Worshiper or follower?

This past week I had dinner with my friend, Br. Kevin Kriso, OFM. We’re both reading a book by Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM entitled Naked Now. As we chatted over dinner at the Linger Longer Cafe in downtown Allegany, New York Kevin mentioned that one of the points from that book was whether you were a follower of Jesus or a worshiper of Jesus. I think it’s an important distinction and actually very radical too in the best sense of that word.

In the past eight or nine years I’ve had many discussions with pro-war folks who worship Jesus and are very devout in that worship. They justify their support of military intervention with the just war theory of St. Augustine and even the Vatican itself says that war is justified under certain circumstances. I’ve found that troubling and though I’m not a Quaker or a Buddhist I’m drawn to try to their practice because it seems more in line with following Jesus. During our conversation Kevin made a good point and that is, “did Jesus ask us to follow him or to worship him.” I think there is an interesting distinction here and one that will keep me thinking for a while. God blesses the warriors and the peacemakers too. Peace.