Monday, October 09, 2017

Bonhoeffer's 7 Principles for Unity in the Church

Green Lake, Wisconsin

Frank Thielman, in his commentary on Philippians, shares Dietrich Bonhoeffer's seven principles  for eradicating selfish ambition from Christian communities. (106).

Christians should…
  1. Hold their tongues, refusing to speak uncharitably about a Christian brother;
  2. Cultivate the humility that comes from understanding that they, like Paul, are the greatest of sinners and can only live in God’s sight by his grace;
  3. Listen “long and patiently” so they will understand their fellow Christian’s need;
  4. Refuse to consider their time and calling so valuable that they cannot be interrupted to help with unexpected needs, no matter how small or menial;
  5. Bear the burden of their brothers and sisters in the Lord, both by preserving their freedom and by forgiving their sinful abuse of that freedom;
  6. Declare God’s word to their fellow believers when they need to hear it;
  7. Understand that Christian authority is characterized by service and does not call attention to the person who performs the service.