Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bonhoeffer quote

Today I read a letter from Bob Roberts - a retired muckity-muck from my denomination where he quoted Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

“How can I possibly serve another person in unfeigned humility if I seriously
regard his sinfulness as worse than my own?”

He was talking about the impeding separation of the PSW region from the larger body of American Baptists. And he used the quote well... I found myself reading that quote and immediately wanting to point a finger... which of course is the point isn't it? Whenever one points a finger, they are immediately guilty of the judgmentalism that Jesus clearly condemns. I spend more time there than I would like.

Of course, the problem is that we must make judgments. But... we must also be aware of our own sin, our own blindness to our own sin, as well as cultural and theological glasses that make us see some things in a distorted fashion.

For me, that is why I think diversity of theology and background is critical. It is only when I wrestle with folk with differing opinions/blinders/ glasses/ understandings that my own blinders are exposed. Sometimes it strengthens my understanding. Sometimes it challenges it. Most often, I find myself growing because I have listened, considered, and learned from another.

1 comment:

Dave Miller said...

Thank you Roy for a thoughtful post. I have thought much about the issue of sinfulness and the whole question of heirarchy. I am convinced that our prideful condition makes it necessary.

It is almost impossible to equate my petty sinfulness with that of say a Jeffery Dahmer, and yet, to me that seems to be the point. I too, without Jesus, am just as bad.

Thanks Roy, keep posting!