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