Monday, July 4, 2011

Be the Judge!

I see, and hear, a lot of criticisms regarding those brethren who are genuinely seeking to practice their faith in a manner which is closer to Scripture. Some of the criticism is out of genuine concern, many from an arrogant sense of , “we know better than that. We’ve moved on since those days”.

Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) is often dismissed as a radical rebel, nothing more than a philosopher who had a bit of knowledge about Scripture, and some rather strange ideas.

I cannot help but think that he had some sound insight into what God wants for those who claim to be disciples/followers of Jesus Christ. For example think about the following two quotes:
“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world?”

“It is well known that Christ consistently used the expression follower. He never asks for admirers, worshippers, or adherents. No, he calls disciples. It is not adherents of a teaching but followers of a life Christ is looking for.

Christ understood that being a disciple was in innermost and deepest harmony with what he said about himself. Christ claimed to be the way and the truth and the life (Jn. 14:6). For this reason, he could never be satisfied with adherents who accepted his teaching – especially with those who in their lives ignored it or let things take their usual course. His whole life on earth, from beginning to end, was destined solely to have followers and to make admirers impossible.

Christ came into the world with the purpose of saving, not instructing it. At the same time – as is implied in his saving work – he came to be the pattern, to leave footprints for the person who would join him, who would become a follower. This is why Christ was born and lived and died in lowliness. It is absolutely impossible for anyone to sneak away from the Pattern with excuse and evasion on the basis that It, after all, possessed earthly and worldly advantages that he did not have. In that sense, to admire Christ is the false invention of a later age, aided by the presumption of loftiness. No, there is absolutely nothing to admire in Jesus, unless you want to admire poverty, misery, and contempt.
What then, is the difference between an admirer and a follower? A follower is or strives to be like what he admires. An admirer, however, keeps himself personally detached. He fails to see that what is admired involves a claim upon him, and thus he fails to be or strive to be what he admires."

What do you think? Reasonable thoughts, or those of an eccentric?