One thing I’m working on these days is integrating what I am studying into real life. This is harder then on might think, even when studying theology. At one point I just get sick of theory and I find all so useless. Discipleship is supposed to be easy in principle isn’t it: Follow Jesus!
One question that has been stuck with me however is this: Who is Lord?
So, we’ve been reading Yoder and Hauerwas in class. For those who don’t know them, they are theologians. And I did learn something, but I don’t know if it is faithful to what these authors actually think, so I will give you my own thought. But first:
I was also reading this blog . And the author asks what comes first. Doing the right things or believing the right things. The question is stated as either or and so he concludes that we need to do the right things. I wonder, is this a fair question? Is this and either or?
Back to my class reading. I realized that the question who is Lord is so pertinent for us. Because either we emphasize that we need to believe in the right things. And we end up making ideology our lord… Not Jesus, even if this “right belief” is about Jesus. Or we end up emphasizing that we need to act right. And so our actions become Lord… In other words: social justice, or pacifism, or evangelism. As it happens, both things are important. Faith and action, believing that Jesus is Lord, that he came to save us and following him in action. Important. But Jesus needs to be Lord,.
So, I’m reading these articles and I realize this is something important for us. Because if we ask the question which comes first, we take away God’s sovereignty. Because neither our action, nor our belief is going to change our world. Jesus is! So what do we do then?
A friend of mine of showed me this. The title: “Discipleship is about bringing all areas of our lives under the Lordship of Jesus by the power of the Spirit through the Good News”
So, here is the question. Who is Lord? Is it Jesus, through the cross? Or is it me, my beliefs, the things I accomplish.
Another thing I have been reading is early Anabaptist writers (radical reformation writers). They more so than anything emphasized right living… Why? Well, because when Jesus comes to us through the Holy Spirit our live changes. For them this meant suffering unto death as they faced persecution. It meant loving their neighbours and to not give up their brothers and sisters of faith to the authorities. But all of this did not mean anything without the right beliefs, and I did not mean anything without a changed heart. The prerequisite was a profound encounter with God that changed people drastically. Those who practiced actions without believes were called hypocrites. Right action for the Anabaptist only happened when Jesus was Lord.
So, here is the challenge. I always refuse to let Jesus be Lord. How about you? Don’t we love our idols? So, instead of asking questions or orthodoxy (right belief) or orthopraxis (right actions), let us ask Who is Lord? I’m afraid the answer isn’t pretty… and that is why Jesus came… that is why we have been given grace!
Follow up blog next week…