Tag Archives: bonhoeffer

Without Vision the Community Flourishes?

I have been reading through Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s short treatise on the subject of Christan community entitled “Life Together.”  His words are clear and convicting.  I often hear pastors talking about the necessity of “vision” in leading a church.  This passage from Bonhoeffer may cause some to question the idolatry of their own “vision.”

God hates visionary dreaming; it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious.  The man who fashions a visionary ideal of community demands that it be realized by God, by others, and by himself.  He enters the community of Christians with his demands, sets up his own law, and judges the brethren and God Himself accordingly.  He stands adamant, a living reproach to all others in the circle of brethren.  He acts as if he is the creator of the Christian community, as if his dream binds men together.  When things do not go his way, he calls the effort a failure.  When his ideal picture is destroyed, he sees the community going to smash.  So he becomes,  first an accuser of his brethren, then an accuser of God, and finally the despairing accuser of himself.

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