Here I stand, God help me

Already it is by the laws and policies of this country – whether we are talking about the insane war abroad or the mental genocide that takes place in slum schools (today I would say in front of “reality TV”) – it is by the laws and policies of this country that the consciences of people are being racked. Of course we need to be concerned for order. Without it there is chaos, and with chaos there is no justice. But today what Christians in particular need to remember is that God never stands for stability at the expense of truth, that God has no interest in any status quo whatsoever. For God does not want to freeze history, but rather to move it continually toward that ultimate goal of his kind of unity in justice and mercy.

So what the Christian community needs to do above all else is to raise up men and women of thought and of conscience, adventuresome, imaginative people capable of both joy and suffering. And most of all they must be people of courage so that when the day goes hard and cowards steal from t he field, like Luther they will be able to say, “My conscience is captive to the word of God… to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.”

Creedo, by William Sloane Coffin


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