Friday, January 09, 2009

Living Like Jesus

One of the interesting things about watching the video I posted yesterday is that I'm also reading The Shack right now. I'm finding it an interesting read on many levels and I can definitely understand some more "orthodox" Christians issues with it.

However, one of the most interesting things about it is one of the things that the author has Jesus say: "Seriously, my life was not meant to be an example to copy, being my follower is not trying to ‘be like Jesus,’ it means for your independence to be killed." - The Jesus character, pg149 One of Young's ideologies that he espouses in this book is that our desire for independence from God is what causes our greatest separation from God when God gives us the independence we desire.

But I disagree with what the Jesus character says there and that's why I admire what Dr. Dobson did. I don't think Dr. Dobson became an itinerant homeless preacher but what it appears he did was try to have the mind of Christ and took some physical steps to help him get into that mindset. I truly believe as followers of Jesus, we are to imitate Jesus what Jesus does, trying to live out the life of Christ in 21st century America. And I think that can look different for different people. Some people may feel called like Shane Claiborne to live in the forgotten corners of the empire. Others might do ministry in the suburbs.

The truth of the matter is that when we give ourselves permission to not imitate Christ that opens the door to many other issues of greed and selfishness and then we become fans of Jesus and not his followers and these days, he needs more followers/imitators, not more fans.


nick gill said...

I think that is where Young, et al, just haven't articulated clearly enough the fullness of their thought, maybe?

Because I agree completely that "our desire for independence from God is what causes our greatest separation from God when God gives us the independence we desire."

But what they DIDN'T say is that once our independence is being killed, we begin to become more and more like Jesus.

Of course, they might just have meant, "I don't expect you to be a kosher-eating, woolen-robe wearing, 1st century craftsman."

The very fact that it CAN look different for different people leads me to believe that they meant to address the problems people have with focusing on particular externals.

Jennifer Thompson said...

I'm actually reading The Shack too (are we the two people left who haven't read it?). That section made me think awhile. Right now I think I agree with Nick; I'm wondering if Young didn't clearly articulate what he meant. I think Young's point was that we're not supposed to be asking "WWJD?" before you do anything in order to follow the rules (even with sincere intentions), but rather living in complete relationship with God. And through that relationship, we'll do as he desires (which may be something Jesus did, but may not).

I do agree with you that that gets dangerous if you think about the possibilities, but I think Young would say that if someone becomes greedy or selfish, then that relationship doesn't exist to the point they think it does.

Just my interpretation at the moment. I'm reserving thoughts on the whole thing till I finish.

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