All of Platt’s book have essentially the same theme: Americans, American Evangelicals in particular, have distorted the Gospel message so that we can live comfortable, wealthy lives in the face of extreme poverty and lack of resources for the spread of the message of the Bible. It’s funny because now I live in Southern California where the average income is pretty steep. I’ve noticed the cultural Christianity in this area and reading Platt’s books have given me perspective on where our priorities should be.
Follow Me is about disciple making. Jesus told His disciples to follow him and He will make them “fishers of men.” In the process however, all the disciples lest two died for the faith they were proclaiming. His point is that there is a cost to disciple making, one that we as Americans don’t want to admit. We would rather get a good job, go to a nice church, work on ourselves, build a nice retirement savings plan so we can retire at 60 and waste away for the rest of our lives. In reality, the Gospel message should transform us to live a life full of meaning in the building up of other disciples, the church, and the Gospel in our work and in the entire world. This is the “call to die” as the title refers to; as Christians, we weren’t meant to be cold and lifeless and full of ourselves. We were meant to: share the Gospel; to help the poor; to build up the Church; to make disciples; and to die to ourselves. This sounds reminiscent of Platt’s book “Radical” but I would argue that disciple making IS radical. Is this not the reason the disciples of Jesus lost their lives? Were they not disciple making? And Christians around the world are martyred every day because they dared to spread the Gospel, because they dared to make other disciples.
We in America do not put such a heavy price on disciple making. We see Christianity in lackadaisical terms, where we go to be filled on Sundays and maybe Wednesdays and then do nothing in between. Platt’s argument is that we need to be intentional in disciple making. I’m so grateful to my Church, Compass Bible Church, that has materials and opportunities for people to become disciple makers through their “Partner’s” program. When we get into the habit of cruising along in our comfortable Christianity, we don’t grow and we don’t realize the impact we are to have on the world. If we really are suppose to be “salt and light” to the world, you would think that we would be more involved in the lives of others. You would think that we would have a heart for the poor; that we would be cognizant of the 6,000 of the 11,000 people groups that have no access to the Gospel; that we would make all efforts to fulfill the great commission and take the Gospel to “all nations”; that we would be evangelizing at our work, in our community, and in small and big businesses alike. There are approximately 1 billion Christians on planet earth. This number includes Catholics. So the mission field is huge. And we need to realize that our commitment to the Gospel in Evangelical America is sometimes one of indifference rather than passion.