For those waiting for part two of the Break-Up please check back later today.
Here’s a thought I’m wrestling with and I know all my friends who are Christians and/or great theologians and/or philosophers and/or bartenders will be able to help me out. I’m looking for help so anyone reading this with an opinion or even half of an opinion, please fill me in!
There’s one place in the New Testament (that’s the back half of the Bible) where Jesus says to one man who is NOT his disiciple, “you must be born again.” It’s never repeated, it never turns up in any of the other gospels (the message of Jesus told by 4 different guys) and yet it has become a universally accepted norm for followers of Jesus. For a decade (a couple decades ago) it was the distinguishing mark of a ‘true’ Christian. You’d tell someone, “I’m a Christian.” They’d ask, “Are you ‘born again’?” You’d better have answered yes or be prepared for an Amway style presentation. Chuck Colson wrote a book with that title about becoming a Christian. Songs have been written for Christians to sing with that as a lyric. It’s mainstream Christianity.
There’s one place in the New Testament (*see above) where Jesus says to one man who is NOT his disciple, “sell everything you have and give it to the poor.” In this case it IS repeated, it appears in Mark’s gospel and in Luke’s but it doesn’t come up again in the rest of the Bible in that exact form. In Acts (history of the birth of the church) that there was no need among the first church because everyone sold and shared. BUT it has never become a universally accepted norm for followers of Jesus after the first century.
So here’s my question: why?