Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview
We most earnestly beseech all those now active in public affairs not to take on themselves the guilt of such a sin.
Truth, which is Jesus Christ, likewise makes us free to love our neighbour even when he is our enemy. Where hatred is preached against nations, against races or classes, against individuals, the Christian is called upon to love. Whatever happens, he must not be accessory to acts of violence or to any propaganda of hate. And should he himself become the victim of such dealings, he must not answer force with force, but must seek strength from God to withstand through endurance.
Truth, which we confess in our Lord Jesus Christ, binds us to one another in a fellowship of faith and charity. Where one falls victim to violence, it is the duty of the rest to come to his assistance, and to prove by their actions that he who suffers without cause is deserving of redoubled esteem and affection.
Truth, in which we take comfort, is the voice of the Lord, Who will not break the bruised reed nor quench the smoking flax. We know how many have not the strength to resist pressure from without. And being men such as know their own weakness, we commend ourselves and you to the forgiveness of God. . . . Only let none allow his conscience to lose its edge, and come to feel a life filled daily with falsehoods to be a thing inevitable and of no moment!
Finally, we proclaim even unto them that still close their ears to the call of Christ that His truth is to make them also free. Without Him, we are one and all, even if we will not admit it, most poor and pitiable and troubled creatures. He alone makes us free to be fellow-beings and brethren one of another.

Source: Robert Tobias, Communist-Christian Encounter in East Europe ( Indianapolis, 1956), pp. 546-547.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

[ O. Dibelius], "Church and State in Berlin-Brandenburg", Ecumenical Review, Vol. III, No. 3 ( April 1951), pp. 279-283.

O. Dibelius, In the Service of the Lord ( London, 1965).

R. F. Goeckel, The Lutheran Church and the East German State: Political Conflict and Change under Ulbricht and Honecker ( Ithaca, N.Y., 1990).

K. S. Latourette, Christianity in a Revolutionary Age ( New York, 1958- 1962), IV, 284- 287.

G. M. Schuster, Religion Behind the Iron Curtain ( New York, 1954), pp. 32-60.

R. W. Solberg, God and Caesar in East Germany ( New York, 1961).

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