The Disagreeable Disciple
Disciple: I love you, my Lord.
Master: Well, thank you. So let’s get to work.
Disciple: I’m all ears.
Master: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Disciple: I pick up that the key word there is “neighbor,” which connotes they’re neighborly. If you mean being kind to neighborly people, then I get it.
Master: Your neighbor is everybody.
Disciple: I understand your heart, but that seems a little unrealistic.
Master: Judge not lest you be judged.
Disciple: I hear you. Gossip is a horrible thing. But there are things that need to be spoken against. Things that you, yourself, certainly don’t condone. So I believe there’s a difference between speaking up against evil and judging people.
Master: What if I told you that I don’t make that distinction?
Master: When you pray, enter your closet, and when you shut the door, pray to your Father in secret.
Disciple: At our latest prayer seminar, we were discussing the power of thousands and thousands of people praying together over a common theme. Sometimes my personal prayers seem so anemic–lonely, if you will.
Master: And the Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly.
Disciple: Once again, interesting.
Master: In the Kingdom of God there is neither male nor female.
Disciple: Yet you want is to keep our social roles, am I correct? Women as mothers, men as fathers. Also good to study the different personality traits and emotional leanings. Is this true?
Master: Kingdom of God. Neither male nor female.
Disciple: Much to think about.
Master: And whenever you’ve done it unto the least of these, you’ve done it unto me.
Disciple: Now I know we’re on page! We have a food pantry at the church and we take care of hungry kids in after-school programs. We’re tracking this one down.
Master: By least, I don’t mean social order or poverty. I mean the ones you personally consider the least among humanity. The prisoners, the terminally ill, the outcasts, the individuals who don’t necessarily conform to your moral code.
Disciple: Sounds like you’re suggesting we condone sin.
Master: No, I’m telling you that you’ll be judged by how you treat the people you have deemed to be least.
Disciple: Wow, you’re sure giving me a lot to ponder. But you have to be pleased when you see your people gather to worship you every week in church.
Master: In vain do they worship me, because they teach their traditions as if they are commandments of God instead of mere preferences of this generation.
Disciple: But you do like praise and worship?
Master: Worship should be in spirit and truth–a mingling of our hopes with the impact of reality.
Disciple: You know, I haven’t thought about these things from this perspective for a long time.
Master: I’ve never thought about them from any other perspective.