As a heady Christian, I know what discipleship is. I know that discipleship is essential to living the Christian life. I know that I want to be a disciple. But…. my headiness tempts me to be more stalker or biographer than a disciple.
Us heady Christians, we like to know things. Things are simple. We like to think that if I know things about someone, it is like knowing them. So we know all about the Christological doctrines, we know lots of things that Christ said, miracles he performed, and scandals he caused.
We are like the teen that thinks they love someone because they know everything about them. The problem is, that doesn’t mean they know them or are known by them.
The temptation of the heady Christian is to follow Christ around instead of actually following him as a disciple. It is to learn about him, instead of learning from him. It is to believe that knowledge of is equal to intimacy with. It is to put the cart before the horse. All of the things the heady Christian wants, knowledge, lessons, comprehension of doctrines, good theology, etc. are good!!! But they can be obtained without intimacy or develop with intimacy. However, intimacy can never be generated by having a stalker’s knowledge of someone.
To capture this heady Christian temptation, I want to rephrase a passage from the Gospels. It is Matthew 7:21-23. Here is its correct rendering:
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you.’
Here is how I want to adjust it a little:
Not everyone who knows to call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who lived with me as Lord. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, I know everything about you. I’m your biggest fan. I can tell you how all your apostles died, and even the alternate theories. And your mom, I can tell you so much about your mom. If you want I can recite the creed. Or I can tell you what you said in the sermon on the mount. Did I not memorize all the most important proof texts? Did I not quote all the suffering verses when someone came to me seeking compassion? Did I not learn how to define hypostatic union? Did you know I can prove your existence to you without even using the Bible?’ Then I will look at them sideways and say, ‘Dude, I’ve never met you before… you’re kind of creeping me out here.’
Obviously, I’m not saying we heady Christians aren’t actually Christians. But I am saying, sometimes we are better at telling someone else the myriad of ways they can encounter Christ than we are at actually encountering Him, because we like to keep Him under our microscope.