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Christianity is a worldwide religion and this leads us to believe that it is possible to be a true disciple in the modern world. “Modern Christians believe that they are called to follow the example Jesus set. They spend time discovering the teachings of Jesus from the bible and trying to put those teachings into practice”. (Michael Keene).
There are many examples of modern day Christians.
Priests, Nuns and missionaries are examples of people who devote their whole lives to God. Oscar Romero was an archbishop in El Salvador where the government has constantly violated human rights. There are also many people living in poverty. Oscar spoke out about the government in sermons. In 1980 he was gunned down by four masked men. His last words were “May Christ’s sacrifice give us the courage to offer our own bodies for justice and peace”.
I believe that Romero is an example of someone who followed Jesus’ example and was a true disciple.
Many religious people take vows of poverty so that God is placed first above everything and that they do not get distracted by money. The Rich Man didn’t take this vow. “It is much harder for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.” (10:25).
Maximilian Kolbe was a polish Catholic priest who was arrested and taken to Auschwitz, one of the Nazi death camps, in 1941.
After three weeks of dehydration and starvation, only four of the ten men were still alive, including Kolbe. During the time in the cell, he led the men in songs and prayer. One day the guards picked out a man to be tortured to death but Kolbe said “take me instead”. The cells were needed, and Kolbe and the other three were executed with an injection of carbolic acid in the left arm. His heroism echoed through the camp and in 1982 he was made a saint. He once said, “My aim in life is to serve others”. He sacrificed his life for another and put God at the centre of his life. This makes his out to be a true disciple.
Corrymeela is a peace group on the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland. The community is made up of Protestants and Roman Catholics. They live together, work together and worship together. It is a place where people can meet to discuss their differences in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust. I think the people involved with Corrymeela are good modern day disciples.
However, there are many challenges that make being a modern day disciple difficult. War, hatred and violence make it very hard to love our neighbour and forgive. The event of the world trade centre collapsing due to a terrorist attack on September 11th is an example of a difficult time to forgive. 2992 people were killed due to this attack.
We live in a consumerist society were the emphasis on wealth is great. This can lead to injustices and selfishness. It distracts Christians from living a Christian life and makes it difficult for them to be true disciples.
Years ago there wasn’t any trading on a Sunday leaving more time for prayer and worship. Nowadays most shops are open from 1pm to 6pm this leaves little time for the people who work to pray and worship. It has an impact on our Christian lifestyle.
Modern moral challenges such as abortion are unchristian. Many women have this procedure done to remove a foetus from their womb. People see this as a form of murder and that it is immoral.
I believe it to be possible to be a true disciple of Jesus in the modern world, although it is very difficult as there are many obstacles in the way. Christians today still see it as being their duty to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to others. This may be by doing missionary work or more simply by living out the Christian life and being an example for others.
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