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Posts Tagged ‘Bonhoeffer’

Sorry, made a mistake and posted Point 7 before 6

Seven principles for eradicating selfish ambition in the fellowship:

6. the ministry of proclaiming

    Where Christians live together the time must ultimately come when in some crisis one person will have to declare God’s Word and will to another. It is inconceivable that the things that are of utmost importance to each individual should not be spoken by one to another. It is unchristian consciously to deprive another of the one decisive service we can render to him…

    The more we learn to allow others to speak the Word to us, to accept humbly and gratefully even severe reproaches and admonitions, the more free and objective will we be in speaking ourselves. The humble person will stick to truth and love. He will stick to the Word of God and let it lead him to his brother…

    Reproof is unavoidable. God’s Word demands it when a brother falls into open sin. Where defection from God’s Word in doctrine or life imperils the fellowship… the word of admonition and rebuke must be ventured. Nothing can be more cruel than the tenderness that consigns another to his sin.

Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe rebuke that calls a brother back from the path of sin. It is a ministry of mercy, an ultimate offer of genuine fellowship, when we allow nothing but God’s Word to stand between us, judging and succoring.

    … Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954]

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Seven Principles for Eradicating Selfish Ambition in The Fellowship:

 

7. the ministry of authority

    Jesus made authority in the fellowship dependent upon brotherly service (Mark 10:43). Genuine spiritual authority is to be found only where the ministry of hearing, helping, bearing, and proclaiming is carried out. Every cult of personality that emphasizes the distinguished qualities, virtues, and talents of another person, even though these be of an altogether spiritual nature, is worldly and has no place in the Christian community; indeed, it poisons the Christian community…

    Genuine authority realizes that it can exist only in the service of Him who alone has authority… The Church does not need brilliant personalities but faithful servants of Jesus and the brethren…

     Pastoral authority can be attained only by the servant of Jesus who seeks no power of his own, who himself is a brother among brothers to the authority of the Word.

    … Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954]

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Seven principles for eradicating selfish ambition in the fellowship:

4. the ministry of helpfulness

    Active helpfulness means, initially, simple assistance in trifling, external matters. There is a multitude of these things wherever people live together. Nobody is too good for the meanest service…

     We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions. We may pass them by, preoccupied with our more important tasks, as the priest passed by the man who had fallen among thieves, perhaps–reading the Bible. When we do that, we pass by the visible sign of the Cross raised athwart our path to show us that not our way, but God’s way must be done.

    … Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954]

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 Seven principles for eradicating selfish ambition in the fellowship:

 

3. the ministry of listening

    The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love to God begins with listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them… Listening can be a greater service than speaking… One who cannot listen long and patiently will presently be talking beside the point and be never really speaking to others. Anyone who thinks his time is too valuable to spend keeping quiet will eventually have no time for God and his brother, but only for himself and for his own follies…

    We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God.

    … Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954]

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Seven principles for eradicating selfish ambition in thefellowship:

2. The ministry of meekness

    He who would learn to serve must first learn to think little of himself… Only he who lives by the forgiveness of his sin in Jesus Christ will rightly think little of himself.

He will know that his own wisdom reached the end of its tether when Jesus forgave him. He will know that it is good for his own will to be broken in the encounter with his neighbor…

    But not only my neighbor’s will, but also his honor is more important than mine. The desire for one’s own honor hinders faith. One who seeks his own honor is no longer seeking God and his neighbor. What does it matter if I suffer injustice? Would I not have deserved even worse punishment from God, if He had not dealt with me according to His mercy?

    … Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954]

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Seven principles for eradicating selfish ambition in the fellowship:

 

1. The ministry of holding one’s tongue

    Often we combat our evil thoughts most effectively if we absolutely refuse to allow them to be expressed in words…

Thus it must be a decisive rule of every Christian fellowship that each individual is prohibited from saying much that occurs to him. This prohibition does not include the personal word of advice and guidance. But to speak about a brother is forbidden, even under the cloak of help and goodwill; for it is precisely in this guise that the spirit of hatred among brothers creeps in when it is seeking to create mischief.

    … Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954]

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PDF / Doc

downloadsJob: Patience In Sufferings, by Rob Harbison. Will a man serve God for nothing? Even when man is suffering and none of God’s ways make any sense? This study chronicles Job’s struggle to find those answers and keep his faith (PDF file size: 228k).

            MP3 /Video

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Legacy

In this program of Speaking of Faith, host Krista Tippett talks with producer Martin Doblmeier, whose 2003 documentary covered Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life and thought. Doblmeier tells the story of the German Lutheran pastor and theologian, as Bonhoeffer made difficult decisions in his opposition to Nazism and his attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler. This program also explores Bonhoeffer’s faith and theology including a discussion of his work Letters and Papers from Prison, which Bonhoeffer wrote from the point of his arrest in 1943 until his execution by the Gestapo in 1945. This talk can be downloaded on MP3 from the Speaking of Faith website or through iTunes U.

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