I hope your table will be as joyous as mine tonight. I have new friends and old coming. I have a fresh supply of wine, six bottles (don’t worry, we won’t drink them all tonight). I have my seven kids around the table as well. One of my great joys is seeing my 1 1/2 year old. When Linda gets out the candles, little Miriam puts her tiny hands in front of her eyes, mimicking the traditional posture. May your joy equal or exceed ours and may your home be filled with the Spirit and with Yeshua.
My mind is on the concept of walking as Yeshua walked.
I’ve been greatly moved by several things I’ve read on blogs recently. One is a somewhat technical paper on the Emerging Church movement, by Scot McKnight, a professor at North Park Seminary in Illinois. McKnight is one of the scholars friendly to the Emerging Church conversation (though he has some reservations and cautions). Other than his commentary on Galatians (which I found disappointingly Reformed), I appreciate his scholarship and writings, including a volume on Second Temple Judaism and the practice of proselytizing Gentiles.
The second blog article that drove me to this topic is by Emily Hunter McGowin, a young writer, seminary student, and a bit of a prodigy (she had work published in some reputable places in her early twenties!). She is still quite young (not sure, but twenties still). Her blog is always well worth reading. She has an article today on the meaning of discipleship as Yeshua taught it.
The Issue: What it Means to Follow Yeshua?
This is not, apparently, as simple as it sounds. One great idea for following Yeshua would be to read his words and follow what he says. THIS IS DEFINITELY NOT WHAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF CHURCHES AND PASTORS WOULD TELL YOU TO DO. In fact, it’s thought heresy by many.
You see, we have in modern Christianity an army of gatekeepers who define Christian faith by their denominational traditions. For the most part, their thinking is that following Jesus is all about . . . CONVERSION. Being born again is the height of everything God gave us to do in this world. YES, I’M EXAGGERATING, BUT ONLY SLIGHTLY.
For me, and I hope for many others, reading and practicing the words of Moses, the prophets, the sages and poets, Yeshua, and the apostles, is what the faith is all about. That is, the Bible is our guide and not Christian history, systematic theologies, or religious gatekeepers with clergy posts. (By the way, I’m not meaning to be harsh on pastors — a significant number would agree with me).
Emily Hunter McGowin considers the many statements of Yeshua about following him, such as:
1. Hate your father and mother.
2. Carry your cross.
3. Count the cost before you follow me.
4. Don’t lose your saltiness or you’ll be worthless.
5. Hate your own life.
6. See Luke 14:25-35 for more.
I really like Emily’s summary:
In my opinion, the main idea of Luke 14:25-35 is as follows: To be a disciple of Jesus Christ, one must abandon all of one