Discipleship versus Gnosticism

Discipleship versus Gnosticism
  • In our gnostic American society, the majority of pastors are tone-deaf leaders who think that education is synonymous with discipleship and that discipleship is restricted to education. Discipleship is teaching every Christian the commands of Jehovah Jesus and modeling obedient behavior for them in the context of koinonia relationships.
  • The average American Christian has become disenfranchised and disillusioned: they are yearning to grow closer to God, but they are not “academically inclined.”
  • Discipleship is now equated with intellectual prowess, not with passion to follow Jesus and emulate Paul. Whose feet are American pastors washing?
    • “If I then, your Lord [kurios] and Teacher [didaskalos], have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example [hupodeigma=show under, an example to imitate], that you should do as I have done to you.” (Jn 13:14-15)
    • “Imitate [mimetes] me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (1Cor 11:1)
  • The current discipleship model in American churches completely ignores the Great Commission: make disciples of everyone, not just smart people
    • “Go therefore and make disciples [matheteuo] of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching [didasko] them to observe [tereo] all things that I have commanded [entello] you” (Matt 28:19,20)
      • Baptizing every disciple, not just academically inclined ones
      • Teaching every disciple, not just academically inclined ones
      • Imparting to all disciples what Jesus has imparted to us (disciplers)
        • “how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)” (Eph 3:3-4)
        • “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matt 10:8)
      • Teaching every disciple that obedience is expected and modeling for them what obedience looks like
        • “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (Jn 14:15)
      • Emphasizing koinonia relationships as the basis for discipleship
        • “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1Jn 1:7)
        • “not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.” (2Thes 3:9)
        • “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.” (Phil 3:14-17)
        • “but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1Tim 4:12)
        • “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another” (Rom 10:12)
        • “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Eph 4:32)
        • “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” (Col 3:12-14)