The Idle Idol of “Christ-like” Disciples

Yes, it is a provocative title. That’s kind of the point. I suspect that the immediate reaction of many who caught the title was outrage, disgust, or some other feeling of disquiet. Those that are Christian at least. Those who have had “Christ-like” Disciple or “they should see Jesus when they see you” repeated so many times, that it might almost appear like brainwashing.

I think I’ve poked enough with the sharp stick. The point is not to offend (okay, perhaps a little), but to focus on something that I find more than a tad disturbing. It is an echo of something that my denomination (The Church of the Nazarene) from a number of years ago, “saved, sanctified, haven’t sinned a day since.” I don’t want anyone to think that I do not believe in Entire Sanctification (or John Wesley’s term Christian Perfection), since I do strongly believe in it, but I am merely acknowledging (along with many others in the denomination), that we really messed that one up.

Perhaps it is my perfectionist tendencies, but when I see/read/hear “Christ-like disciple”, I hear, “be Jesus.” The problem is, I can’t.

“Well,” I hear the gallery say, “you aren’t Jesus. You just have to be like Jesus.”

Like that is so much better. Part of the issue is Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

What—exactly—is a new creation? How about the new is actually the intended creation without sin? Not news, I know, since that would seem to be Paul’s intent. Yet, one can easily look at Christians (like me), and say that this hasn’t happened, so the Bible isn’t true, or Paul is wrong (still ends up with the same result: the Bible isn’t true).

There is another option. It could be a God’s eye view of the person. In other words, while we are mired in the fallen world in our fallen flesh, all we see are the flaws. However, the innermost part of who we are is the part that has been cleansed and set free of sin. That part, through God’s grace and Holy Spirit, is working from the inside out. Perhaps from God’s eye view, all the flaws that we are so obsessed with, help make the inner cleansed part of us shine even more.