Living in a Christianized culture makes it easy to look at discipleship as one of the steps to getting our lives in order. Going to church is on the same list as going on a diet, paying off the credit card and giving up smoking. It’s what respectable people do.
Except that it isn’t--at least, if Jesus and the apostles are any indication. Everywhere they went, the first disciples caused trouble. They started arguments over religion. They disrupted business. They went into peaceful, pagan cities and caused riots. People wanted to kill them, and sometimes they did.
And Jesus wouldn’t have it any other way. “If you were the world’s,” Jesus said, “the world would love you as its own. But because you’re not the world’s, but I chose you out of the world, then the world hates you.” In fact, Jesus said, the world will hate Christians like they hated him. There’s really no way to avoid the fight. The only question is, whose side are we going to be on?
(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley