January 18, 2011

Turnings Points

Growing up in life takes time, or so it is often told. The common perception of growing up is that is takes time, a steady process that comes with age. Life happens though--and often happens fast. A more representable description of growing up is that you move along and then grow up, at turning points. In terms of world history, look at the wars, the natural disasters, and the inventions. It's short bursts of energy followed by long periods of quiet and relativly uneventfull happenings.

1933 was one of those years, otherwise known as the year the Nazi party ascended to power. In reading a biography on the life of German pastor, martyr, and spy Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Dietrich felt that turning point and wondered if the church would survive on the other side. The threat to the church's existence during this time was palpable and with a Reich pushing their Aryan superiority and Hilter as god philosophy into academia and the church. Dietrich got it--he sensed it right away in 1933 long before the tumult that would follow in the years ahead.

One particular story described his perceptiveness. In 1933, on a special holiday honoring Martin Luther Bonhoeffer was selected to give the honorary message at the Cathedral in Berlin. Instead of giving a typical message of self-congratulating, pat on the back style embellishment of all the past accomplishments of the church, he gave a fiery on the congregation, calling out the sin and stagnation of a wafting church preaching from Revelation 1:19 on the church that lost its first love. His prophetic message rained on the church's party, turning a celebration into a somber funeral. This message started years of action that would ultimately lead to his martyrdom at the hands of the Germans.

2011. The world as we know it is about to encounter another turning point. You can feel it. China is ready with its 200 million man army and hoards of cash. The middle east is burning hot with anti-Semites and disdain for the Jews. America and her church lies waste, removed of a traditional God-fearing culture and family structure all while serving materialistic desires. Who will call out her sin and quote from Revelation 3:14 on the lukewarm church? The next turning point could happen fast, it only took a rise to power of one individual in Germany to destroy the country and change the world in a few short years. Yet, for the observant, the change was expected and seen long in advance.

No comments: