Food for thought…standing up

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

These words were written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  A German pastor who boldly stood against the Nazi regime.  He made vocal opposition to Hitler’s euthanasia program and his persecution of the Jews.  He was arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned for a year and a half.  He was then transferred to a Nazi concentration camp and put on trial after allegations that he was plotting to kill Adolf Hitler.  He was executed by hanging in April 1945.  Just a few weeks before the Allied forces took over the camp.

The same is true of Corrie Ten Boom and her sister, Betsy.  Corrie’s entire family was imprisoned and sent to a concentration camp. Betsy died at Ravensbrook concentration camp just 12 days before Corrie was released from the camp.  Yet in her despair, Corrie says “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still” Really? This woman lost her entire family.  Tortured. Yet she speaks of God’s love.  That’s overwhelming to me. That’s astonishing. 

You see, both of them stood for what was right, not matter the consequence. Why? Because their life was not their own, they understood their purpose here, and they looked forward beyond this life to the life which was to come.  Amazing.  I look forward to meeting these beautiful saints in heaven some day.  

Now, fast forward to today. Look at the world around us, read the news, I am amazed at how Bible prophecy has unfolded before our very eyes, but do you know why prayer has been removed from schools? Do you know why crosses have been removed from our buildings? Do you know why public school History books have pages upon pages describing Islam, yet one small section on Christianity? Do you know why things like this are ok….

But things like this are not…..

These things happen because we have fallen asleep, we have lost our voice, we have become numb.  Dear sisters, we have the cure for the sickness that is taking over America.  As Bonhoeffer said “God will not hold us guiltless”.  I pray that we would be as Jeremiah “But His word was in my heart like a burning fire, Shut up in my bones; I was weary from holding it back, and I could not.” Jeremiah 20:9.  I pray that God’s Spirit would be so alive in us that we cannot hold it back.  That we would be instruments fit for our Master’s use.  That we would be bold for Jesus in a world that has rejected him.   Consider the testimony of this Christian man that lived in Germany during the Holocaust:

“We heard stories of what was happening to Jews, but we were trying to distance ourselves from it because what could we do to stop it?  A railroad track ran behind our small church, and each Sunday morning we could hear the whistle in the distance and the wheels coming over the tracks.  We became disturbed when we heard cries coming from the train as it passed by.  We realized it was carrying Jews like cattle in the cars. 

Week after week, the whistle would blow.  We dreaded to hear the sound of those wheels because we knew that we would hear the cries of Jews en route to a death camp.  Their screams tormented us.  We knew the time the train was coming.  And when we heard the whistle blow, we began singing hymns.  By the time the train passed put church we were singing at the top of our voices.  If we heard screams, we would sing more loudly.  And soon we could hear them no more.  

Although years have passed, I still hear the train whistle in my sleep.  God forgive me.  Forgive all of us who call themselves Christians and yet did nothing to intervene.”

I envisioned myself in the shoes of that man, would I have intervened or would I have sung along? I am ashamed to say I probably would have sung along and regretted it my entire life, just like this man.  Oh, how I pray that we would represent Him in all that we do, and that we would remember that this life will soon be over…..make it count for Him.  

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