Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor and theologian who laid down his life in his opposition to the evils committed by his own country, touched on the reasoning behind why many are silent about the suffering of others and why Christians must not be silent in the face of the suffering going on in our country today.
It must be clear to us that most people learned only through personal experience occuring to their own bodies. First, this explains why most people are remarkably incapable of any sort of preventative action. We keep thinking that we ourselves will be spared when disaster strikes-until it is too late. Second, it explains our insensitivity toward the suffering others; solidarity with suffering arises in proportion to our own increasing fear of imminent doom. Much can be said to justify this attitude. Ethically, we wish to avoid meddling with fate. We draw the inner calling and strength for action only from an actual and present crisis…From a Christian perspective, though, can conceal that the real issue is our hearts’ lack of magnanimity. Christ avoided suffering until his hour had come; then, however, he went to it in freedom, seized it, and overcame it…Although we are not Christ, if we want to be Christians we must participate in Christ’s own magnanimous heart by engaging in responsible action that seizes the hour in complete freedom, facing the danger. And should do so in genuine solidarity with suffering flowing forth, not from fear, but from the liberating and redeeming love of Christ toward all who suffer. Inactive “waiting-and-seeing” or impassive “standing-by” are not Christian attitudes. Christians are prompted to action and suffering in solidarity not just by personal bodily experience, but by the experience incurred by their fellows for whose sake Christ himself suffered.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Meditations on the Cross, (pp. 25-26).
We cannot be silently indifferent as followers of Christ because we have entered into the fellowship of His sufferings which were for the world. Though I may never personally experience what an African-American may experience, I must not and cannot be indifferent to the sufferings because of Christ. I may never know what those in law enforcement experience but I cannot be indifferent to the sufferings that they might undergo. We who are followers of Christ have been given this hour in our countries history not to sit back, be in different toward, or deny the reality of others sufferings but to join them in their suffering that we might faithfully point to Christ the one who has entered into and experienced our sufferings.
Today is Good Friday but Sunday’s coming. My greatest fear is that many will gather together in churches, hear the Easter story, and never see real life transformation. It’s not enough to come to church on Christmas and Easter or every time the doors or open for that matter. The question we should all ask ourselves is what difference does Easter make or what difference should it make in our lives. Last year I preached a sermon on that very issue and invite you to listen to it:
We live in a foolish culture. We have so many voices in our culture calling to store up and spend on ourselves. To place everything at our service, and because of that we live in a poor country. We are poor toward God. This Sunday I preached from Luke 12:13-21 where Jesus tells the story of a man who looks so much like what our culture calls us to do and to be and he calls him a fool. Are you a fool, is your treasure here?
We don’t appreciate or recognize true greatness as defined by Christ in our culture. The people I have met and consider great, well you’ve never heard of them because rather than seeking to be served they have lived lives of service. This past Sunday I referenced Martin Luther King Jr’s
…If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s your new definition of greatness. And this morning, the thing that I like about it . . . by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great. Because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. And you can be that servant…
If you want to be great find someone to serve. Volunteer in your church, in a nursing home, hospital, or homeless shelter and demonstrate true Christian greatness.
If you’d like to listen to the sermon it can be found here:
Planned Parenthood and its supporters are offended at the comparison’s being made between them and the Nazis. They are rightly offended I mean what professional athlete would take kindly to being likened to a t-ball league player. You see in reality the Nazi’s were failed amateurs compared to the skill and efficiency that Planned Parenthood has demonstrated in its work of eugenics and genocide.
First let us consider the issue of eugenics a shared vision between the Nazi’s and Planned Parenthood and their founder Margaret Sanger. The Nazi’s has to forcibly sterilize those they did not wish to procreate, the undesirables of society. Planned Parenthood has women willingly come in to have their fertility removed. More over the Nazi’s sought to snuff out what they termed life unworthy of life, again this required open force. Planned Parenthood convinces women to come in to be screened for undesirable traits such as Down Syndrome convincing them it is in the best interest of everyone for such a person. Planned Parenthood is able to accomplish what the Nazi’s attempted with the only heads being broken being those of their unborn victims.
Now let us consider the issues of genocide and the victims involved. Margaret Sanger’s vision which is still the heart and soul of Planned Parenthood was to weed out undesirable minorities a goal shared by the Nazis. Even with the cooperation of a few other countries the Nazis failed to accomplish their goal. Not only did they fail they left witnesses. Planned Parenthood has been by and large successful in their efforts and even done so with assistance of the parents of their victims. Planned Parenthood doesn’t have to fear any of its victims identifying their doctors and staff in a court of law. Planned Parenthood has chosen a group entirely unable of fleeing, or should they survive the evil done to them able to testify against them.
