Friday, February 8, 2013

Advocacy à la D.Bonhoeffer

"Only he who cries out for the Jews may sing Gregorian chants." -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

For a while now I've been slowly reading through the Eric Metaxas biography* of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I recently saw someone mention having devoured it very quickly, which I suppose I might have done if it were a work of fiction. But there is much food for thought here.

I began to wonder if his kind of advocacy has a present-day equivalent. That is, I wonder if his approach would be applicable today.
As far as he was concerned, to dare to sing to God when his chosen people were being beaten and murdered meant that one must also speak out against their suffering. If one was unwilling to do this, God was not interested in one's worship. (Metaxas, pp.280-281)
I guess I have two questions here. The first is whom we would name as the "chosen people" today. Would we still point to the Jews, or could the Persecuted Church or even the orphans fall into this category?

My second question regards our involvement. Does God really not want us to worship if we're not involved in advocacy? Is advocacy an all-or-nothing principle, or is it something I can practice on occasion?

In other words, if one of God's precious ones is suffering, do I have the right to keep on living my daily life? Bonhoeffer was right in the middle of all that was going on, but maybe he could have avoided that. Should I intentionally throw myself into these kinds of controversies, or at the least, avoid running away from them? Or is this activism reserved for someone with a specific calling?

And who should be my audience? The Church? Society? The U.S. Government? The Russian Government?

Those are my thoughts about one little quote, so you can see how it's taking me a while to get through 500+ pages. :)

*Metaxas, Eric (2010-04-20).  Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

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