Following Christ

Follow Christ
One of the things that have discouraged me most during this year of COVID is not really the virus or even the quarantining or lockdown but rather what has been happening to the greater church. I’m not speaking of what was happening with our neighbours to the south and their connection or disconnection with a particular political party; however, there are some valid concerns when we care more about politics than we do the gospel. I am also not talking about the issue of the government restricting our meeting together while a strict lockdown is in effect. Much could and will be written in our history books for how the church has reacted to these orders to show if we are right or wrong.

This year, what discouraged me the most was the reporting of alleged abuses (because they are still before the courts) of RZIM founder Ravi Zacharias. I won’t go into the details because you can find them all online, and I’ll let you decide for yourself. It’s a sorrowful story.

What makes it so discouraging for me is that I loved reading and watching Ravi’s work. Anything that he wrote, I tried to read. I loved his podcasts. I saw him speak in Hamilton a few years ago. For me, he brought clarity to the Christian faith that was helpful, winsome and wise. He helped many people come to faith, and through his ministry, countless people have grown spiritually.

Ravi passed away in May, and it was after his death that the allegations intensified. I was crushed. If these allegations were true, it meant that Ravi has been unfaithful to his wife, family, and ministry for years. Someone who I had held on a spiritual pedestal could come crashing down. I pray for this ministry, his family, the victims and all those affected.

I guess this is what happens when we put the wrong people on the spiritual pedestal reserved for only one person. That person is Jesus Christ. Even in 1 Corinthians 10 and 11, as Paul calls the church back to spiritual vibrance and fidelity, he is conscientious that as they follow his instruction and exhortation (that he can do only based on his apostleship) that they only follow him as he follows Christ!

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1)

Paul knew that the only way they could heed his warning was because he was striving to follow Christ. Christ was the one that would be the example, not Paul necessarily.

Do I look to others to follow, or am I looking to follow Christ?

That’s a good question for all of us today. Who are we following?  Now that church has been stripped back to online, and for all intents and purposes, we are left on our own, for the most part, to prioritize our spiritual growth. We need to ask who we are following and if our talk lines up with our walk.

It’s my prayer that this season of life would yield tremendous growth and opportunities for the church – for you and me. We will have to trust Him and rely on Him for everything, including our spiritual growth (as it should be). We can’t leave it up to the church (although it’s helpful to grow with people) or others (although we need support and encouragement). Let’s pray that we keep our eyes on Christ and follow him.

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps (1 Peter 2:21).

Let’s keep following Him together!
Pastor Aaron
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