Bystanders to Evil?

Here I go again… being a busybody. But I have to ask you a question – have you ever heard of Operation 7 or seen a picture of this woman, Charlotte Friedenthal?

Don’t worry – most people can’t either. However, she is a German Jewish believer in Jesus and one of the 14 German Jews that Dietrich Bonhoeffer assisted in escaping to Switzerland in 1941 (11 of the German Jews were Christians, 3 were not).  Incidentally, his involvement in Operation 7 is what led to his arrest in 1943. Only after his arrest, would they discover his involvement in the 1944 assassination plot which would lead to his execution in April 1945. 

Simply put, Bonhoeffer could not stand by and be a bystander to evil. One of his most famous quotations is:

However, today I have to ask have we become de facto “bystanders to evil”? Whether it is moral issues, social issues, political issues? Have we kept silent when we should have shouted from the rooftops or at least prayed from our knees? 

But I will challenge you with where I think Christians and churches have been the greatest bystanders to evil and that is the spectrum of global evangelism.

We talk a good game. We will give to Lottie Moon if we are Southern Baptists but will we go next door to our lost neighbors. We will support missionaries until we choose to replace the carpet in the church’s foyer or build the next megalopolis when there are 49 churches in a 10 square mile radius of us.

Yes … I am being a busybody today but there is an evil happening and that is called lost souls entering eternity while we are standing by doing … WHAT?


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