There was a German theologian, who opposed Adolf Hitler, and it cost him his life. That theologian was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer, and the Lutheran church debated the evils of Nazism. Bonhoeffer used the following analogy concerning Hitler. “If I see a madman driving into a group of innocent bystanders, than I can’t, as a Christian simply wait for the catastrophe and than comfort the wounded and bury the dead. I must try and wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver.” Dietrich went under ground, and helped plot the failed attempt to assassinate Hitler. Bonhoeffer became the inspiration for the doctrine of situational ethics. In short, each situation dictates the proper ethical response.
Think about Bonhoeffer’s analogy, as it applies to the various conditions, that threaten this nation. While many such conditions exist, three will be mentioned. First, and foremost the need to preach the life changing gospel. To a nation of people, who are increasingly turning away from God’s edicts. In America today, people are being denied freedom of speech to use the name of Jesus in public forums. They include teenagers in their public schools. To Christian ministers, who are told to use political correct expressions like God. If they insist on keeping the name Jesus in their public speeches; they are removed from the program.
Followed by the threat Muslims, in this country present to American values. Islam is evil! Both Moses and Paul knew Islam for what it represents. Moses said, Muslims are terrorists; note, Genesis 16:11-12. Paul said, get rid of Muslims; note, Galatians 4:28-31. In verse 30, the bondwoman is Hagar. She is the mother of Islam. Her son son is Ishmael through whom Muslims trace the lineage back to Abraham. Isaac is the child of promise destined to inherit the promises God made to Abraham. And from those promises made to Abraham came Jacob to Christ. Paul in verse 29 records forever world terror, note, But as he, who was born according to the flesh the persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Today notably Jews and Christians. With anti-semitism increasing exponentially globally, and Christians being tagged as hate mongers and in some instances terrorists.
Followed by the greed of the nations corporate conglomerates. Led by the picture perfect magnets of Wall Street. Where the stock market is the god to worship earning billions for the few. While many Americans are drowning for lack of sufficient monies needed to survive. What can we expect from profiteering beyond the stock market? The same! As they swindle American consumers with faulty products and failing workmanship. While far to many hard working American’s, can’t keep up with the spiraling out of control thirst for profits. Most likely, in the BILLIONS, no matter whom they hurt. Or what they destroy, even the nation itself.
An able response to such situations is found through the doctrine of liberation theology. A doctrine that composed a part of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s theology. Liberation theology is about the practical aspects of Christianity.The problems that confront people every day. We do not concentrate on those doctrines that do not have an every day application to daily living.
This discussion concerns the doctrine of the Resurrection of Christ. The Center piece of Christian teaching. Jesus said to Martha. I am the resurrection and the life. They that believe in me, though they were dead, yet shall they live, John 11:25. To some that verse represents some future event. As liberation theologians, we relish that glorious future occurrence, but it also has a more practical value and meaning. Whatever cause a Christian is engaged in someone will be inspired by your effort to carry on the mission. Regardless of what happens to message bearer. The service we render for Christ, can never be silenced or defeated.
The practical aspects of the resurrection are amplified in Matthew 13:24-30. It’s the well known story told by Jesus concerning farming. As, farmers plant their wheat crops. The farmers notice that the their wheat fields are being over run by weeds. Which could result in the death of their crops. It turns out that this a story not about farming. Rather it’s a story about the Resurrection. Those who do the work of Christ might have pay for their service. Sometimes with their lives. Those who work for just causes are likened to grains of wheat that appear to die, but burst through the ground announcing the resurrection of life. Like the wheat seed that dies. And then germinates to life which can be found in Bonhoeffer’s death. And the many before him, as well as, the many, who followed after him demanding social justice. Social and economic justice can only occur through the newness of life in Jesus Christ.
The great Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero said this shortly before his assassination like it was prophetic vision. “I must tell you as a Christian I do not believe in death without the resurrection. If I were killed, I shall arise in the Salvadoran people.”
We have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall also arise in the likeness of His resurrection, Romans 6:5. Meaning whatever our fate others will pick up the cross and follow. That is a short summary of liberation theology concerning the resurrection.
There you have it from Christ, Bonhoeffer, Romero and well scattered Christ souldiers around the globe. Teaching that each situation dictates a situational response. Special unto itself.
Available to link Situational Ethics with the various platforms of the Green New Deal. Found through the Contact Us link on my Home page. Living room conversations work well, as do other forums where people can meet.
CfS is a church without walls, and therefore, without membership.