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Examples of Discipleship

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Introduction

Examples of Discipleship I believe that Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Christian Aid are two prime examples of discipleship in this century, Bonhoeffer as an individual and Christian Aid as an organisation. Bonhoeffer was a German preacher born in 1906 to a medical professor and his wife in Breslau, a small town. From an early age he wanted to serve God, and so he studied theology at university and taught and preached in both Germany and America. He returned to his homeland in 1933 to protest against the newly elected Nazi party, and joined the new Confessing Church, having rejected his previous Protestant church for bowing to Hitler's demands. He worked in a secret training centre for new pastors, run by the confessing church, for four years, as the Gestapo closed it down in 1937. After that, and with the signs of the oppression soon to be felt by the German people becoming clearer, Bonhoeffer took a more active role in his campaigning against the Nazis, eventually leading him to a cell in a prison and the hangman's noose in 1945. ...read more.

Middle

Firstly he helped smuggle Jews out of Germany, but was caught and forced to give up any legitimate teaching. Forsaking any hope of reaching a peaceful end to the conflict, Bonhoeffer helped the bomb plot to assassinate Hitler. When it failed he was incarcerated, and he contemplated his deviance from Christian law. Bonhoffer had to make, on his own, one of the main questions that hangs over all belief systems: Whether the moment dictates what a person should do, or if people should always keep constant what they believe in. In his case it was between fighting evil and helping those in need or staying true to his pacifist roots. He chose to take a drastic step against some of Christ's teachings to implement others, leading to his arrest and execution. This inevitable question still hangs over the church, and a viable answer has yet to be suggested. Christian Aid is a charity funded by numerous churches in the UK and Ireland. Although it is funded and staffed by Christians, Christian Aid will support any people in need, regardless of religion or race, and does not attempt to convert those it helps to Christianity. ...read more.

Conclusion

Then he put the man on his own Donkey, brought him to an Inn and took care of him." (Luke 10:34) The idea of this parable, where one man steps in where others fear to tread, inspires Christian Aid a lot, as they are physically helping the needy of the world while other members of society just stand back and watch, sometimes nodding approvingly. They see this following of Jesus as being true to one of Jesus' main teachings, "Love your neighbour as yourself" And seek to harmonise the lot of people around the world by abolishing suffering through war, poverty and disasters. As Christian Aids motto goes; "We believe in life before Death", Christian Aid is rejecting the traditional view of the churches preaching yet not acting, and are playing an active role in the reduction of suffering. They see Jesus' message not just as an instruction to put up with life until you die, but also as a chance to help the needy, and prove before God their faith as Christians. Thomas Mulvey ...read more.

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