Do You Know Someone Who Wants to Know How to Begin Following Jesus (without the baggage)?

Early in my blogging history (2013), I developed a page on How to Follow Jesus. Some of you might have read it. I have never been quite satisfied with it, though, and have revised it several times. The main problem was that it was composed of a number of regular articles, and the page simply introduced the topic and then directed the reader to click and read each of the articles on the list in order.

Following Jesus

Following Jesus

How to Follow Jesus

Recently, I spent time to turn the most appropriate content from those articles into a single, connected post. No more clicking about is necessary, and I think the content is much clearer and more accessible. In the process, I eliminated some duplication so that the total word count of the feature is less than the combined articles were. Because of its nature, it is still longer than my typical articles of about 950 words, but I think it flows well.

If you have someone whom you think might benefit from an article on beginning to follow Jesus without all the baggage of a fundamentalist-evangelical gospel presentation, you might want to take a look at the new page to see if it is something you would like to introduce to them.

Also, I would be interested in any comments on how the page might be improved. You can find it on the main menu of the blog or simply by clicking the link below. Thank you for your interest in this important feature.

How to Follow Jesus

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9 Responses to Do You Know Someone Who Wants to Know How to Begin Following Jesus (without the baggage)?

  1. LorenHaas says:

    Tim, this really resonates with me!
    I was raised in legalistic churches, abandoned the faith, but came back in my late forties. Unfortunately, legalistic churches were all I knew, so it took another eight years to see another way and follow it. I now attend a progressive American Baptist church in Napa, CA. Your “How to Follow Jesus” is what is taught here. This is going to be very helpful to a lot of people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Thanks for the encouragement, Loren. I have not yet received enough feedback to get an idea if people will find it helpful. It is a bit long, but I think it needs everything that is in it. I am glad you finally found a good church for you. I have heard good things about the American Baptists, but they are scarce here in the South.


  2. Anthony Paul says:

    Thank you for a wonderfully written and truly timely piece that can never be overstated. For centuries, many believers have encumbered Jesus with so much baggage that He has become unapproachable to many and almost totally unrecognizable as The God-Man who ate and drank with sinners. Thank you for reminding us that Jesus and not religion is the center of all we are or ever hope to be.


  3. newtonfinn says:

    I read your “How To Follow Jesus” but had trouble with my focus because of head-nodding in agreement. If Christianity has a future, it lies here in this kind of open-minded, openhearted good news. On a side note, one aspect of following Jesus that has intrigued me over the years has to do with the seemingly harsh sayings about leaving the dead to bury the dead and to not look back once one’s hand is on the plow. I suspect that what Jesus is getting at in these sayings (or at least part of what he is getting at) is how easily we become trapped by the past, become the prisoner of guilt, regret, remorse, mistakes, misdeeds, etc. The same is true about the future, which also easily ensnares us in fear, anxiety, apprehension, foreboding, futility, etc.–and thus the sayings about the lilies and birds and letting each day’s troubles be sufficient for the day. Does not following Jesus free us from our tendencies to become trapped in both past and future? Does he not exorcise both of these self-destructive demons? And in this regard, isn’t Jesus’ teaching somewhat similar to the emphasis on the present moment (mindfulness) found in eastern religions?

    PS: For some reason, I’m not getting the usual email notices of new posts or comments. Is the problem on my end or the blog’s? Likely the former, but thought I should ask.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Newton, you have some good thoughts on Jesus’ statements like, “leaving the dead to bury the dead and to not look back once one’s hand is on the plow,” I think this has to do with commitment. On the one hand, following Jesus does not require the baggage many believers assign to it, but on the other hand following Jesus is not just some insignificant point of interest.

      It takes nothing but desire to begin following Jesus, but as we follow him we grow and continue to grow as members of the kingdom–and that does involve commitment (not baggage or burdens). Jesus points out in a number of places that following him in the kingdom is serious. Note that when Jesus emphasized this in John 6 many of his followers quit and stopped following him.

      His sayings might include reference to your idea of being caught up in the past or future, but I definitely think it involves NOT growing into the future. Following Jesus is a journey–a journey of growth and maturity; it matters.

      I don’t have an answer to your email notifications not coming through on new posts and comments. I have not heard about this being a general problem. Perhaps you can make sure you are still signed up by signing up again in the column on the right; it won’t allow you to sign up if you are already signed up. I think signing up for comments is done on each individual article.

      I had noticed your recent absence, and it is good to hear from you again. If you cannot resolve the issue this way, let me know and I will try to discover what else might have happened.

      Liked by 1 person

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