Reflecting on evil and Jesus’ words on the way to Calvary “if men do these things when the tree is green, what will they do when the tree is dry?”
I have also been listening to Nonna Bannister’s “The Secret Holocaust Diaries” (published 2009) and am once again appalled at the face of extreme evil. Nonna allowed her husband to publish the diaries after her death because she wanted “the world to know so this would never happen again”. Not for the faint-hearted.
In a recent sermon http://www.chooselifeaustralia.org.au/life/2020-vision-a-look-at-why-and-what-we-must-now-do-in-2012-part-2/ I wrote:
As a result of Nazi Germany the world met together to see what could be done to prevent the atrocities of Nazism from ever happening again and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was drawn up to ensure these things would never happen again.
And you know what I am going to say – we have overthrown this lesson of history and are wilfully going our own way again. As you have heard from me before we have introduced bills of rights into Victoria and ACT and deliberately excluded the unborn human from both these bills (seehttp://www.medicinewithoutmorality.info/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/09/Human-Life-as-the-Imago-Dei.pdf).
So where am I going with this reflection? I am concerned at the lack of condemnation of evil by church leaders, especially when it comes to just simply telling the truth about what is happening in our country so that Christians will be better informed at election time and vote responsibly. Pastors tell me that their parishioners know what is happening but as soon as I quiz the pastor himself it is obvious that he does not know the true extent either – and does not want to hear any more.
Pastors need to know the true extent of evil in our government and society. And they need to tell the truth. And they need to condemn.
It is not enough to preach the gospel and then to be mute in the face of evil. As Martin Luther said:
If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.
Why was it that Herod hated John the Baptist so much that he put him in prison and then allowed him to be beheaded? It wasn’t just because he had disciples and was calling for repentance. Herod hated him because he told the truth and condemned Herod.
Why was it that the Pharisees and priests hated Jesus so much that they wanted him killed? It wasn’t just because he had disciples and was calling for repentance. They hated him because he told the truth and condemned them for their hypocrisy as white-washed sepulchres.
We must not fail to tell the truth and condemn where necessary. If we fail to be watchmen we will be held responsible. In the face of evil, Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke out and the “confessing church” was formed. The established church failed dismally – apparently even Martin Niemoller in the early phases.
Where are our voices of condemnation? They are conspicuously silent – particularly at election time.
Yes, we must seek to change our nation by bringing people to Christ. And, yes, we also need to tell the truth, to inform those who do not know, and to condemn evil. And when it comes to election time we must not pussy-foot around the truth just so we don’t offend people.
Lachlan Dunjey. 9 April 2012.