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Pseudo discipleship

Some things pass for discipleship and do nothing to form Christ in a person. They smell like the real thing, but are impotent as spiritual tools (2 Timothy 3:5). The evidence that the institution of the church in America has made this unfortunate exchange is its fruit. By most behavioral measures…
By Seth Barnes

Some things pass for discipleship and do nothing to form Christ in a person. They smell like the real thing, but are impotent as spiritual tools (2 Timothy 3:5). The evidence that the institution of the church in America has made this unfortunate exchange is its fruit. By most behavioral measures, Christians are undistinguishable from nonChristians. Divorce rates, abortion rates, gluttony rates and the like are roughly the same for both.

So, what are the primary tools that the institution of the church uses? First, is the practice of the Sunday church service with the sermon as its centerpiece. 2 Timothy 3:7 describes people who sit through these services unchanged: “always learning, but never able to acknowledge the truth.”

A distant second to the Sunday service is the Wednesday Bible study. These have the potential to be functional discipling tools, but as practiced are characterized by the James 2:23-24 phenomenon: Participants listen to the word, but don’t take it to heart and apply it.

Real discipleship involves life change for people who are status quo addicts. Our fingers must be pried off the current behavior with which we are so comfortable. It doesn’t happen at a distance or by remote control; usually, it requires life-on-life help from somebody.

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