Our current series Think Different is designed to help us as followers of Jesus to navigate our current culture, seeking to figure out how to stand in the truth of the Gospel while at the same time being people of grace. We can feel fairly alone in this pursuit, believing that these are the worst days and that nobody has ever had times like this. Truth is that at every point in church history there has always been a cultural pressure put on Christianity calling the church to abandon some core belief in order to accommodate the culture. And at every moment God has sent his church key leaders who have faithfully held to the truth of the Gospel proclaiming it to the world in which they lived. Many of these people endured hardship and persecution as they sought to remain faithful to the Scriptures and their mission in the world. During this series one of the things we want to do is to introduce our church to some of these people. In the sermon we will share a little bit about the individuals, but also want to use the blog to give more information. We will be sharing articles from the Christian History website that contain biographical sketches from the book 131 Christians Everyone Ought to Know.
This week our focus is on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor and theologian who stood against the Nazi regime and the values of Hitler. At a time when other German pastors welcomed Hitler as an answer to their prayers and as a gift from God, Bonhoeffer opposed the injustice and called the church to honor Christ. His story presents us with an interesting dilemma as he went from being a pacifist to actually being involved in supporting assassination attempts on Hitler. But the most significant thing he did as a pastor was to refuse to bow his church’s theology, mission, and beliefs to the state which demanded this, creating a state sponsored and sanctioned church, which sadly then turned a blind eye to the events during World War II. This stance eventually cost Bonhoeffer his life as he spent two years in prison and was eventually hanged a month before the war ended and Hitler took his own life. Take time this week to read his story.