[forthright] Discipleship: Dutiful or Dangerous?

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2010 03:39:24 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

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Discipleship: Dutiful or Dangerous?
 by Barry Newton

We might be justified in bristling at the thought of
our ministry for God being labeled as lethally

And yet, as distasteful a subject as this is, Paul
reveals that God evaluates ministry with various levels
of quality including the ominous category of
destructive. How can we protect ourselves against
participating in a poisoned apple?

Just as people normally reject food which is obviously
dangerous, we should not expect people who are striving
to serve Christ to intentionally wander down a path
obviously plagued by disobedience.

So what makes poisonous fruit attractive? What can fool
those desiring to serve God to enthusiastically disobey

Here's a couple of possibilities:

If we only obey those aspects of God's word which do
not grate upon our sensibilities, or we only follow what
makes sense to us, danger looms. While people can
proclaim God's superiority all day long, if they only
obey what makes sense to them, or to their religious
group, then in reality they deny his greatness.

Obedience is reduced to simply being in agreement with
God when the transforming message of scripture becomes
controlled or dulled by such language as: "I don't see
why we must do it that way."

Second, disobedience is ripe where like-minded
disciples further their teachings and practices by
succumbing to inbred, blind, self-reinforcement. 

The voice that the group hears is merely their own. 
God's word becomes so filtered and humanly processed, 
that it will not bear God's intended fruit.

The question is: will God judge our discipleship and
teaching as being like valuable gold, combustible wood
or dangerous poison?

Jesus' followers need to ensure their eyes are wide
open to whether God would describe their service as
dutiful or dangerous.

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