Friday, June 15, 2012

The "Otherworldly" Church

"We are otherworldly - ever since we hit upon the devious trick of being religious, yes even 'Christian,' at the expense of the earth. Otherworldliness affords a splendid environment in which to live. Whenever life begins to become oppressive and troublesome we just leap into the air with a bold kick and soar relieved unencumbered into so-called eternal fields. We leap over the present. We distain the earth; we are better than it. After all, besides the temporal defeats we still have our eternal victories, and they are so easily achieved. Otherworldliness also makes it easy to preach and to speak words of comfort. An otherworldly church can be certain that it will in no time win over the weaklings, all who are only too glad to be deceived and deluded, all utopianists, all disloyal children of the earth. When an explosion seems imminent, who would not be so human as to quickly mount the chariot that comes down from the skies with the promise of taking us up to a better world beyond...?

However, Christ does not will or intend this weakness; instead, he makes us strong. He does not lead us in a religious flight from this world to other worlds beyond; rather, he gives us back to the earth as its loyal children." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A Testament to Freedom, 89

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