Discipleship demands that Christians reduce the distance between themselves and others and follow the living Jesus of the Gospel narratives into costly solidarity with those whom society oppresses and neglects, with “the outcasts, the suspects … the reviled.
To create a safe distance between yourselves and those you intend to ‘disciple’ is to disembody yourself from them. Jesus, The Pre-Incarnate Logos, ‘became flesh’ (John 1:14) to engage humanity as fully human. We likewise, our ideas, doctrines, theologies, world views, and yes… even our politics, are to become the kind of human that Jesus was. We put flesh to our words.
In discipleship, there is no ‘safe distance.’ Of course, if you’re not discipling others, this is moot.
How can you close the gap between yourself and those you intend to disciple?