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Date Posted: 11:33:37 07/09/04 Fri
Author: Chris
Subject: Re: UBF "Jesus" vs. the real Jesus
In reply to: Anonymous 's message, "Re: UBF "Jesus" vs. the real Jesus" on 10:35:32 07/09/04 Fri

> "Christians should imitate Christ"

I think this is a dangerous teaching actually. We know that Christ was/is 100% human AND 100% godly. He did things for which he absolutely needed his godly nature. For instance, it seems that he was able to look directly into the heart of people, and know things that no human being knows (remember how Jesus said to Nathanael, for instance "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you"). Based on this knowledge he was able to do things that ordinary human beings cannot do.

One of the typical kinds of spiritual abuse in UBF is that leaders claim to know the heart and "deep spiritual problem" of people, just as Jesus, and based on this "knowledge" they give him or her "appropriate" "training."

Also, we have to clearly understand that Jesus' mission was a unparalleled mission in history at the end of which he said it was "finished" (John 19:30). It was the starting point of the church, whose mission is ongoing. So Jesus' way of preaching, teaching and educating was different from the way of the new testament church (with local churches, elders, deacons etc.) which was also established by Jesus.

If we were asked to do everything exactly like Jesus, everybody should find 12 disciples and train them in the way Jesus did. But we don't find any Apostle doing mission this way. Paul went around as an evangelist, he established local churches and installed elders.

I think it is one of the big mistakes of the "discipling movement" to copy Jesus one-time mission as a paradigm for church life. Disciplers and shepherds then become little Jesuses with all his authority, feeding their sheep or disciples, not Jesus' sheep, or becoming "mediators" between the sheep and God, though there is only one mediator, Jesus.

You will agree that it is absurd to imitate Jesus in everything he said. For instance, he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ. Should we also warn people to not speak about the Christ? Jesus gave his life on the cross. Should we do the same?

In the context of UBF and other cults, leaders often claim they "imitate Jesus" when they act with Jesus-like authority. (They claim to have his authority, but fail to do the easiest of his miracles, like making water to wine. I never saw any UBF leader doing this.) And cult followers believe to be Jesus-like when they only swallow everything and obey and forgive.

Another danger of the motto "imitate Jesus" arises also when people have a wrong image of Jesus, as has been mentioned above.

So I would warn of a careless and thoughtless following of the motto "imitate Jesus." I wouldn't say that it's a bad motto, and properly understood, it's a wonderful motto. But it can also be misunderstood and then result in very ugly things as can be seen for instance in UBF.

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