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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
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.

Comments (3)

  • I wish more people could here this. It is really convicting for me to hear this and yet challenging in the same way. How do we drag people out of their addicitons to comfort and maintianing an average facade? I don’t doubt that it is true, but how do we wake the dead in the churches of America?

  • Real Discipleship – is there truly any other? Not only do we need discipleship, we need those who will do it! It as we know takes commitment, heartache, and time. Things here in USA we struggle with being a part of… I think we sometimes think that discipleship is a weekly event or something we do at conferences…that is not the way I learned and am still learning discipleship. I learn it everyday in my time with Jesus and other believers, allowing them to disciple and be discipled by me -many times without them even knowing it. GOD is good.

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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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