“Cheap Grace is the mortal enemy of our church. Our struggle today is for costly grace.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, ‘Discipleship’
Standing against the tyrannous atrocities of Hitler, Dietrich Bonhoeffer followed Jesus through the dark gallows to his death. Hanged for treason against the German government, Bonhoeffer became a heroic figure for humanity. He stood, suffered, and died for the cause of others.
What is a most interesting fact about the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is the path he considered to be that of a faithful disciple of his Lord… what he believed grace should cost him. Some would argue in agreement with his choices, while others would disagree. He took a stance against his own government and its leader. This is a difficult topic to find resolution with, for the question needs answered, “Is it biblically okay to no longer be in submission to one’s government (Romans 13)?”
Did the evil acts committed by Nazi Germany warrant the disobedience, or is the costly grace spoken of by Bonhoeffer a misguided message from a man who in fact failed to apply his own admonitions?
It may be advantageous at this point to remember that the audience Paul wrote his words to… were the severely persecuted by their own government. Bonhoeffer himself questioned whether his choices were right or not.
Is there a time when a government acts in such a way as to make it allowable to resist rather than submit?
In reality, the conclusion of Bonhoeffer’s life gives us some knowledge of what drove him to his actions. It becomes obvious that the choices he made were done so without selfish intent. There was no motivation for self-preservation or self-gratification, for in the end Bonhoeffer was punished for his treason.
What is the Church’s rightful call to duty when it sees wrongs being done by those who were given authority for the good of the people? Had he been born seventy-five years later, what do you suppose Bonhoeffer would have seen as the great call of this generation? How might he respond to that call today?
- What Grace Has Become (mtsweat.com)
- Abortion ‘holocaust’? If the shoe fits … (wnd.com)
- Bonhoeffer: The Review (paulstohler.com)
- The Fourth Reich: Abortion Holocaust (cnsnews.com)
- “The ultimate test of a… (thelargestdemocracy.wordpress.com)
- Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy – Eric Metaxas (conservativeeducator.com)