Monday, October 14, 2013

Lessons From Church & How to Not Follow Her Lead

Cold theology in the church helped give rise to the Nazi regime.

Lutherans, and all Christian peoples need to know this and be afraid of the dangers of apathy and religion.
When our theology is disconnected from our lives, and it is a ritual that we take part in an hour a week, we perpetuate a type of religion that is actually very dangerous. 
It was the fanatical and proactive, vision-casting and passionate Third Reich that helped fill this void. Churches and their peoples distanced themselves from the hurting and poor. Dry form, passiveness, unbelief, and intellectual skepticism made up the irrelevant orthodox establishments. 
It was this problem that gave Bonhoeffer the desire to visit Ghandi in India. He wanted to see what it looked like for non-followers of Jesus to actually attempt the life of the Sermon on the Mount. 
Bonhoeffer believed that "Lutheran theological education...produced not disciples of Christ, but out-of-touch theologians and clerics whose ability to live the Christian life -- and to help others live that life -- was not much in evidence." (from Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, by Eric Metaxas) He was convinced that taking the Sermon on the Mount seriously was the anecdote to this lukewarmness.
I want to take Bonhoeffer's exhortations to heart:
"It is high time we broke with our theologically based restraint towards the state's actions -- which after all, is only fear. 'Speak out for those who cannot speak.' Who in the church today realizes that this is the very least that the Bible requires of us?"
"The restoration of the church must surely depend on a new kind of monasticism, which has nothing in common with the old but a life of uncompromising discipleship, following Christ according to the Sermon on the Mount. I believe the time has come to gather people together to do this."
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