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The Bonhoeffer Principle: Living a Life of Extreme Integrity



Deitrich Bonhoeffer once wrote, "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." I have tried to live out this principle in my life, though my execution has admittedly been imperfect. The addendum, however, is that those who apply it will be ostracized, marginalized, vilified, and/or gaslighted by others within both the church and the larger culture. There are real consequences for people who speak and act on conscience. Bonhoeffer's consequences were imprisonment and (later) death at the hands of his Nazi opponents. Nevertheless, I would rather live with the fear of reprisal than the guilt of capitulation. Would that Bonhoeffer's courage were demonstrated by more people today...especially those within the church.

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