11 November 2013

Be imitators of me?

There is a meme currently make it's way through the news feeds of some of my friends on Facebook which reminds me of one of the great lines from the music of Rich Mullins.  It is a verse from his song "Save Me": "Save me from trendy religion that makes cheap cliches out of timeless truths."

Frankly, this meme runs starkly contrary to Scripture, for it is none other than Saint Paul who writes, "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ" (I Corinthians 11:1).  If Saint Paul was not a Christian, I have no idea what he was.  By this verse alone, the meme is shown to be quite false.

To be sure, we are called to be like Christ by conforming our lives to his, particularly to his death on the Cross.  But this does not exclude the reality that we are called to be like other Christians.  For this reason Saint Paul says, " I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:19-20).

If we who claim the noble name of Christian truly conform ourselves to Christ, then imitating one another is like imitating Christ.

The trouble with memes like this is that they focus solely on one side of an aspect of Christian life worthy of attention - presumably, in this case, that of hypocritical Christians (whose numbers I think far less than generally assumed) - while completely ignoring the other side of the proverbial coin.  Remember, this is how heresies begin.

There is a balance that must be maintained; the Christian life is simple, but it is not easy.  That said, the fact that the Christian life is simple does not mean it is simplistic.  Memes such as this one are often far too simplistic.

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