Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Cost of Discipleship

You may or may not be familiar with the book The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but it is a classic on the life of one who desires to "carry their cross." I spoke on discipleship on Sunday at church, but the lesson I'm learning about it is still ongoing. I'm being challenged by God in a big way. Discipleship is that process of transformation in which we reflect the image and likeness of our Lord through our lives. As I have thought about this, there are many things in our lives that could destroy that process of transformation

I was reading a tweet from Rick Warren the other day and it said this: "What we laugh at reveals a culture's heart. When impurity and mediocrity are considered hilarity we have a problem." When I read that it stung me. I kept reading it and reading it. The thought that came across my heart and mind was, "there are things that I laugh at that really show that my heart needs changing." I watch movies and T.V. shows that have crude humor. As I thought about it, the things that I laugh at make me no different than a culture I'm trying to reflect Christ to. I'm not one of those people who in anti-everything because I am Christian. But I'm realizing that if I'm not careful I will be swayed and lulled into a comfortable drift along with the rest of the culture. Think about this for a moment: how far off-base have comedy movies over the last two decades drifted? Think about the difference between "Caddy Shack" and "The Hangover." I do not recommend "The Hangover" to anyone simply because of how crude it is. 

As I find myself seeking to become more like Christ, I have to evaluate what things that I engage with and consume from our society. Do I really need to watch that show? Is this movie that important to go watch? Is this music truly honoring God? I know some of you may say, "oh, come on, it is not going to hurt anything to watch this or listen to that." But my question back to you would be: "is there not a cost to discipleship?"


  1. Been thinking about that since we talked yesterday man. This is really something that we are going to have to learn to manage as ministers of the gospel. We cannot afford to be the ones who shut out society because of our search for righteousness. If we do, the world sees us as "holier than thou". But we cannot afford to just dismiss culture and be accepting of erything either. I know we have to live somewhere in that gray area. Anyway, you're right. It definitely makes you take stock of where you are.

  2. I've been thinking about this lately. Good thoughts. Rick Warren pegs us in his statement. I think a lot of times we are more concerned about active impurity but laughter is more of a passive acknowledgement that we often overlook. I think it's one thing to not be anti-culture and another to accept everything culture accepts. I would fall more in the former group but it is hard to remember not to cross the line and to be accountable to ourselves and to each other. I like Robbie's point about not appearing "holier than thou." Some great points.

  3. I understand the not being "holier than thou" but also when God calls us it is either obedience or disobedience there is no in-between..we don't partially obey..partial obedience is really dis-obedience.
    Jesus never gave partial options...he told the rich young ruler it was one way...and the rich young ruler actually went away sad. Christ was calling him away from those things and the rich young ruler chose to follow the world instead of Christ.

    I agree we can't dismiss culture as Robbie said ..but that doesn't mean we have to partake in it...

    We can read movie reviews, read newspapers, etc..and not actually have to partake in the actual events to have an understanding of what is going on in the culture. I can read statistics and writings and such on porn and be versed in it and what it does to a person...I don't actually have to look at porn though to be aware about the culture of it.