What does it really mean to be a follower of Christ? Not just a believer, or even a name-carrier, but a Follower? I certainly do not have all the answers yet – and won’t in this lifetime – but I think it’s a question worth pursuing, and I hope I’m on that path.
One thing is very clear in this journey: For the early Church, belief was never an end unto itself. Without exception, belief is always a precursor, setting the table for following. Yes, doctrine is important, but always within the context of the acting Church; never theology for theology’s sake, but service for Christ’s sake.
It is absolutely requisite that the Church today recapture a sense of Jesus’ ministry – the watermark of the early Church.
I have a real fear that we are practitioners of a very sterile faith – ouchless, if you will – that has virtually no contact or interaction with those our Lord called “the least of these”; the peripheral people and tertiary lives who rarely enter our field of vision.
Preaching the good news of eternal life while ignoring present pain is an emaciated and impoverished gospel. True righteousness means we feed, we heal, we touch.
And that can get very dirty.