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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Bonhoeffer: on the cross


"The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every person must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is the dying of the old person which is the result of our encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death - we give over our lives to death."

This is quite different from many altar calls I have heard. 'You have sinned, God can forgive you - be guilt free' but what Bonhoeffer is saying, which I think is more biblical is that to follow Christ is to die to the old self, not just it's sinfulness but also it's attachments. In light of our consumerist disease that may mean the new kitchen, the upgraded car, the luxury holiday, the promotion to pay for it all, the retirement plans and all our wants and desires for newer, better, more may just have to wait. Before that comes seeking first, the kingdom and righteousness.
I'm attached to new stuff, I quite like it. Nothing wrong with it but maybe I'm called to give up the desire for that and if I need it, I'll trust God to provide for what I need and not what I want.

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