"The following day Jesus...found Philip and said to him, Follow Me." (Jn1:43)
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." (Jn10:27)
"This He spoke, signifying by what death (Peter) would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, Follow Me." (Jn21:19)
"And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch." (Ac11:26)
There is a phenomenon going on today where people are being called "Christ Followers", but they are -NOT- true Biblical Christians. They reject that label. And like most things of the 'emerging' church today, it has its origins (before it had yet gained a label) in the late-60s and 70s. In fact, this movement wishes to get rid of "christianity" and "christians"; citing them as being the "greatest enemy" of the Christ Follower movement.
This movement was being militantly propelled along by 70s rock bands such as Chuck Gerard and his band "Love Song". They had their song "Little Country Church", a pre-cursor to modern thought regarding "church-goers who wear suits and ties, have Christian bumper stickers on their cars and prefer the King James Version". "Love Song" was rejoicing that the little country church was "finally COMING AROUND", not being so hell-bent on preaching doctrine, but realizing the "need for love".
Eleven years ago we made observations on the old hymn "The Church's One Foundation" that has a verse about "mystic sweet communion" [link] That gets into areas of thought that I'm not as well versed in as some. Back in the 60s and 70s, when the hippies were getting 'high', at the time I also didn't understand that there was a 'spiritual' connection to eastern mysticism to their activities; the TM (transcendental meditation)(beyond thought, mystical, supernatural). (I was too busy studying music, and being condemned by 'christians' for being "judgmental" in Bible studies, for sticking to God's holiness. I was not studying the "depths of satan" (Re2:24) nor doing drugs with them.)
A person can visit "Way of Life" website and look up many writings on catholic mysticism and meditation, and related topics.
For this writing we are taking from a "Lighthouse Trails" [link] article by the same name as this article, to condense a few thoughts down, and then talk some more.
"Christ followers" are contemplative spirituality proponents. One of their contemplative advocates is Rick Warren.
The concept spills over into some missionary societies, too, where they teach people from other religions that they can keep their (other) religion, just add Jesus to the equation. They donít have to embrace the term "Christian".
When my parents were missionaries in Japan in the 50s, the Japanese embraced their "yaoyorozu no kami" (myriads of gods). Many people would embrace shinto, buddhism, sokagakkai....and in the same spirit would seek to embrace "christianity"... -ADDING- Christ to their already proliferous mix, as merely -another- god...among the many. They would not accept Jesus as being the "-ONLY- Way, Truth and Life" (Jn14:6)
The path to this embrace is "silence". As one advocate says, "be still".
And of course, this silence is induced through meditative practices such as centering prayer, lectio divina, etc. They can practice contemplative prayer and become like Christ. Jesus is a perfect 'model' to follow. Thatís why there is much talk about "leading like Jesus would lead". They see Him as a model for higher consciousness rather than the unique Son of God, Emmanuel (God with us) who came to die for us and be our Savior.
The power to change has to come from somewhere. Where? It comes from meditation! So anyone at all, from any walk of life, from any religion, can be a "Christ follower". But this does not mean they have Jesus Christ in them.
One of the writers, from having meditated with persons from many different [non-Christian] traditions, observed that in the silence we experience a deep unity. When we go beyond the portals of the rational mind into the experience, there is only one God to be experienced.
Another major contemplative promoter stated:
The new ecumenism involved here is not between Christian and Christian, but between Christians and the grace of other intuitively deep religious traditions. Meditation....from 'any' source; thus 'any' religion can be a christ-follower.
The charismatic movement of the 60s & 70s borrowed from the hippy drug culture, which in turn looked to the gurus of Hindu, Buddhism and various other eastern mysticism. As Israel did in her apostasy...
And when they claim affinity to God Most High, they 'borrow' from truth.
But you see... if you call it "Christ FOLLOWERS"... well... didn't Jesus invite people to "follow" Himself? See??? That's all we're trying to do, too. Follow Jesus. As chided by that one entity about doing things "the way Jesus did" [link]
Thing is: They don't know the REAL Jesus Christ. If they did, they would be screaming out "Crucify Him!" along with the Jews that day 2000 years ago when they hung Him on the cross. They want to "ascend" (along with StarGate's Daniel Jackson) to a "higher plane of existence" and pass through portals of bright shimmering lights and spirits... they want nothing to do with being "crucified with Christ" (Ga2:20) And they certainly want NOTHING TO DO WITH -HOLINESS- and -PURITY-. They want nothing that will "harsh their buzz", but they want to "sit down to eat and drink" and to "rise up to play" (Ex32:6)
"Take heed to yourselves, that your heart not be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and bow down to them" (De11:16)
The one sitting in the place as president has openly announced that he is "fundamentally changing" this country. And apparently the people are in agreement with the change, seeing as how they voted him a second term. And a great percentage of the people don't know (or care) 'what' that means.
When it comes to things "Christian" there have been five decades of tearing down and demolishing any semblence of Christianity and Godly holiness. Most people, if asked what a Biblical Christian is, don't know. And if it was explained to them, in most cases would reject it!
In the political arena, for those who clamor after "peace, peace"; the real meaning of "peace" to them? Peace will have been achieved when the whole world has become communist.
In the realms of -the- 'church'? "Unity" will be achieved when all religions have "come home" to "mother church" at Rome. Babylon. (Rev17) "That They May be One"
They do not want -true- Christianity. To be a "Christ follower" is not the same thing as taking up the cross and -FOLLOWING- Jesus Christ. But that's what they want. They want the pseudo rhetoric that -sounds- like truth... not the real substance.
They want the mystical of the UNKNOWN and UNKNOWABLE; while crossing their legs, eyes closed, holding their hands palms outward, fingers in certain poses; pretending wisdom in their vacuous ignorance.
God invites, "Be STILL and -KNOW- that I am God". (Ps46:10) Of Jesus it is said, "That which was from the beginning, which we have HEARD, which we have SEEN WITH OUR EYES, which we have LOOKED UPON, and our HANDS HAVE HANDLED, concerning the Word of Life" (1Jn1:1)