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"I'm Not a Calvinist/Baptist/Etc, I Follow Jesus"

"I'm Not a Calvinist/Baptist/Etc, I Follow Jesus"

I’m sure I’m not the only person to have every heard someone say something along the lines of the title of this post. In reformed/Calvinist crowds (personal experience) you’re bound to come across the zealous young Calvinist who says something like “I’m not a Calvinist, I follow Jesus.” While the sentiment behind such a “Jesus juke” is commendable, it is usually lined with hubris and often misguided.

Perhaps the most dangerous form of such a statement comes from people who are talking about the church. For example, you might come across a person who goes to a particular church, but does not submit to that church because they “follow Jesus.”The reason this is so dangerous is precisely because in claiming to follow Jesus they are actually departing from Him.

According to the New Testament, the church is “the Body of Christ.” Furthermore, Jesus makes it abundantly clear that the Father will send the Spirit in His name once He is ascended (John 14 & 16). When we read of Pentecost we see that the Spirit is poured out on the church (Acts 2:1-1). Finally, the Apostle John teaches that communion with the Trinitarian God and with the church go hand-in-hand with one another (1 John, esp. ch. 3 & 4).

The type of thinking that claims to “follow Jesus” but does not submit to the covenantal body that Jesus established and abides over by his Spirit is a very dangerous type of thinking. It has all the trappings of Modernistic individualism that so pervades our culture in almost everyway. Another form of this takes place when you see a young couple refuse to get married because they “love” each other and that’s “all they need.”

True love is found in the covenantal vows that marriage possesses. To say that you possess eros for someone but refuse to marry them is another form of this selfish individualism that entirely misses the point.

If we want to “follow Jesus” then it makes no sense to shun His Body the church. That is why Paul says that it makes no sense for a husband to treat his wife badly, because it is like treating one’s self badly. What this means is that following the church is how we follow Jesus. Sure, things can get messy but then again the incarnation was messy. God isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, you might remember that’s how we all got here in the first place (Genesis 2:7).

Food for thought.

Michael

Unapologetically Broken in "The Forgiven"

Unapologetically Broken in "The Forgiven"

"I was born to jump and run"

"I was born to jump and run"