Friday, December 15, 2006

Ethics again

"Jesus’ demand that the rich young man give up one of his rights makes clear that his ‘keeping of the Ten Commandments since his youth’ was not obedience to God, but ignoring the living God in the midst of keeping the so-called divine orders. The Decalogue and the Sermon on the Mount are thus not two different ethical ideals, but the one call to concrete obedience to the God and Father of Jesus Christ. Responsibly affirming property rights is no different from giving up one’s property, when done out of faith in God. Neither ‘fighting for rights’ nor ‘giving up rights’ is essential as such, as if it were a particular subject of the church’s proclamation. However, when done in faith either stance amounts to a submission to the right of God alone." —Bonhoeffer, Ethics, page 359 (emphasis his)

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