Becoming like Jesus

Growing or not?

I am convinced that if we are not growing we are dying in a spiritual sense.  John Ortberg once said that one of the greatest scandals in the church are people who have been participants for years, but whose lives are no different than they were when they started.  The command of scripture is that we become molded into the image of Jesus  (Romans 8:29; 12:2) as a consequence of following Him.  That means we must change.In a recent blog, I spoke about reading the book Dietrich Bonheoffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.  In that blog I spoke about the fact that there were several aspects of the story that were troubling to me.  The second thing I have found troubling is that I see in Bonheoffer’s life a man of deep faith.  His devotional life was rich; daily he submitted to a rigorous discipline of scripture reading, meditation and prayer.  He stood against the state church of Germany, a church that had been taken over by the Nazi party and made something other than the church of Jesus Christ.  He stood at great personal and professional risk in opposition to this church and with the Confessing Church.  All these things are parts of what I affirm as part of the Christian life and “being transformed into the Image of Christ.”

But Dietrich Bonheoffer also intentionally chose to be a part of a conspiracy within Germany that lived by deception and sought to murder Adolph Hitler.   As he and his family saw the horrific slaughter of the Jews even before the rest of the world really understood what was happening, he concluded that to not to seek to destroy the madman would be disobedient to following God.   Murder and deceptive conspiracy are not categories that naturally fall into my conceptions of how one might live out a life in the manner of the Prince of Peace.  I find it easier to accept this because of the horrors of the Holocaust.   However, I find myself living in a tension with a choice I might have left off my list of options while another—deeply devoted to this same Christ that I worship—chooses this path and calls it obedience.

Is this the Holy Spirit calling me to grow and consider new things?  He does that kind of thing.  I also recognize that there are other ‘spirits’ in the world that would cloak themselves in the garb of spiritual authority that would breed toxin in my soul.  I am holding this tension before me.  I look forward to studying Bonheoffer’s Ethics where he fully develops this theme and see what I hear God saying through it.  As I consider what He maybe saying and whether it is calling me to a fuller and deeper image of Jesus, I am grateful for His promise that the Holy Spirit will lead me into truth.  (John 16:2)  I will try hard to hear what He is saying.  It may change my point of view!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s