discipleship, Johann Metz

Metz on Discipleship

XXVI
The Christian idea of Discipleship and the apocalyptic idea of imminent expectation absolutely belong together. It would not be possible to live a radical following of Jesus — that is, one that gets at the roots — “if the time were not shortened.” Jesus’ call, “Follow me!” cannot be separated from Christians’ call, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

XXVII
Discipleship in imminent expectation: this is the apocalyptic consciousness that does not cause suffering, but shoulders it — defying apathy as well as hatred.

Metz, Faith in History and Society, 163.

Discipleship as Class Treason
It is possible that what love demands of us here may look like treason — a betrayl of affluence, of the family, and of our customary way of life. But it is also possible that this is the very place where the discernment of spirits is needed in the churches of the rich and powerful countries of this earth.

…When the praxis of Christian love is placed under the sign of this obedience, which forbids us to confuse the mystery of God’s will with the quite non-mysterious will to self-preservation endemic to our familiar patterns of life, then something of the messianic power of this love may be revealed. It strikes deep into our preconceived patterns of life and priorities of life. It has power to change hearts, power not to increase sufferings but to take them upon itself. It has the power to show unconditional solidarity, to be partisan, yet without the destructive hate which negates individual people. It combines within itself the program of holiness with that of militant love — even to the foolishness of the cross. Presumably such a “conversion of hearts” will in fact be dismissed by the experienced strategists of class struggle as feeble and useless, and branded as treason by those who are infatuated with our system of exchange and barter and whose rejection of the inhuman consequences of capitalism is at most only verbal.

Metz, The Emergent Church, 14-16.

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