Posted by: sean | December 5, 2008

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Church is Not National

This saying of Christ removes the Church from the sphere of politics and law. The Church is not to be a national community like the old Israel, but a community of believers without political or national ties. The old Israel had been both–chosen people of God and a national community, and it was therefore his will that they should meet force with force. But with the Church it is different: it has abandoned political and national status, and therefore it must patiently endure aggression. Otherwise evil will be heaped upon evil. Only thus can fellowship be established and maintained.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, (SCM Press: London, 2001), p. 91, (originally published in 1937 by Chr. Kaiser Verlag of Munich).

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Responses

  1. Great quote. How about this one from The Theological Declaration of Barmen? (Influenced by Bonhoffer, though I dont think he was a part of writing the document found in our Book of Confessions):
    “We reject the false doctrine, as though the State, over and beyond its special commission, should and could become the single and totalitarian order of human life, thus fulfilling the church’s vocation as well. We reject the false doctrine, as though the church, over and beyond its special commission, should and could appropriate the characteristics, the tasks and the dignity of the State, thus itself becoming an organ of the State”(Theo.Declaration of Barmen, 8.23-24).

  2. Fantastic response 🙂


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