In Christian circles, you often hear the expression of “doing life together.” In the past few years, German pastor and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book Life Together has become an oft-quoted resource as well.
Doing life together is the idea of spending quality, intentional time with others in order to encourage one another toward a deeper love for Christ and obedience to His Word. It is often assumed (wrongly) that if Christians spend time together, they are doing life together. However, just because you have a Christian roommate or two believing hipsters meet over a caramel latte with David Platt books in hand doesn’t mean that biblical discipleship is taking place.
Discipleship and life together is not just about religious input, discussion and proximity to Jesus and His teachings.
That’s the myth of proximity, and, I fear, the failure of much of Christian life together.
The thing about proximity to Jesus… you cannot change without it, but with it does not guarantee transformation. Case in point: Judas.
He did life together with Jesus and the other disciples and had all the proximity to Christ that he wanted. Yet, he betrayed the Lord, committed suicide and was called a “son of destruction.” (John 17.12)