Finally I’d like to consider something that usually catches up with evil doers and that is the issue of evidence. The Nazis left evidence everywhere which is still being discovered. Many of their victims were buried in mass graves. Planned Parenthood has had two ways of eliminating the bodies of their victims. The first being incinerating the bodies of the aborted. The second sell them or “donate” them for medical research. Planned Parenthood slipped up, they got caught on tape discussing what their work. Now they are being compared to the Nazis and they don’t like it. I would agree to a point that the comparison is unfair they have been head and shoulders above the Nazis in propaganda, eugenics, and genocide so let’s give them their due credit. Here’s to you Planned Parenthood on being one of the most efficient murder machines in the history of humanity, I’m thankful for the wrench in the gears you have suffered of late and pray it proves fatal to your murderous endeavors.
We live in the day of double speak. Doublespeak is what has allowed a practice such as abortion to be legalized by Roe v. Wade and to continue to this day. It has been cloaked in the language of choice, rights, and freedom for women. What is glaringly omitted is the rights of the unborn. Rather then entertaining the thought that an unborn baby is a baby, the abortion industry describes the unborn baby as a lump of a cells, and inhuman glob. That is how they describe the unborn in public. That however is not how they describe the unborn when it comes time to harvest and sell their organs. To them it’s not a human until they can profit of the dead body resulting from their for hire act of murder. Most murderers have to worry about covering up the evidence and hiding the body, Planned Parenthood looks to turn a profit in broad daylight.
Planned Parenthood has responded to the video evidence against them stating, “We have the highest standards. The care and health care and safety of our patients is our most important priority.” This is the epitome of double speak, none of this statement is true at any level. Abortion is not safe for the mother, and is deadly for the unborn child. While they might deny that a human life is destroyed in abortion, their eagerness to harvest organs proves the falseness of their doublespeak.
But none of this is new. Planned Parenthood’s evil has been on display before. In 2013 the state of Florida was seeking to pass legislature requiring medical care for babies born alive after a failed abortion attempt to which Planned Parenthood objected. The video from that is here :
Planned Parenthood and those who support it are masters of doublespeak. They couldn’t do business without it.
Two years ago I wrote the following after SCOTUS struck down DOMA. It is as true now as it was then I highly encourage every Christian to read it and take it to heart.
Yesterday SCOTUS made rulings which have sweeping ramifications for America the extent of which no-one knows for certain. For the greater part of this country’s history there has been in the background an assumed Judeo-Christian identity which played a part in every aspect of public life, shaping the understanding of common law and basic morality. The SCOTUS rulings make clear what has been apparent to most in our culture, the foundational understanding which underpinned our culture for so long can no longer be assumed or expected.
This break down comes from several different sources. Some of the influence comes from the church itself. Through the history of America one can trace a theme of compromise in the life of the church. One can look at the condition of the various denominations in the early colonial period and see the roots of rebellion coming from within the institutional church itself, as evidenced by the growth of Unitarian Universalism from the early Congregational churches. Doctrinal compromise disintegrated the gospel and created a new religion entirely antithetical to Christianity. This doctrinally deficient bastard child of Christianity owes its origins to the attempt to conform Christianity to to the beliefs and values of popular culture. One can see today the fruits of this compromised religion in other denominations as well. Theological compromise, loss of confidence in revealed truth has again and again given rise to a religion that may imitate the form of Biblical Christianity while at the same time holding in disdain the doctrine and ethical system found in the Bible.
Every denomination is now faced with a question, will they accommodate to the culture and deny revealed truth. The church is not called to seek the approval of the state or the culture. One can read the book of Acts and see that the early church went against the popular culture in every way possible. The Greco-Roman culture exalted and glorified sexual perversions in the same way our culture does, the early church exalted Christ-centered marriage, holding its members accountable for their marriage covenant. The Greco-Roman culture accepted abortion and infanticide, the early church took in and adopted children thrown away by the culture. The Greco-Roman context was one marked by its religious pluralism with a unifying civic religion based on the worship of a human leader, the early church at the cost of their life confessed Jesus Christ and him alone as Lord and not Caesar. The early church existed in a world without religious freedom, constant threat of persecution and death, and rampant culturally ingrained immorality, yet the church did not retreat and isolate itself from culture nor did it accommodate itself to culture. The early church shined like a light in the darkness, it was the salt of the earth, it was a city on a hill. There is a common theme in those three metaphors, the idea of being different. The church is the church at its best when it can be seen as distinct from the world while at the same time being on mission in the world. Local churches need to reclaim their identity as salt and light, and recall the promises of Christ. Christ has promised us that we will be hated and despised by the world, because he was hated and despised by the world. He has also promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against his church. We need to remember in our culture that our war isn’t with the culture but with the serpent, and we need to remind ourselves we follow the one who has already crushed the serpent’s head, the war is won.