When Is Indecision Loveless and Sinful? (A Lesson from Bonhoeffer)
Have you ever been paralyzed with indecision? I have. It is not a good trait of leadership.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer breathed the air of crisis most of his adult life. This would eventually make the issue of decisiveness a matter of life and death. And even before that moment it was an issue of love.
Everywhere Bonhoeffer looked in the Europe of 1934 he saw Christian indecisiveness. The “deutsche Christen,” the global ecumenical movement — everyone but Hitler. Nazism’s strangle hold on the church in Germany was almost complete, and no one seemed willing to act.
Bonhoeffer and his friends soon would. A “Confessing Church” would emerge free from the coercions of the Third Reich. A “Barmen Declaration” would be published. But for now Bonhoeffer pleaded for action.
On April 7, 1934 he wrote a letter to Henry Louis Henriod, the Swiss theologian who headed the ecumenical World Alliance. He pled…