Dietrich Bonhoeffer from inside the horror of Nazi Germany before they murdered him for trying to kill Hitler. Excerpts from his letters from prison. Link here
This is a site that I put up 10 years ago. Bonhoeffer was a supreme intellect and soul facing the unimaginable horrors of Nazi Germany from inside the belly of the Beast where he had placed himself and was killed for attempting to assassinate Hitler. A surprising thing for this Lutheran scholar and Minister acclaimed around the world. Anyone serious about being a constructive force in this dying 2018 World being murdered by sociopaths as we sit Spellbound can scarcely afford not to understand what this supreme intellect came to understand and share with us from prison prior to his murder. http://bonhoefferlettersexcerpt.blogspot.com/2007/09/essay-beginning-letters-and-papers-from.html?m=1
***** EFLIUS. Who besides King , Gandhi , Schweitzer, Bonhoeffer, and Tolstoy have understood the man Jesus? And taken him at his word? I don't see any..........
***** Who besides King , Gandhi , Schweitzer, Bonhoeffer, and Tolstoy have understood the man Jesus? And taken him at his word? I don't see any. Teresa of Calcutta? Dogma. If you get Jesus you don't need Dogma. If you get Jesus, you detest Dogma. Jimmy Carter? Too much reason, too much intellect, too much piety, too much sanctimonious, and Old Testament, Dogma. If you get Jesus you don't need these things, You Are revolted by them. Francis of Assisi? Too much fantasy, too much psychosis. If you get Jesus you live reality, you live creation, you live creator. You don't need psychosis. Tenzin gyatso, the Dalai Lama? Lip service lip service lip service lip service lip service lip service, full of himself. These and others have been good if not great Souls. But close only counts in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. My last ten or fifteen years I have been in and out of a central fascination with the life and example of the man Jesus, the historical Jesus, my God, not the Theological Jesus, the religious Jesus, the Christian Jesus, all of which I hate because it is instead of Jesus. The man Jesus. The historical Jesus. By her life Diane Wilson gets Jesus. By his life, some of it, William Thomas of the White House peace vigil got Jesus. Certainly there are others that neither I nor you know of. By every indication the apostles did not get Jesus. They immediately had to make stuff up. Christianity? Christianity hates Jesus, it's all made up stuff so that it can avoid who and what he was. It's a brand and branded products instead of Jesus. I think it's almost impossible in this small world of massive information for someone to be a catalyst that could turn Humanity away from now near certain demise that does not live reaction to the man Jesus, his life and example, that is profound Wonder, awe, amazement, reverence, for his life and example. I can think of one exception to this, a person who was horribly abused by those who professed knowledge and love of Jesus but in truth were the opposite. I put no one down with all this. I Elevate no one, including Jesus, with this. What's at stake here is coming up with a serum, a ransome, a Redemption, a cure, that is so potent and pure that it acts as a catalyst and dramatically turns enough of us, masses of us, from malignant deadly cancerous instruments of selfishness into the opposite, in time. Masses of Human Rights catalysts , in truth, in quantity, in time.
To a law officer I have been blessed to know for years; concerning the possibility of police brutality and violence in America today: Our conversation......
To a law officer I have been blessed to know for years; concerning the possibility of police brutality and violence in America today:
Our conversation yesterday got me thinking. And it helped me understand something about myself, maybe for the first time.
I have known about myself that I am a fiercely loyal individual. I'll pay a personal price that most people can't imagine to fulfill my duties within a group with which I am affiliated, and/or responsible to.
But I have never been able to stop there. My ultimate loyalty is never to the group, or even individual, with which I am affiliated or to whom I am responsible. My ultimate loyalty has always been, will always be, to the whole, all of humanity, all of creation. This is not something I sought out. I think I got it from my father. Wherever I got it it has always been part of me.
It has always made me an outsider. And has always made me distrusted, and alien to others.
It is a quality about myself that I deeply value. I think it is what others might call ultimate loyalty to God. I see it as a central quality in those throughout history I revere, Jesus, Martin Luther King jr., Gandhi....
