Dietrich Bonhoeffer on "Idolatry of 'spiritual' 'relationships'"

a counterfeit of CHRIST-Centered LIFE Together


“Many persons seek relationships because they are afraid of loneliness [or want help with child care, children’s education, business contacts, a financial safety net, control, “participation,” seeking a spouse or playmates, running from hurts or “bad experiences” often of their own doing ironically, wanting recreation or companions or “friends” or excitement not a Cross—or other such self-life impulses and motivations]. Because they can no longer endure being alone, such people are driven to seek the company of others. Christians, too, who cannot cope on their own, and who in their own lives have had some bad experiences, hope to experience help with this in the company of other people. More often than not, they are disappointed. They then blame other believers for what is really their own fault.

“The church is not a spiritual sanatorium. Those who take refuge in relationships while fleeing from themselves are misusing others to indulge in empty talk and distraction, no matter how spiritual this idle talk and distraction may appear. In reality they are not seeking Jesus at all, but only a thrill that will allow them to forget their isolation for a short time. It is precisely such misuse of relationships that creates the deadly isolation of human beings. Such attempts to find healing result in the undermining of speech and all genuine experience and, finally, resignation and spiritual death.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
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