Have We Ever Followed Jesus?

August 26, 2018

 

When I read the gospels, I noticed that 28 times in 4 gospels, Jesus said: “follow me.” Jesus did not even once mention “worship me.” In fundamentalist terms “worship” meant to perform the right ceremonies, sing the right songs, say the right prayers, believe in the right doctrines, don’t eat unclean food, don't touch unclean things, pay your tithes…” and when you do these things you worship God. However, when Jesus came, He constantly repeated “follow me” … “follow me”… “follow me”.

 

Following Jesus demands action! Following Jesus means being on the way with Jesus. It is rather a journey, a journey of life together with Jesus. To follow Jesus is a lifestyle, a lifestyle of loving and being! To follow Jesus means trying to walk in his footsteps. What are these footsteps? Are these the creeds, dogmas, theology, charisma, religious legalism or judgmentalism? I think the footsteps of Jesus are always taken love, a love that includes all, unconditional and pure: a neighborly love in the path of life. 

 

We have now two-thousand years of Christianity, organized churches, denominations and entities, and I often ask myself did these “systems” really followed Jesus? We have excluded people in the name of God, we use(d) Bible to accuse and judge others, in the name of God we have justified nationalism, slavery, colonialism. In the name of evangelism and missions we disrespected other cultures, we have conquered and ruled. We have preached holiness, but have sexually, physically and emotionally abused thousands upon thousands of innocent children and covered it up for decades, years and centuries. Or for example, after two-thousand years in 2018, two churches both believe in Jesus Christ, won’t even have holy communion because they have a different understanding or interpretation concerning some minor doctrinal issues? 

 

I think the time has come for us to make a serious decision by genuinely, and willingly to “Follow Jesus” and stop worshipping our traditions, dogmas and doctrines. Can you believe that two churches who both believe in Jesus Christ, won’t have holy communion because they have different understanding or interpretation about some minor doctrinal issues? 

I think only then we may have a chance to convince others to “follow Jesus.” Real worship means to genuinely and honestly to follow Jesus and walk in his footsteps. It is a hard way, tough but the best way.

 

 

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A New Kind of Pentecostalism

January 13, 2018

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© 2010-2019 by Samuel C. Lee

 

Samuel Lee (Ph.D.) is university lecturer, at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Faculty of Religion and Theology (FRT-VU), and director for Center for Theology of Migration, the educational program of Samen Kerk in Nederland at the FRT-VU. 

He is the founder of Foundation Academy of Amsterdam, offering higher education in liberal arts and humanities for migrants, refugees and persecuted minorities.

 

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