Individual

Remember if Republicans or Democrats can destroy America, then we have given the government entirely too much power by abdicating our God given responsibility to govern ourselves, to be healthy human beings, to be good neighbors, to think for ourselves, to individually live before God and move to be of service in our communities.

Seems like the founding fathers were completely against giving a government this much power. Certainly, we have been warned by many men and women throughout history about governments over reaching capabilities and man’s want of power and control. Emerson, Thoreau, Frederick Douglass and Jesus Christ are just a few who had much to say to the individual about these matters. Even Bonhoeffer, on explaining how Hitler rose to power, did not talk about Hitler but about who the German citizens had become to allow Hitler to control a nation.

Like the “church”, America is not an institution but a collective group of individuals. The life of the church and the life of America is not even built on rules, laws, institutions, industries, businesses or governments but exists in the spirits, hearts, minds and bodies of breathing, feeling and thinking individuals.

It’s so easy to blame our current circumstances on another but is this easy and lazy reaction exactly what has brought us to what seems like some type of breaking point, where we think and obviously believe that a political party can destroy us. What will destroy America is a lot of individuals who believe the government can save and destroy us because we have forgotten who we are and how we designed to be responsible for ourselves and our neighbors, and the places we actually live and work.

Again, before we point the finger in fear and open our mouths to blame our brother and sister for the current or future circumstances. It might be best to look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we are healthy individuals and who or what is our faith in- truth, love, God, ourselves, capitalism, information, money, a political party or the government.

Perhaps, the failures of this moment reveals that our faith is in the wrong thing and in our refusal to take responsibility for our part (by omission and commission) in our own poor health, the health of my neighbor, the health of my community and the health of my world.

Seriously, I don’t want to hear another person’s opinion on what is right or wrong or who is bad or who is good when we refuse to look at our own selves and tell the truth. The republicans, the democrats and the coronavirus are not our biggest problems. Our struggle is against our own flesh, the world who wants you to entertain and eat yourself to death and evil who wants you to live in fear, worry, judge and crucify your neighbor because he or she looks, thinks, feels and believes differently than you.

“Dear Sir: Regarding your article ‘What’s Wrong with the World?’ I am. Yours truly, G.K. Chesterton”

Listen to Bonhoeffer, “Civil Courage What really lies behind the lament about the lack of civil courage? In these years we have encountered much bravery and self-sacrifice but almost no civil courage anywhere, even among ourselves. Only an altogether naive psychology would trace this deficiency back simply to personal cowardice. The reasons behind this are quite different. In the course of a long history, we Germans have had to learn the need for obedience and the power thereof. We saw the meaning and greatness of our life in the subordination of all personal wishes and ideas under the commission that came to be ours. Our gaze was directed upward, not in slavish fear but in the free trust that beheld a career in the commission and a vocation in the career. The readiness to follow an order from “above” rather than one’s own discretion arises from and is part of the justified suspicion about one’s own heart. Who would contest that, in relation to obedience, commission, and career, the German has again and again accomplished the utmost in bravery and life commitment. But he safeguarded his freedom—where in the world was freedom spoken of more passionately than in Germany, from Luther to the philosophy of idealism?—by seeking to free himself from self-will in order to serve the whole: career and freedom were to him two sides of the same thing. However, in doing so he misjudged the world; he did not reckon with the fact that the readiness to subordinate and commit his life to the commission could be misused in the service of evil. When such misuse occurred, the exercise of the career itself became questionable, and all the basic moral [sittlichen] concepts of the Germans were shaken. What became apparent was that Germans lacked still one decisive and fundamental idea: that of the need for the free, responsible action even against career and commission. In its place came the irresponsible lack of scruples, on the one hand, and self-tormenting scruples that never led to action, on the other. But civil courage can grow only from the free responsibility of the free man. Only today are Germans beginning to discover what free responsibility means. It is founded in a God who calls for the free venture of faith to responsible action and who promises forgiveness and consolation to the one who on account of such action becomes a sinner.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: