While on vacation, I have run across a friend from upstate New York. She mentioned that she has a new Pastor in her church. He is coming from another, apparently ‘liberal’, area and is beginning to change things up a bit.
Gone, she notes, is the decided reverence to the Eucharist. And ‘in’ are more social type activities inside the church – somewhat ignoring the tabernacle. But what she said next, brought an old quote to my mind. She had asked the Pastor if he could add prayers during the Fortnight for Freedom time period. The parishioners were hoping to participate in the Bishop’s request to pray for religious freedom.
“Oh no!”, her pastor replied, “that is just way too political for me.”
Way too political. It brought to mind the famous quote by Martin Niemöller ( 1892–1984), a Protestant Pastor during Nazi Germany.
“In Germany, first they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me -
and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.”
There are many, and have always been many, who do not want to get involved in ‘way too political’ things – until the inherent evil of them MAKES you involved. Martin Niemöller did not go to the concentration camp because he was vocal – he went because he was quiet. His actual crime? He was “not being enthusiastic enough about the Nazi movement.”
Esther of the Old Testament also comes to mind. When she did not want to ‘speak up’ to save her people (the Jews), she was told: “Even if you now remain silent, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another source; but you and your father’s house will perish. Who knows—perhaps it was for a time like this that you became queen?” Esther 4:14
It is for a time such as this that God choose us to be here. It is for a time such as this – to speak up. ”Way too political”; or not…