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Discipleship: Societal Resistance

Discipleship… Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The idea of discipleship is, simply, that individuals are to be in a relationship in which they seek to grow in the Lord. Our society tells us that we don’t need discipleship because the individual has all the answers and if they need help they will seek it on their own terms.

Our culture is inundated with the thought of thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche who greatly challenges a Biblical perspective. Nietzsche summed up his thought when he wrote, “My idea is that every specific body strives to become master over all space and to extend it force (-- its will to power: ) and to thrust back all that resists its extension,” (The Will to Power, S. 636).

Is this idea not drowning our society? Our society tells us that we have to “get ours” because if we don’t someone will exploit or seek to control us. The obvious remedy, which Nietzsche guides us to, is to seek to both establish and extend ones power. This idea comes with the assumption that we have all of the power and knowledge that we need.

To accept that one has all power and knowledge is to reject our need for Christ because it is only through Christ that we have any standing before God. Yet, what does culture understand as essential for salvation? Popular culture tells us that we just need to be good people, but God tells us that we cannot go it on our own because God knows that we will falter.

God recognizes that we don’t have it all together, which is why Jesus commands that we make disciples and baptize them. If we had all the answers and all the power what need would we have for Christ? None.

This is our challenge in a culture that sees no need for God: to be humble before God and neighbor by accepting that we don’t have it all together intellectually, emotionally, or spiritually. Let us not be a false witness to the world because by putting up a façade we simply confirm what popular culture has already concluded: there is no need for God when we have it all together.

I would suggest that discipleship looks like a 12 step program; we must begin by acknowledging the area(s) in which we need growth. We all have issues, but we can only address them if we acknowledge them.

My name is Ray and I struggle with…