Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bonhoeffer: Truth and the Cross

I've been studying Sunday mornings text Matthew 5:33-37 regarding oath taking, truthfulness, and integrity and came across the following quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book, "The Cost of Discipleship," that I thought was powerful:

In this question of truthfulness, what matters first and last is that a man's whole being should be exposed, his whole evil laid bare in the sight of God. But sinful men do not like this sort of truthfulness, and they resist it with all their might. That is why they persecute it and crucify it. it is only because we follow Jesus that we can be genuinely truthful, for then he reveals to us our sin upon the cross. The cross is God's truth about us, and therefore it is the only power which can make us truthful. When we know the cross we are no longer afraid of the truth. We need no more oaths to confirm the truth of our utterances, for we live in the perfect truth of God. There is no truth towards Jesus without truth towards man. Untruthfulness destroys fellowship, but truth cuts false fellowship to pieces and establishes genuine brotherhood. We cannot follow Christ unless we live in revealed truth before God and man. -138-139

What is so interesting about this is how Bonhoeffer connects truth telling to the cross. If people do not know if we are telling the truth on life's most trivial issues, how can they believe us when we give them the message of the gospel?

For more:
Free Book!: Bonhoeffer's "Cost of Discipleship"
Weekly Recommendation: "The Cost of Discipleship"

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