Last Updated: Sunday, 21 June 2015 20:17
by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
What does it really take to be a Christian? If I go to church on Sunday, say grace at dinner with the family and make a financial contribution to the church will that suffice? Maybe if I do all that and help teach Sunday School? Join a bible study group? Quit my job and become a missionary in a far-away land? How much is enough? How much of my time, my talent and my treasure does God want from me?
Simply put, all of it. When we give our lives to Christ we give over every fiber of our beings, every moment of our lives, every action that we take, every conversation we have, every dollar that we earn.
This is not an easy notion, nor a particularly popular one. Yet it is what Jesus taught and what the church has always believed (if not always practiced.) If you look at the service of baptism, it quickly becomes clear that none of the affirmations, renunciations and promises we make are limited in scope – we don't just “renounce the evil powers of this world” for a few hours each Sunday and we don't just promise to “seek and serve Christ in all persons” when we get a free moment to do so.
With this line of thinking, being a Christian sounds extremely daunting, if not impossible.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer spells out the impossibility, the necessity and the means of being a Christian in uncompromising terms in his book The Cost of Discipleship. And who better to learn this from than a man such as him?
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