,,Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. It remains an abstract idea, a myth which has a place for the Fatherhood of God, but omits Christ as the living Son. And a Christianity of that kind is nothing more nor less than the end of discipleship. In such a religion there is trust in God, but no following of Christ. Because the Son of God became Man, because He is the Mediator, for that reason alone the only true relation we can have with Him is to follow Him. Discipleship is bound to Christ as the Mediator, and where it is properly understood, it necessarily implies faith in the Son of God as the Mediator. Only the Mediator, the God-Man, can call men to follow Him“ (The Cost of Discipleship 64).
These were not merely words for Bonhoeffer, as he was a young Lutheran pastor and theologian who was arrested by the Nazi regime and executed just days before American forces liberated the city where he was in prison. Yes, sometimes Christian discipleship leads making difficult choices and dying for Jesus Christ as a martyr to the Christian faith.