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#246782 - 08/27/08 02:50 PM Suffering and Redemption
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Suffering and Redemption
The Faith, Given Once for All
August 27, 2008

The young man was alone in his room, smoking cigarette after cigarette. He knew he had a big decision to make. Dietrich Bonhoeffer had been a leader of the German resistance against Hitler, but when he was ordered into the armed forces, church authorities helped him escape to safety in America.

But was America where God wanted him to be? Pacing his room at Union Theological Seminary, the young pastor tried to understand the unease that had come over him. By the summer of 1939, his mind was made up. He had heard a fundamentalist preacher preach the true Gospel. He knew he had to return to Germany to minister to his people and share their fate.

Six years later, implicated in a plot to assassinate Hitler, Bonhoeffer was executed.

As I write in my new book, The Faith, Bonhoeffer's consecrated life is a model for all of us—a total giving of self to Christ. Most of us will not be tested in this way, but we may be sure of one thing: We will be tested.

For example, we may endure real agony over the suffering in the world, as Mother Teresa did, and that she persevered against all hope is the best proof of faith. Or we may feel that years of work for the Lord have come to naught. We do not always see the fruit of our labor.

And then there is the intense physical suffering. Could you and I endure the suffering of Bonhoeffer, or of Christians who suffer under Islamic rule today?

But suffering is, as Bonhoeffer teaches us, the cost of discipleship; it belongs to our calling as Christians. After their first arrest, the apostles left the Sanhedrin's court "rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name" (Acts 5:41).

In many places today, Christians are called to suffer persecution for the sake of the Gospel. In scores of other countries—India, Iran, Burma—believers risk their lives by even professing Christ.

The real question is not whether we will suffer, but how we will react to suffering when it comes. We can see it as a miserable experience to be endured, or we can offer it to God for His redemptive purposes. This is the great truth Christians know: God will always use what we suffer for Christ's work of redemption if we let Him.

Suffering is rightly called "the school of faith"; it is only through difficulties and setbacks that we are brought to the end of ourselves and forced to trust God alone.

No wonder so many believers have said with the Apostle Paul that they long for "the fellowship of sharing in Jesus' suffering" (Philippians 3:10).

Why, then, should we expect, if we are going to draw ever closer to Christ, that we should be exempt? Would not God use our suffering in our lives for the same purpose He used suffering in the life of Christ? To tell people life is going to be easy with God—no sickness, disease, and all material blessings—is heresy.

Seventy-three years after the death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, his willingness to suffer and die for Christ is still bringing people to the foot of the Cross. Are you and I willing to suffer as he suffered, for just such a cause?

I hope you will read my new book, The Faith—and learn more about why suffering is the mark of true faith.

This commentary first aired on February 6, 2008, and is part three in a five-part series.

By Charles Colson

http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=7506


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#246789 - 08/27/08 03:48 PM Re: Suffering and Redemption [Re: pufferfish]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
..............trigger

allen, chuck colson makes me gag.

he, and all he represents, is the antithesis of all i am.

Chuck Colson: " I would walk over my grandmother for Richard Nixon ..."

i had better stop there, because i went to that site and it feels like a spider web to me.

i think i threw up in my mouth a little.....

i guess i should follow the rule that says: if you can't say anything positive then keep quiet. but of course, being that 'rules were made to be broken' i have to interject a comment specifically about this article. it seems to me to be a marketing promo to generate sales for his book.

i have issues with people who create hypothetical questions such as:

Quote:
And then there is the intense physical suffering. Could you and I endure the suffering of Bonhoeffer, or of Christians who suffer under Islamic rule today?


the answer is a resounding of course!. and here on this web site we know this so well. with a knife at my throat waiting, fearing any second for it to come plunging down into my back as i was being rear-ended by a 10" -er tearing me a new one, time stopped, yet i knew that i was being given the strength to make it through whatever was going to occur in that frozen moment of time.

i know suffering, believe you me chuck colson, gay hater. and mine was not connected to some 'higher noble cause' like bonhoeffer's martyrdom was.

people who survive martyrdom attempts and who have lived to tell are called confessors.

that is exactly what we are who, here, have survived the experiences of sexual assault, [ and continue to be revictimed by people like colson because of our orientation].



your brother in recovery,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#251128 - 09/25/08 10:31 PM Re: Suffering and Redemption [Re: Sans Logos]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
ron

I'm sorry to have offended you. I made that post because I feel that Bonhoeffer would be on our side and that he would truly be our friend.

I also don't "like" Colson. He always has given me a creepy feeling. I think that Colson is a converted sociopath. Jesus brought even the tax collectors to himself. But I wish you could see past that person to see the words about Bonhoeffer, which I think you would agree with.

I think Bonhoeffer's suffering and his views of suffering validate what we at MS have gone through. The guys here have truly suffered. This is a reality.

Allen

puffer



Edited by pufferfish (09/25/08 10:38 PM)

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#251136 - 09/25/08 11:12 PM Re: Suffering and Redemption [Re: pufferfish]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
hi allen, you did not offend me. i know that you find value in that article, and i assume others did as well, and the articles's intent has certainly given me much to reflect upon. i just got triggered by my old wounds from the anita bryant days when colson was in his hey-day as a rising evangelical voice decrying the specific evils of the particular time period during which he was popularized.

at that time, i was at the height of my own conflict suffering in a contrived marriage, wrestling with my own unresolved shame around the abuse of my past, and realizing that i was not bi [which at the time meant 'confused'].

the triggers were definitely my own, and i realized that as i responded.

also, i realize too that we share different beliefs around the subject of 'redemption' but ultimately we both share in our faith that the spirit of christ is alive and present within our hearts continuing the work he started in his time on earth.

yes, i can definitely find value and inspiration in what the spirit of the article points to. and i am glad to be able to say that i don't fully agree with something, without dismissing it as being absolutely worthless.

thanks for listening and for being a friend,

your brother in recovery,

ron


_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#251265 - 09/26/08 04:42 PM Re: Suffering and Redemption [Re: Sans Logos]
Fissy Tsickens Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 466
Loc: Bassett, Virginia
Maybe Bonhoeffer would be a different person in the 21st century. Remember, he was a victim of his culture, upbringing, and times, just like we are. I'll tell you what, I'm not the homophob I was just months ago. Memories have caused me to reflect an awful lot lately. I hate the critical me of the past, and feel relieved that I am allowing myself to embrace my gay brothers on this sight, and acknowledge my own sexual feelings, which include gay desires. In a more modern time, I believe Bonhoeffer could also have experienced an awakening. Just my two cents.

Peace, guys.

FT

_________________________
Wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
About a home I’ll never see

It may sound absurd...but don’t be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed...but won’t you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
It’s not easy to be me

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