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Stay joined together with me, and follow my teachings.
If you do this, you can ask for anything you want, and it will be given to you.f
My Father is glorified by this:
that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples.
“…That you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples.” These words are in stark contrast to the statistics noted in the last blog! (1% of Christians today take these words seriously!
What accounts for this radical shift from Jesus’ perspicuous command? Historically, what happened that produced this incredible alteration. The answer to these questions will produce invaluable information for the renewal of the old paradigm so clearly presented in both word and deed by Jesus
In church history it’s known as the Constantine Revolution ( 306 to 337 AD). Whereas there was a plethora of changes in the church, I want to focus on a few: 1) following Jesus was traded for going to a church building; (A poll was taken in which this question was asked: “What most distinguishes you as a Christian.” The overwhelming response was: “going to church.”); 2) worship took the place of discipleship. The action of producing fruit and making disciples, the twice repeated marching order of Jesus, was replaced with passive observation, watching the priest “do his thing“. 3) following Jesus was traded for belief in Jesus. Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s comment highlights the point: “The response of the disciples was an act of obedience to follow Jesus, NOT a confession of faith in Jesus. (“After Constantine emperors had a duty to help the Church define orthodoxy and maintain orthodoxy. The Church generally regarded the definition of doctrine as the responsibility of the bishops; the emperor’s role was to enforce doctrine.“) [Constantine the Great and Christianity]; 4) the priesthood of all believers (following Jesus to make disciples) was replaced by the professional clergy (priests) [a glaring contrast to the motley crew to which Jesus entrusted his enterprise] ; 5) the command to all believers to “follow and produce fruit” was transferred to missionaries (the word means “sent ones“).
By the end of the 3rd century the preceding was the norm! Today, visit 100 American churches of whatever flavor. In everyone you will find the effects of the Constantine Revolution! The Master’s plan has been totally replaced.