quote for today

"One might well imagine a scene at the Last Judgment, before the throne of God. There, side by side in the [witness stand], are the state and the church. God addresses the state first, demanding an account of its crimes: 'Why did you tolerate the exploitation of the poor? Why have you oppressed, persecuted, tortured, and murdered? Why did you make war on other nations, devastating their cities and killing by the millions?' The state will bow its head, knowing it has sinned, and will ask for pardon. It will also plead an extenuating circumstance. 'The church here,' it will argue, 'never translated your commandments into practical deeds. It never prophesied or showed the way. Instead it became rich. It became an institution where earthly concerns tempered its zeal. It collaborated with me and gave me its blessing. It was because of its blindness that I went astray. I accept your judgment, but also ask that the church be more severely condemned...' "There is yet hope for the church. The little oil lamps of Jesus' time were not very bright. Still, the difference between the total darkness of an unlighted house, and the light shed by a single lamp is the difference between night and day. As Jesus said, 'It gives light to everyone in the house.' Here is good news for Christ's disciples! We need not worry about the effectiveness of our preaching or of our example of nonresistance and gentleness. Our voice, if we would but speak, our example, if we would but put love into practice, is not lost in the night. "But Jesus sounds a warning: 'See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.' Politics per se are not the church's business. The church is not to preoccupy itself with results. It has not even to practice 'pacifism,' that is, reject arms with the object of stopping war. No, God expects only one thing of it: that it walk in obedience to the gospel, refusing violence in whatever form because of that obedience, without concerning itself with the consequences, good or bad, that such refusal may involve. Such faith puts into practice the justice that marks God's kingdom. The church's business is not to establish peace between the nations, but to bear witness to the love of God, to live in his peace and righteousness." --Andre Trocme, Jesus and the Nonviolent Revolution


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