Don't worry I am not about to critique the back catalog of The Kinks, I am more interested in the lyrics... well actually the character in the song. The dedicated follower of fashion intrigues me, he's still alive and maybe some of the addresses that the dedicated follower of fashion must visit have changed but his pilgrimage remains the same from store to store; magazine page to magazine page keeping up with the where fashion is is now at. The guy is a disciple of fashion... he seeks out what the current move of fashion is and immerses himself in it, drinks it in, lives and breathes it. There are peoples and groups in the world that have turned being a disciple into a passive word....to be discipled..... it is done to them. They then create a present participle....discipling.....and expect that this should be done by others.
At no point does the disciple of fashion expect things to be done to him or for him. He does not attend lectures, or one to one seminars on how to be more fashionable. He expects to be where fashion is at, go out and grab the latest trends and the latest news of what's hot and what is not, have the latest album downloaded, know the newest unsigned act, have a retweet from the star themselves. Being a disciple is an active thing.....who on earth made it passive!?!? I am not going to point fingers......I am just saying...... ACTIVE!
I don't know if the bible borrowed disciple from elsewhere or vice versa it doesn't really matter the thing I wanted to point out is that Jesus did not sit his disciples down and do Torah studies that I can see. Nor did he have a 52 week course of study for them. He did not provide opportunities for them to practice where he was working he sent them away to do their own thing. That is not what made them disciples.
They followed, they asked questions, they tried to replicate, they followed more, they watched, they fought to be closest to him. They actively pursued where he was at physically, spiritually and emotionally. What made them follow him was the amazing life and love that went with him, certainly when I came to faith in 2007 it was not the "rules" about sex before marriage, drunkenness, or the like nor the idea of hell, nor the moral rightness of christianity that persuaded me it was actually seeing just how beautiful Jesus was. Something that people have seen for generations even the likes of Ghandi who didn't share a faith with him that I am aware of. Since then I have, sometimes more sometimes less, tried to be where Jesus is at, at the edge following him in the crazy paths that have woven across my life. I have been in places where there seemed no God and I have sought him out in the quiet place of my heart and sought him out in the craziness and joy of the highlights of my life and built a very real and personal relationship, digging a well of friendship that won't run dry (something I have been pants at with other friendships if I am honest). I am the disciple because I follow and sure in following I have been taught, corrected, disciplined, built encouraged and all the things people mean when they are asking to be discipled but only because I was there following when it got handed out. I have missed way more probably because I was not following when it got handed out.
When you look at the disciple like this it makes Matthew 28 go and make disciples of all nations sound a whole load of different. When you can't do it to someone you just a have to be beautiful, so attractive that people just want to follow you...not just people ....nations. How beautiful do you have to be for that. I am back on Ghandi again: "if all christians were like christ India would have believed"you have to be some kind of beautiful!!!