Eric Metaxas On The Reasons Behind Bonheoffer's Spiritual Stance Against The Nazis
|Attribution: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-R0211-316 / CC-BY-SA 3.0|
Eric Metaxas, author of Bonhoeffer Abridged: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, documents Bonhoeffer's journey and complicated relationship with the German Church and Nazis, a journey made him turn his back on the majority of his contemporaries who were supporters of Adolf Hitler's way of government. Bonhoeffer's strong convictions also lead him to attempt an assassination
In Bonhoeffer Abridged, Eric Metaxas tries to peer through the curtain of history and brings us Bonhoeffer's beliefs
When the Third Reich rose and Christians were confused about how to relate
"Bonhoeffer addressed the issue of the church’s attitude toward the state, first by paraphrasing Romans 13: 'There is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God.' In other words, governments are established by God for the preservation of order."After this declaration, it is said that Bonhoeffer stated three ways in which a Church should act towards the State.
"The first way was for the church to question the state regarding its actions and their legitimacy - to help the state be the state as God has ordained.Bonhoeffer’s fight against Nazism seriously starts with the formation of the “die Deutsche Christen”: the German Christians. This group of pastors “
"The second way—and here he took a bold leap—was 'to aid the victims of state action.'
"The third way the church can act toward the state, he said, 'is not just to bandage the victims under the wheel, but to put a spoke in the wheel itself.' This, he said, is permitted only when the church sees its very existence threatened by the state, and when the state ceases to be the state as defined by God.”
Over the remaining
By 1937, Bonhoeffer was convinced that negotiations between the Confessing Church and the government was not going to work. In one of his writings during that period, he wrote,
“The promise of grace is not to be squandered; it needs to be protected from the godless. There are those who are not worthy of the sanctuary. The proclamation of grace has its limits. Grace may not be proclaimed to anyone who does not recognize or distinguish or desire it.”Not everyone shares Bonhoeffer’s
The assassination attempt of 1944 was the last attempt made by Bonhoeffer’s friends. Its failure revealed the identities of the masterminds to the government. The culprits were all rounded up and imprisoned. As Hitler’s war was the rest of the world wounded-up and Germany was pushed back, Bonhoeffer was executed. Most of the people involved in the assassination plot were also executed as Hitler senses his end and was determined to take as many lives of his enemies as possible.
Personally, I do not think Bonhoeffer contributed much to the assassination plot, he
Bonhoeffer was and still is a blessing to the church worldwide and his actions shows how much Christians can do when they shun spiritual passiveness and embrace the concept of believers as the salt and
Bonhoeffer Abridged: Eric Metaxas: Books