I find this lacking in almost all of my sisters and brothers.
I refused to become a licensed psychologist because I came to see that psychologists are ultimately loyal to themselves, to the group, and not to their clients.
I think this is a central failing in what calls itself the church.
I don't see an institution today, maybe with the exception of Nursing, that isn't plagued by this.
But few places is it as dangerous as in and among men and women in uniform who carry weapons of death. And with few exceptions I see their ultimate loyalty to their group, not to those who they have a duty to serve.
***** 'ECOCIDAL INSANITY: That we impose on our Soldiers, our Warriors of Unviolence rules inthinkable for our noblest soldiers of violence! Just as soldiers of violence massively disrupt 'family,' career, finances, health, their life itself..., EVERY BIT AS MUCH FOR THE UNVIOLENT WARRIOR!' Loving
The great masquerade of evil has wrought havoc with all our ethical preconceptions. This appearance of evil in the guise of light, beneficence and historical necessity is utterly bewildering to anyone nurtured in our traditional ethical systems. But for the Christian who frames his life on the Bible it simply confirms the radical evilness of evil.
The failure of rationalism is evident. With the best of intentions, but with a naïve lack of realism, the rationalist imagines that a small dose of reason will be enough to put the world right. In his short-sightedness he wants to do justice to all sides, but in the mêlée of conflicting forces he gets trampled upon without having achieved the slightest effect. Disappointed by the irrationality of the world, he realizes at last his futility, retires from the fray, and weakly surrenders to the winning side.
Worse still is the total collapse of moral fanaticism. The fanatic imagines that his moral purity will prove a match for the power of evil, but like a bull he goes for the red rag instead of the man who carries it, grows weary and succumbs. He becomes entangled with non-essentials and falls into the trap set by the superior ingenuity of his adversary.
Then there is the man with a conscience. He fights singlehanded against overwhelming odds in situations which demand a decision. But there are so many conflicts going on, all of which demand some vital choice--with no advice or support save that of his own conscience--that he is torn to pieces.
Evil approaches him in so many specious and deceptive guises that his conscience becomes nervous and vacillating. In the end he contents himself with a salved instead of a clear conscience, and starts lying to his conscience as a means of avoiding despair. If a man relies exclusively on his conscience he fails to see how a bad conscience is sometimes more wholesome and strong than a deluded one.
When men are confronted by a bewildering variety of alternatives, the path of duty seems to offer a sure way out. They grasp at the imperative as the one certainty. The responsibility for the imperative rests upon its author, not upon its executor. But when men are confined to the limits of duty, they never risk a daring deed on their own responsibility, which is the only way to score a bull's eye against evil and defeat it. The man of duty will in the end be forced to give the devil his due.
What then of the man of freedom? He is the man who aspires to stand his ground in the world, who values the necessary deed more highly than a clear conscience or the duties of his calling, who is ready to sacrifice a barren principle for a fruitful compromise or a barren mediocrity for a fruitful radicalism. What then of him? He must beware lest his freedom should become his own undoing. For in choosing the lesser of two evils he may fail to see that the greater evil he seeks to avoid may prove the lesser. Here we have the raw material of tragedy.
Some seek refuge from the rough-and-tumble of public life in the sanctuary of their own private virtue. Such men however are compelled to seal their lips and shut their eyes to the injustice around them. Only at the cost of self-deception can they keep themselves pure from the defilements incurred by responsible action. For all that they achieve, that which they leave undone will still torment their peace of mind. They will either go to pieces in face of this disquiet, or develop into the most hypocritical of all Pharisees.
Who stands his ground? Only the man whose ultimate criterion is not in his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all these things when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and exclusive allegiance to God. The responsible man seeks to make his whole life a response to the question and call of God.
'Costly Grace - It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.' Bonhoeffer
'Cheap grace,' Bonhoeffer wrote, 'is the grace we bestow on ourselves...grace without discipleship.'