For Lent, I am walking us through a book called Apprenticeship With Jesus. You can follow along by reading my highlights and reflections. Extensive previews of the book, including excerpts, can be found through Google Books and Amazon, as well as eBook purchasing options.
Day 2: Getting Beyond Vampire Christianity (Transformation as Transfusion)
– Christians seem to want to fight about politics and religion, and music styles and stay away from the tough issues: actually becoming like Jesus
– Vampire Christianity – we want Jesus for his blood (forgiveness and eternal life) but not for a total transfusion of Jesus’ life and character
– Apprentices – daily relationship that begins with conversation and progresses into intimate communion
– “Salvation that emphasizes forgiveness of sins over a lifelong journey to union with God is not salvation.”
– Transformation = Transfusion
Yesterday, our pastor at our church was preaching on love for God and mentioned that sometimes we love the idea of salvation more than we love God, the architect of salvation. He mentioned that it is almost like we are just using God for his salvation. This reminded me of this chapter on Vampire Christianity. How our faith got so distorted I have no idea but I am grateful that there seems to be a push among believers to find a more well balanced view of salvation.
Apprentice Activity: Lets Begin By Imitating Some Drunks
– Dallas Willard – “Any program for Christian Spiritual Formation will look a whole lot like an AA program.”
– Moon takes the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and modifies them for the purposes of Spiritual Formation. He calls them the 12 Confessions. You can find the 12 Confessions here (copy and paste the link into your browser):
– Make each a confession to God. Pause after saying each and ask yourself if you truly made this step. Do all 12 but focus on the first three.
Through my readings in spiritual formation I have often come across the value of AA for real change and eliminating addictions. I have seen its effectiveness in friends I have known who have had to go through it. I was delighted to see Moon using the 12 Steps as a model for our transformation from a ruined heart to a transformed heart.
What is Jesus teaching me? Because I work on a Christian college campus and have spent some time in seminary classes, I have been in my fair share of discussions about doctrine and have wrestled with theology from a purely academic perspective. I have had my fill of it. I just want Jesus to be who he intends to be in my life. I believe that he is God’s son and that he came to give me an abundant life. I accept him at his word and pray for him to transform my heart to reflect his own. This process is a lifetime activity. I don’t have time for discussions that focus on the mind without also considering the heart.
What do you want Jesus to be in your life? Are you using Jesus? Or are you living to be his apprentice?