One of the men who has mentored me through his writings is Dallas Willard. Earlier this year, just before he went to be with Jesus, Dallas spoke at a seminar that focused on God’s Kingdom and Jesus’ command for us to make disciples. I’d like to leave you with a portion of one of his talks that sums up what Cindy and I have discovered this first year among God’s Church around the world.
"I think that we are on the verge of a time when the Church is going to be able to make some decisions. That may be a funny way of talking to you, but for long periods in the history of the Church, as the history of Israel, there were really no significant decisions that could have been made.
I think we've been through a pretty tough patch with the Church. I try never to criticize the Church because I know whose in charge of it. But sometimes we need to be conscious of where we're coming from and where we're going. I think that we are coming into a time when many churches and leaders and Christians who are in leadership positions will be able to say,
'It's all about discipleship and transformation into Christlikeness.'
Now if you've read the New Testament or even the Old Testament you might have come to that conclusion already.
It's hard to avoid. But circumstances and history have a way of claiming us and not letting us see what's actually happening. And we've been through a period where the dominant theology simply had nothing to do with discipleship. It had to do with proper belief, and how on the basis of that God would see to it that you didn't go to the bad place, but you got into the good place.
But the way that developed, it turned out, you could have the worst character possible and still get into the good place if you believed the right thing. And the disconnection over time became increasingly burdensome to the Church itself until you come to the point to where, as is widely discussed, in some respects there is not a clear difference between a 'Christian,' and those who aren't Christians."
Denny & Cindy Heiberg