Monday, May 20, 2013

Obedience or Disobedience?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer considers how we often toy with the commands of Christ in a way we seldom do with those in positions of earthly authority:
When orders are issued in other spheres of life there is no doubt whatever of their meaning. If a father sends a child to bed, the boy knows at once what he has to do. But suppose he has picked up smattering of pseudo-theology. In that case he would argue more or less like this: “Father tells me to go to bed, but he really means that I am tired, and he does not want me to be tired. I can overcome my tiredness just as well if I go out and play. Therefore though father tells me to go to bed, he really means: ‘Go out and play’.” If a child tried such arguments on his father or a citizen on his government, they would both meet with a kind of language they could not fail to understand–in short they would be punished. Are we to treat the commandment of Jesus differently from other orders and exchange single-minded obedience for downright disobedience? How could that be possible!
Dietrich Bonhoeffer in The Cost of Discipleship, 2nd ed. (New York: Macmillan, 1959), page 90.

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