DAY 18: The Sin of Silence

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor in Germany during World War II, known for his vocal opposition to the Nazi party and their genocidal persecution of the Jews.  He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943 and executed on April 9, 1945 – just 21 days before Hitler died.

Bonhoeffer once wrote: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

Sometimes we think doing nothing is a neutral position to take, but doing nothing says a lot about what we really believe and value.

Randy Alcorn pointed out the irony of this.  He wrote: “Self-righteously we decry the German church’s failure to stand up for the Jews.  Meanwhile we fail to stand up for the unborn. We shake our heads in disgust at the German church’s tolerance of one holocaust while ignoring our own tolerance of another.”

Today, meditate on these Scriptures that talk about the sin of silence.

Proverbs 31:8-9 – “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

James 4:17 – “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

Ezekiel 33:7-9 – “As for you, O son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word from My mouth and give them warning from Me. If I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ but you do not speak out to dissuade him from his way, then that wicked man will die in his iniquity, yet I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you warn the wicked man to turn from his way, and he does not turn from it, he will die in his iniquity, but you will have saved your life.”

Suggested things to pray for:
  • Pray for the Church to speak up against the sin of abortion with wisdom, boldness, clarity and compassion.  Pray that it starts with us.