Christian Responsibility In Extreme Conditions

The following quote below was abstracted from this site: The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

“The responsible person is, thus, a selfless person, who does God’s will by serving the spiritual and material needs of another, since “…what is nearest to God is precisely the need of one’s neighbor” (Ethics, p.136). The selfless model of Jesus is his or her only guide to responsible action. And second, the responsible person must not hesitate to act for fear of sin. Any attempt to avoid personal guilt, any attempt to preserve moral purity by withdrawing from conflicts is morally irresponsible. For Bonhoeffer, no one who lives in this world can remain disentangled and morally pure and free of guilt (Ethics, p.244). We must not refuse to act on our neighbor’s behalf, even violently, for fear of sin. To refuse to accept guilt and bear it for the sake of another has nothing to do with Christ or Christianity. “(I)f I refuse to bear guilt for charity’s sake,” Bonhoeffer argues, “then my action is in contradiction to my responsibility which has its foundation in reality” (Ethics, p.241). The risk of guilt generated by responsible action is great and cannot be mitigated in advance by self-justifying principles. There is no certainty in a world come of age. No one, in other words, can escape a complete dependency on the mercy and grace of God.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Action and the duty for the Christian for responsible action is often a neglected virtue, one that most retreat and find cover as if conditions would heal themselves without people acting to do something. Part of the reason is that Christians have a fear of dirtying their ‘righteous’ personal status. But this truth is often masked with the thought that they fear their actions will be a vile aroma reaching to God’s nostrils. But this is simply excuse and a bad one at best. Retreat and disengagement is the norm of the day and it is where most tend to flock to. And to this we think this is the righteous stance. I think in light of our responsibility to be salt and light it should be otherwise.

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