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Everybody follows somebody, who do you follow?

“Everybody follows somebody. Who do you follow?” Rob Bell asks in Velvet Elvis. At about 28 years-old, when my mom asked me the question, “Do you have a mentor?” my answer was, “No.” I had a bunch of reasons why I didn’t need one. Now I realize I was a dumb, self-sufficient punk who woul…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
“Everybody follows somebody. Who do
you follow?” Rob Bell asks in Velvet Elvis.

At about 28 years-old, when my mom asked me the
question, “Do you have a mentor?” my answer was, “No.” I had a bunch of reasons
why I didn’t need one. Now I realize I was a dumb, self-sufficient punk who would
rather make his own mistakes than learn from someone else’s.

As a middle-aged man, I realize I don’t have that kind
of time to waste. I’ve come to see the truth of Rob Bell’s statement,
“Everybody follows somebody,” and I’ve realized that Jesus and I are better off
if that somebody is not me. It needs to be another flesh-and-blood human
being.

Paul said, “Imitate me.” He understood that while we
may come to believe by hearing, we learn by doing. It’s no small matter that
Jesus’ first words to his disciples were “follow me.” He was big on
followership–it was synonymous with discipleship. “Whoever serves me follows
me,” he said.

Somehow in our independence-prizing culture, many of us
never learn to follow, and we spend much of our lifetimes going around the same
mountain. I didn’t learn to follow someone else till I was in my thirties and
realized I couldn’t lead where I’d never gone. I was tired of following
myself. Everybody follows somebody. Who do you follow?

Here’s a short video clip from Rob Bell’s video series called Nooma:

Comments (6)

  • Thank you for sharing! This was exactly what I was looking for.
    Very good article. No.vang appreciated thanks a review, an honest comment. I like this list list. hello nick chat: thienthien_bk

  • I completely agree that we all need a mentor and talk to people about it. But the most common question I get is “How do you get one?” I know for years I was told at summer camps that I needed a mentor. So I would go home and look around – Nobody with a nametag that says Mentor anywhere around. What do you do to find a mentor and what does it look like to have a mentor in your life?

  • Seth, Before you tell others to find a mentor, please take a second look at what you’ve been teaching others–especially to young people. Brian McLaren (and Rob Bell) are promoting Eastern/occultic mysticism, more precisely, Theosophy. You can choose to believe the words of a Russian occultist and famed medium (who began the Theosophical Society which, in the United States, is located near Wheaton College). You can follow Theosophists like Alice Bailey who channeled her works through her spirit guide, The Tibetan, and began Lucifer Publishing (which is now the Lucis Trust). Or, you can test everything you hear against Scripture and ask God to give you the discernment and wisdom you need to guide you into His truth. God condemned occult beliefs and practices to protect his people (Deuteronomy 18:9-14, etc.). But, the Isralites, like so many today, chose to incorporate them into their worship. The walls of Jerusalem were destroyed by God because of their willful disobedience. Test everything! (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

  • Claire,

    thanks. Rob Bell is a Christian who makes a good point here. If he’s syncretistic, then so are you and so am I. We all are in ways that we may or may not see. The main thing is to make the main thing the main thing. What he says in this video is thoroughly biblical and is a point that needs to be made. Young people are following somebody – we ought to be asking “who?”

  • Seth,

    Boy, you stayed up late! Thanks for your answer. I’m not syncretistic, however. Rob Bell makes some good points on certain things. The question is, what Jesus will he ultimately lead you to? If you don’t believe in the unique authority of Scripture, you can promote Theosophist/occultist Ken Wilber, as Rob Bell does in his book, Velvet Elvis. Wilber follows Eastern/occultic mysticism and declares we are all becoming God. Jesus, then, is our “model” to follow; we can become God just as he did. I noticed you like Abraham Maslow and is Hierarchy of Needs and his theory of self-actualization. He is well-known in New Age/Emergent circles. Self-actualization = becoming your Higher Self, or God. Is this the message you want to bring to the nations? Do you really think that’s what Jesus meant when he talked about the Great Commission? Is Rob Bell thoroughly Biblical? We cannot bring in the kingdom of God on earth by using occult sources God condemns! You will bring in a different, false peace and a false Christ.

    Didn’t you have an experience with an evil spirit that had inhabited a woman? You’ve seen evil, yet you do not see it cloaked in light?

    You have influence over so many young people who sincerely love God and want to help others. Again, I am asking you to re-think what you’re doing by endorsing socialism/Marxism (“social justice”) and “Esoteric” Christianity (occultism) through authors the young people will assume are Christian.

    You cannot Christianize something God has clearly condemned. You cannot unite with demons–you should know this after what you witnessed. I believe you sincerely want to help others–so help them see the deception taking place right now.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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