Kaj Munk and Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Martyrs for the Moment
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was born 112 years ago today on February 4, 1906.
Kaj Munk died on January 4, 1944.
Two key dates, exactly a month and 38 years apart.
Both were Lutheran theologians, and both were martyrs against nationalism, racism, and religious bigotry, and for the faith.
Both have timely words for us.
For that reason, Bonhoeffer’s birthday spurred me to do what I only rarely do, namely repost blogs.
But the time is, unfortunately, right and ripe for us to sit again at their feet, and learn things like this from Bonhoeffer:
The church has three possible ways it can act against the state. First, it can ask the state if its actions are legitimate. Second, it can aid the victims of the state action. The church has the unconditional obligation to the victims of any order in society even if they do not belong to the Christian society. The third possibility is not just bandage the victims under the wheel, but to jam a spoke in the wheel itself.
And this from Munk:
What is, therefore, our task today? Shall I answer: “Faith, hope, and love”? That sounds beautiful. But I would say–courage. No, even that is not challenging enough to be the whole truth. Our task today is recklessness. For what we Christians lack is not psychology or literature…we lack a holy rage–the recklessness which comes from the knowledge of God and humanity. The ability to rage when justice lies prostrate on the streets, and when the lie rages across the face of the earth…a holy anger about the things that are wrong in the world. To rage against the ravaging of God’s earth, and the destruction of God’s world. To rage when little children must die of hunger, when the tables of the rich are sagging with food. To rage at the senseless killing of so many, and against the madness of militaries. To rage at the lie that calls the threat of death and the strategy of destruction peace. To rage against complacency. To restlessly seek that recklessness that will challenge and seek to change human history until it conforms to the norms of the Kingdom of God. And remember the signs of the Christian Church have been the Lion, the Lamb, the Dove, and the Fish…but never the chameleon.
To that end, click here to be convicted and challenged by Bonhoeffer, and here to be convicted and challenged by Munk.
Click those links too to be inspired, and filled with hope that there is courage to be had, and reason to have it.