Monday, January 23, 2006

making disciples

Jesus came to them and said: I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world. - Matthew 28:18-20

I'm in a small group studying the book Discipleship Essentials by Greg Ogden. The first chapter is called Making Disciples. From my reading, I've come to understand discipleship is not about talking the talk, it's about walking the walk. One of my worries is that I've got too much baggage to take on this trip.

One of the pieces I carry is that I tend to confuse discipling with witnessing or evangelism. I don't have interest in telling someone else that what I believe is better or truer than what they believe. Yet more and more I believe that Christ is the way for me. But I know many people who don't believe this and I don't know that they are wrong and there is certainly no way to prove it.

I like the way C.S. Lewis explains this problem in Mere Christianity:

Here is another thing that used to puzzle me. Is it not frightfully unfair that this new life should be confined to people who have hear of Christ and been able to believe in Him? But the truth is God has not told us what His arrangements about the other people are. We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him. But in the meantime, if you are worried about the people outside, the most unreasonable thing you can do is to remain outside yourself. Christians are Christ's body, the organism through which He works. Every addition to that body enables Him to do more. If you want to help those outside you must add your own little cell to the body of Christ who alone can help them. - Mere Christianity, pg. 64.