11/3/15 Zach about 25
Jesus taught of a saving relationship with our Heavenly Father that can only be received with a childlike faith and lived out with a life of gratitude and wonder. Salvation is a free gift, but Jesus also taught that discipleship will cost us everything. He said “whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14) This isn’t a popular message in our consumer-driven culture, and many church leaders give in to the temptation to water down Jesus’ message to make it more attractive to potential disciples. What a mistake! I heard the results of that watered-down message from a bitter young man named Zach, today. I found him at a table outside a coffeeshop today, working a Rubik’s cube. Zach, 25 or so, is the son of Christian missionaries and told me of his extensive involvement in various evangelical churches He said that although he still considers himself a follower of Jesus, he is done with what I will call “Churchianity”. Zach rightly believes that the Gospel is so much more than a “get out of jail” card, the Bible so much more than a self-help book, and that church is so much more than helping build some pastor’s sphere of influence. The problem, I think, was that although Zach sensed the hypocrisy of a consumer-driven and self-centered “Gospel”, he had nothing to replace it with because that same consumer mindset had distracted him from what it truly means to be Jesus’ disciple. If he had that childlike faith at one time, it had been replaced with a childish understanding of being a disciple. No one likes to see a man acting like a child. Jesus calls us to so much more than this.