A Case of Mistaken Identity

Japanese Elvis takes care of business. Flex those guns, Elvis-San!

I once met a guy downtown, who claimed to be an Elvis impersonator.  Which was weird, because he was dressed in normal clothes.  I was so excited, because my grandpa had loved Elvis, and we once watched “Blue Hawaii” together.  So, I asked him to sing an Elvis hit, but he said he didn’t know any.  Somewhat exasperated, I asked him to tell me some Elvis factoids or at least do the lip snarling “Thank you, thank you very much“.  But he said

In my best Elvis voice I said, “Hey man, what’s the deal?  You don’t dress like Elvis.  You don’t sound like Elvis or look like Elvis, and you don’t even know anything about Elvis?  How can you call yourself an Elvis impersonator?”

Now, he looked a little miffed.  I guess my question had angered him.  He responded, “I’m not that kind of Elvis impersonator.  I prefer to think of Elvis the idea, not the person. Besides, whoever said you had to look like Elvis, sing like Elvis, and or act like Elvis to be an Elvis impersonator?”

Thank you, Doctor, I totally agree.


I got to thinking about it.  I pondered, and mused, and puzzled.  I even boggled a bit.  Then it came to me.  Clearly this guy was not, in fact, an Elvis impersonator.  At least, he wasn’t one in the sense that serious Elvis aficionados are.  A real lover of Elvis, and I’m talking about the truly hardcore, collect his old albums and outfits, visit Graceland.  They make it their life’s ambition to try to look like him, walk like him, talk like him, know all the hits, and encourages others to take an interest in The King himself.

Its like this with Jesus.  We have all met Christians who don’t really seem to be that interested in the King of Kings.  They don’t behave in a Christlike manner, nor do they speak to others with grace and truth.  They certainly don’t seem to be committed to loving the brothers, or ministering to the lost.  In fact, the only way you would know that they have an association with Jesus at all, is because the say so.  I ask you then, “In what way can they rightly call themselves a Christian?

In the book “Not a Fan”, author Kyle Idleman outlines the differences between fans of Jesus, and his followers.  He says, “The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren’t actually interested in following Christ. They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from them.” 
― Kyle IdlemanNot a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus

Jesus calls his followers to be more than just “impersonators”.  He is interested in making disciples.  A disciple does imitate the master, and there are certainly some commonalities with an impersonator.  The major difference is that a disciple of Jesus is called upon to lay down his very life.  There is no glitz or glamour.  No big shows in Vegas.  No throngs of screaming fans.  Every disciple’s destiny is to take up his cross, and follow a master who did not live a luxurious life.

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