My day began with a conversation with a close friend about the persistent nature of Christian jargon, it just won’t go away. Even when one phrase is relegated to a bygone age a new turn of phrase is quickly coined and almost as quickly trivialized.
I made the observation that this was due to the fact that the church is filled with sheep. We hurry to find our very own seat on a bandwagon driven by the latest and greatest teacher, whatever color his stripes might be (as it happens, my driver wears a tulip on the lapel of his shirt and often ponders at the ever fickle daises growing on the side of the road as he passes by). We blithely ride our little wagons unaware of their final destination, content knowing that the ride is comfortable.
Is our sheepish nature as Christians inherently bad? Is looking up to godly men and women unbiblical? The answer to both of these questions is, no. After all, Hebrews provides us with an extensive list of the heroes of the faith. Paul tells his listeners to follow his example, insofar as he is living in accordance with the spirit of Christ. Also, the Bible portrays Christ as the good shepherd and we his sheep. Being brought into the fold of Christ by his death and resurrection requires that we become sheep, followers subservient to the will of the shepherd.
I don’t find it helpful when we are unable to have conversations about our faith with one another without the aid of our wagon driver’s name. For example, the other day someone said to me, “Jacob, Dr. X, I’m sure you will like him…after all…he is very much like you, says Y and Z about topic A.” Why is it that our knowledge of the Bible is in the form of the teachings of Rabbi Piper or Rabbi Driscoll? This is not a criticism of either of these men. Like Paul I would hope their response would also be “John Piper was not crucified for you, was he?” Also, why is it that we act like we cannot associate ourselves with another brother because he does not accept the convictions of Rabbi Akin or Rabbi Horton?