[vimeo id="87214199"] I recently came across a phenomenal article in Relevant Magazine that highlights the incredible life and legacy of one of my heroes, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. There’s no doubt that Bonhoeffer was one of the most influential people in the 20th century Church and in modern thought. He was a spy, a theologian, and a courageous Christian full of motivation to have an impact in the world. He challenged people everywhere to pursue justice even when it’s not popular and his writings continue to inspire us today.
The article also highlights a few of Bonhoeffer’s more famous quotes. I’d like to share a few of those with you today along with some of my own thoughts.
1) “Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God's will.” I believe that too often Christians are afraid to step out in boldness because of the fear of sin. We should certainly be cautious about not sinning, but it should never paralyze us from taking action to bring God glory.
2) “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Christ followers should always speak up against evil in the world. In fact, it is a clear trait of a righteous and effective leader to stand up and speak against wickedness and injustice. Christian leaders have to muster the courage to stand up for the right when others will not.
3) "God does not love some ideal person, but rather human beings just as we are, not some ideal world, but rather the real world." How many times have you thought that God does not love you? It’s probably too many to count. It’s interesting how often we forget how deeply God loves us regardless of what we’ve done. The Bible says, that there is nothing that can separate us from His love. We too often think that there is some arbitrary level that we must first achieve to gain God’s love, but there isn’t. God will always love us just the way we are and He loves us too much to keep us the same – He will change you.
I hope these quotes from one of the great champions of faith from the 20th century have encouraged you today. Bonhoeffer was sometimes considered a controversial figure in the church, but his writings are still a prominent source of encouragement in our world today. Even as we face many challenges in our culture, I hope these quotes will empower you to stand firm on your convictions and challenge the status quo as you lead your life and others.
What is your favorite Bonhoeffer quote? What can Christians do today to stand up for their faith?