Disciple then and now...
Been thinking a lot about what it means to really be a disciple lately. Reading 'the great omission' by Dallas Willard, which is all about the biblical description of discipleship versus the current christain standard of church 'membership', which presupposes that discipleship is optional.
It may seem like an argument based on semantics but the point Willard is making is that what was basic christianity in the New Testament, discipleship, is now viewed as radical and uneccesary. All Jesus is to many, many people is a get out of hell free card. No relationship needed as long as we get to heaven.
This flies in the face of what true faith is described and illustrated as in the Bible. Heaven is not a country club or a Costco, there is more required than 'membership' to get in. Life change and dedication to the will of God are sure markers of real Christian faith. Christians should be noticeably different than those who are not saved, and for the most part we aren't...we fit in all to well.
We've made being relevant an excuse to worship idols, even though we were never called to be culturally relevant. Jesus is relevant because every soul on the planet needs to be saved not because he fits the current cultural milieu better than another religious figure. We don't need to be relevant as Christians we need to be purposefully different. And we certainly don't need to make Jesus relevant because he was and will remain relevant for every single soul for all of eternity.