Friday, September 19, 2014

day no. 13,115: passio passiva‏

So I read something awesome the other night in my “A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer” daily devotional.

Following Christ means 'passio passiva' suffering because we have to suffer. That is why Luther reckoned suffering among the marks of the true church, and one of the memoranda drawn up in preparation for the Augsburg Confession similarly defines the Church as the community of those "who are persecuted and martyred for the Gospel’s sake... Discipleship means allegiance to the suffering Christ, and it is therefore not at all surprising that Christians should be called upon to suffer.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer “A Testament to Freedom”
Passio passia loosely translates to “freely suffering,” or “suffering peaceably.”

I am excited and terrified all at the same time as I ponder the definition of the Church according to the Augsburg Confession.
If anyone knew what it meant to suffer for their faith, it was Bonhoeffer.  He was able to forecast the crapstorm coming the way of Christians.

And yet, he embraced it. 
This is a stern rebuke to my American sensitivities, to my Western sensibilities and my Iowan assumptions.

The true church is one that endures suffering.

That doesn’t mean the church goes looking for opportunities to suffer, but rather as passio passive implies, enduring the normal, regular, expected suffering that comes along with living as aliens and foreigners in a world that hated the One we love with all our hearts, souls, minds, bodies and strengths.

2 Timothy 3:12
In fact, all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted..

We have grown quite accustomed to avoiding conflict and discomfort.

Perhaps it’s high time we began embracing the regular business of being bombarded with push back and bullying.

Again, this is not a call to take out a Craigslist listing for “suffering" wanted.

This is a call to endure the normal, everyday, typical suffering that accompanies standing by faith alone in a world founded in flesh. This is a call to stop safeguarding our every action and hedging every bet to avoid the slightest resistance or discomfort associated with worshipping a Man who was crucified. 

We boast about a Man who was murdered.

It shouldn't surprise us that we would also be mocked and muscled around by a world pumped up on power, prestige and personal sovereignty.

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