Drawing Near

A Pastoral Perspective on Biblical, Theological, & Cultural Issues | The Personal Website of James B. Law, Ph.D.

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October 2013

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COMMENTS

Are You a Spiritual Flexetarian?

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320200015_Meat_vs_Vegetables_xlarge-1Kyle Idleman in his book Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus recounts a news story about a group of new vegetarians who struggle with a full commitment. In an interview, one young woman said, “I usually eat vegetarian. But I really like sausage.”

The report went on to describe many in the vegetarian movement who eat vegetarian but make some exceptions. They don’t like meat unless they really like it. This type of compromise has some true vegetarians outraged with many of them demanding the compromisers change their names.The push has gained some traction leading to a new name altogether: flexetarians. One of those interviewed said this, “I’m a flexetarian. I absolutely refuse to eat meat, unless it’s being served….I really like vegetarian food, but I’m just not 100 percent committed.”

Idleman makes the following connection, “’Flexetarian’ is a good way to describe how many people approach their relationship to Christ and the Bible…. “I really like Jesus,-

-But don’t ask me to humble myself and come to terms with how sin has affected my relationship with God and others.

-But don’t ask me to forgive the person who hurt me.

-But I don’t really like serving others.

-However I’m not real big into the idea of going to church.

-But don’t ask me to save sex for marriage.

Many follow, but at a distance. Many profess Christ, but with provisos, quid-pro-quos, and exceptions. So when bacon is on the menu, their commitments can be adjusted. This however is not “following” as Jesus defined it.

Idleman concludes, “Following Jesus requires a complete and total commitment. We want to say ‘yes’ to following Jesus without saying ‘no’ to ourselves. We want to be close enough to Jesus to have eternal life, but not so close that it requires personal sacrifice.”

However, when a person takes seriously the claims of Jesus Christ and actually reads what Christ said and taught in the Gospels, one cannot take away that Jesus was looking for a ‘flexetarian’ type of follower. Consider the statements by Jesus to those who would have ears to hear:

* “Repent and believe the Gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

* “Come to me….” (Matthew 11:28)

* “Follow me…” (Matthew 4:19) 

* “Abide in me…” (John 15:4)

* “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and   

    follow Me…” (Luke 9:23)

* “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me”- John 10:27

The One who died for sins and rose from the dead as humanity’s only Savior, calls us from our sin to follow Him by faith resting in His precious and magnificent promises.  This is what the Bible calls Good News for sinners, namely One has come to do for us what we could never do for ourselves, and that is rightly called “amazing grace.”

In taking in this message of salvation, we have to agree with J.D. Greear who wrote, “You don’t follow Jesus like you follow someone on Twitter, where you are free to take or leave their thoughts at your leisure….Following Jesus means submitting to Him in all areas at all times regardless of whether you agree with what He says or not.”

After all, He is Lord and He is well within His prerogative to set the way that leads to life.

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