Christianity or Controversy 101?

In a recent post, Bruxy Cavey comments:

Jesus-following is our identity as disciples of Christ. We are Christ-ians, not Bible-ians (Acts 11:26). This aligns with what Jesus himself said – “follow me” (Matthew 4:19). It seems to me that this should be Christianity 101 and not at all a controversial idea. [1]

Can this really be Christianity 101? If what Bruxy says is true, then if I align with what Jesus says (namely, “follow me”), I can’t rightly follow the Bible. [1] If I am a Christ-ian, then I am not a Bible-ian–nor for that matter, a Father-ian, nor a Holy Spirit-ian.

Now here, of course, Bruxy regrettably confuses “follow me” with “only follow me.” On his view, my following Christ precludes my following anything or anyone else. But does that follow? Doubtless not.

For one thing, Paul tells Timothy that doctrines (and not just Christ) are to be followed:

  • Follow the pattern of the sound words you have heard from me” (2 Timothy 1:13).

Moreover, a good servant of Jesus Christ is one

  • “trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you [Timothy] have followed” (1 Timothy 4:6).

But of course in following Paul’s doctrines, you are following him. Morevoer, take note: Paul invites us to “Follow me as I follow Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Putting things together, this suggests the following argument:

(1)  If you follow the words of Paul (in Scripture), you follow Paul (as he follows Christ).

(2)  If you follow Paul (as he follows Christ), you follow Christ.

So:

(3) If you follow the words of Paul (in Scripture), you follow Christ. [from (1) and (2) by hypothetical syllogism].

And yet Bruxy tells us that we shouldn’t be Bible-ians; he bids us not to follow the Bible (which of course includes the words of Paul (in Scripture)).

If you think this is good advice, then I ask you to imagine the Great Evangelist, Missionary, and Apostle, Paul of Tarsus, bidding his Phillipian jailor: “If you believe in the Lord Jesus, you will be saved (Acts 16:31); but whatever you do, do not believe in the Lord Jesus.”

What must the Lord Jesus think of evangelists who bid their audiences not to believe in him? The same thing, I suspect, as he thinks of Bible teachers who tell us not to follow the Bible.

Notes

[1] Compare Bruxy: “Jesus is the ultimate Word of God and we follow Jesus, not the Bible” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29HolOP7eKs; 12:35 mark).

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