Home > Uncategorized > Bonhoffer’s Prophetic Question

Bonhoffer’s Prophetic Question

Bonhoeffer (1)On this day, the 68th anniversary of Dietrich Bonhoffer’s death, we pause to honor the life of a true man of God who did not shrink from standing for truth while many of his pastoral colleagues lived under the convenient and comfortable delusion of cheap grace and a theology of cultural non-engagement. He died at the end of a Nazi noose, but before offering his last breath, he faithfully used both his pen and his proclamation in the service of the gospel.

On one occasion in August of 1934, Bonhoffer addressed a youth conference at Fano, a small island in the North Sea, a mile off the coast of Denmark. Bonhoffer spoke with prophetic clarity and authority, calling the young people to a life of radical obedience to Christ. He emphasized the need for each believer to spend time with the Lord in prayer and Bible reading and to hear and obey what the Lord was saying. The twenty-eight year old pastor told the next generation:

“Peace means giving oneself completely to God’s commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of Almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.”

According to Bonhoffer’s biographer, Eric Metaxes, “He was telling them that God had given them the power as his church to be a prophetic voice in the midst of the world, and they must take up their God-given authority and behave like the church that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, was God’s answer to the problems of the world.”

This is exactly the kind of wake up call the American church needs today. We are living in a time of unprecedented attacks on our most cherished liberties. The Church is God’s answer to the problems of the world and we have the God-given authority to speak and to act. The question is, will we.

At the close of this historic youth gathering, one of the students who was present recalled Bonhoffer’s unforgettable last words to these impressionable young people:

“What are we waiting for? The time is late.”

I believe Bonhoffer’s words are just as timely and relevant to the Church in America today. May the pulpits in America once again proclaim the Lordship of Christ over every arena of public life and may God’s people hear and obey all that the Holy Spirit is speaking to His Church in this dark hour. What are we waiting for? The time is truly late.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
  1. Mary Blandford
    April 10th, 2013 at 00:45 | #1

    He was truly a saint in an evil, dark period of time. One of my friends from Chicago is in a Glen Beck 912 group, & she has a Friedrich Bonhoffer quote at the end of every message I get from her. I just love it: “Silence in the face of evil, IS evil”, God will not hold us guiltless, Not to speak, IS to speak, Not to act, IS to act.

  2. April 11th, 2013 at 21:42 | #2

    Love that quote, Mary!

  1. No trackbacks yet.