New Sojourners in my mailbox
"The church is only the church when it exists for others."
The February 2006 issue of Sojourners arrived in the mail today (along with a "Professional Clergy Dept." solicitation from The Christian Century).
I found at least two must read articles for me in this issue. First is a piece commemorating the 100th anniversary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer who led the Confessing Church against the Nazis in Germany.
"The church is only the church when it exists for others." When the Confessing Church did not intervene for Jews beyond its own membership, for gays and lesbians persecuted by the Nazis, for the euthanized, Roma ("gypsies") and imprisoned socialists and communists, in that moment it forfeited being a church.
In a word, the "most understanding people" did not take a stand because of their deep-seated Protestant acceptance of state authority in the traditional church-state alliance. As Bonhoeffer wrote Sutz in another letter, "An end must also finally be put to the theologically founded reservation regarding the action of the state- all of it is only fear. 'Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves' (Proverbs 31:8)-who in the church still knows that this is the minimum commandment of the Bible in such times?"
While our sources and reasoning may differ somewhat, isn't this still a key demand of Unitarian Universalism? People can wail all they want about politics from the pulpit, but I challenge anyone to find a Unitarian Universalism absent this committment that is still meaningful or worthy of our inheritance of two proud traditions. We are the sons and daughters of people who fought for public education, abolition, suffrage, civil rights, human rights and peace. This is no time for us to hide our light in a bushel or bury our talents in the ground.