For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
–Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 (ESV)
Al Mohler posted an interesting article today regarding Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s attempt to assassinate Hitler:
So many readers are familiar with Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s decision to take action against Hitler. Fewer are familiar with the moral and theological reasoning that led Bonhoeffer, quite reluctantly, to this conclusion. Even then, Bonhoeffer was not certain he was acting rightly. He felt that this decision, made under extreme moral conditions, was the best he could understand.
In 1943, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was arrested for his opposition to the Nazi regime. The Lutheran pastor, a prominent leader in the anti-Nazi Confessing Church, had been involved in espionage and an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. This pastor and theologian sought to defy the regime that was murdering the Jewish people and destroying human life with homicide on an unprecedented scale. Bonhoeffer acted in defense of human life, and for this he was executed in the Flossenburg prison camp in the final days of World War II.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer opposed abortion with full force. In his Ethics he explained: “The simple fact is that God had certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.”
When it came to defying Hitler’s regime, Bonhoeffer saw that several excruciating moral questions were on “the borderland” and could not be settled with absolute certainty. Eventually, he was convinced that the Nazi regime was beyond moral correction and no longer legitimate. Christians, he then saw, bore a responsibility to oppose the regime at every level and to seek its demise. He acted in defense of life and was finally willing to use violence to that end.
America is not Nazi Germany. George Tiller, though bearing the blood of thousands of unborn children on his hands, was not Adolf Hitler…