Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Imitation of Christ

It has been a long tradition of Christianity to view Christ as a model for one's life. The imitation of Christ as the highest calling for mortals. I have been viewing some evangelical web sites over the last few days, and this is a big topic. Christ as a model of masculinity. This all makes sense; however, it is a more complicated issue than I first realized.

One might assume that to be in the imitation of Christ, you simply try to figure out what Christ was like, and then you imitate it as much as you are able. Of course, since we are not God personified, we will have some troubles with that, but the concept makes sense. However, I realized there is more.

Surely, God does not want all humans to be exactly the same. This is based on nothing more than the idea that if God wanted us all to be the same, he wouldn't have created us this way, i.e., starting off with variable genes and then building us to change with experience. So even if you knew exactly what Christ was like, and if you were able to become that way, there is still the issue of being Christ-like and yet simultaneously individual. All this makes me think that the ultimate goal is not to be exactly like Christ, but to be as good as Christ, or at least as good as his human side. This is a much more difficult notion, because you ultimately have to find your own way, and not simply repeat a model. Of course, you are allowed to stand on the shoulders of Christ as you work it out, but you can't stop there. You must keep going.

2 comments:

Serena said...

"Surely, God does not want all humans to be exactly the same."

That sure is the truth and what I have seen as a problem so often with religion. I hate being with a bunch of people with a cookie-cutter mindset. The glory of it all is that our Creator does the work in us to conform us to the image of Messiah. It is His work. Since we were originally created in YHWH's image, then it stands to reason that we can be "like Messiah(Christ)" and still be entirely and original. That is an awesome thought and something that the cookie-cutter types have a hard time with. Of course, even cookie-cutters if they gave it a lot of thought would realize that no 2 cookies are alike and that you can decorate them entirely different. I'm glad that none of us can be put in a box (no matter how hard others try) and that our Father delights in the unique creation each of us are. He works with us and in us no matter where we are in the journey. The most important thing is that we trust in Him and what He has done for us.

Shalom,
Serena

Rick said...

An imitation means: (1) an act of imitating; (2) copy, counterfeit;
(3) a literary work that reproduces the style of another author. (The New Merriam-Webster Dictionary) I am not into imitating, copying, or counterfeiting an original work because it would be false and not the original work. This is percisely what is wrong in religion today as each individual seeks out identity by copy.
We are a "broken image" because of sin and restoration must be achieved through the atoning work of Messiah Yeshua. If something is broken, it has ceased to be functional and not up to potential. Hence, the necessity to be transformed by the Blood of the Messiah. Anything broken or lacking life substance(the Blood) is dead, of no use and needs to be restored to the "original image(use)." The message is simple and it is man in his necessity to do something that has complicated this life transforming experience.