Thursday, April 09, 2009

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (4 February 1906-9 April 1945

“But it is not we who build. He wills to build the church. No one builds the church but Christ alone. Whoever is mindful to build the church is well on his way to destroying it; for he will build a temple to idols without wishing or knowing it. We must confess - he builds. We must proclaim - he builds. We must pray to him - he builds. We do not know his plan. We cannot see whether he is building or pulling down. It may be that the times which by human standards are times of collapse are for him the great times of building. It may be that the times which from a human point of view are great times for the church are times when it is pulled down. It is a great comfort which Christ gives to his church: you confess, preach, bear witness to me, and I alone will build where it pleases me. Do not meddle in what is my province. Church, do what is given to you to do well and you have done enough. But do it well. Pay no heed to views and opinions, don’t ask for judgments, don’t always be calculating what will happen, don’t always be on the look-out for another refuge! Church, stay a church! But church confess, confess, confess! Christ alone is your Lord, from his grace alone can you live as you are. Christ builds. And the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.”

No Rusty Swords (London: Collins, 1970), p. 212.

No comments: