I Didn't Belong

If you've been reading a while, you might have noticed that I'm non-violent and not pro-American (meaning I view American as equal to every other nation in God's eyes - America is not God's country). As told in a previous post, I did get in trouble by a new winister when I was a youth ministe for removing the American flag from the sanctuary with the previous minister. The general reason I am not a American patriot is that the church is a seperate kingdom from the nation of America. Our citizenship is primarily, maybe even wholly, in a seperate kingdom than that of the land we live in. Our brothers in sisters reside in nations around the world, even enemy nations. I believe my citizenship in the kingdom of God is real now, and that effects my view of being an American. It doesn't make me hostile towards America, but I don't identify with America either.

Anyway, this week at church I felt a little ackward. We had a recent high school graduate that will be leaving for the military this week. They had him come forward for prayer. Any that wanted to come forward to pray by laying on of hands also did so. I think this is one of the first times that I really felt like an outsider at a church. I can't recall another (I usually skip 4th of July Sunday because of the patriotism). It felt weird. I felt that I didn't belong there.


I typed the following quote and while typing it the previous post came to my mind. Posts that deal with the church I attend are usually not posted because I don't want to cause conflict. I hope that post won't cause conflict. This comes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Cost of Discipleship.

Discipleship means adherence to Christ, and, because Christ is the object of that adherence, it must take the form of discipleship. An abstract Christology, a doctrinal system, a general religious knowledge on the subject of grace or on the forgiveness of sins, render discipleship superfluous, and in fact they positively exclude any idea of discipleship whatever, and are essentially inimical to the whole conception of following Christ. With an abstract idea it is possible to enter into a relation of formal knowledge, to become enthusiastic about it, and perhaps even put it into practice; but it can never be followed in personal obedience. Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. It remains an abstract idea, a myth which has a place for the Fatherhood of God, but omits Christ as the living Son. And a Christianity of that kind is nothing more or less than the end of discipleship. In such a religion there is trust in God, but no following of Christ. Because the Son of God became Man, because he is the Mediator, for that reason alone the only true relation we can have with him is to follow him. Discipleship is bound to Christ as the Mediator, and where it is properly understood, it necessarily implies faith in the Son of God as the Mediator. Only the Mediator, the God-Man, can call men to follow him.

Watch out for the potholes.