[Originally posted back in 2006, the following is an excerpt from a chapter I wrote for Veritas Press' Omnibus III Textbook. This excerpt was published in VP's "epistula" e-newsletter in September 2006.]
For many, Adolph Hitler was the conservative, “family values” politician. Hitler passionately cared about the German family. He argued vehemently for rights of common workers, he spoke out against the so-called “liberation of women” from their callings in the home, and he encouraged a community culture that welcomed children and large families. Nazi papers, movies and educational curriculum consistently encouraged sexual fidelity and chastity, and they honored the responsibilities of mothers and wives in the raising of children and supporting their husbands. Hitler furthered his claims of defending the sanctity of the family through his suppression and execution of homosexuals throughout the war. Gypsies were another people group generally known for their immorality and less-than-orthodox lifestyles. These Hitler likewise suppressed and persecuted in various ways, gaining respect from the average German family. When Hitler came to power, his economic policies dramatically improved the nation almost overnight. Jobs were created largely through efforts to mobilize Germany for Hitler’s plans of expansion. Highway systems spread through the country to enable quick transportation of troops and supplies. Factories and technological plants sprang up in months, producing weapons, supplies, food, clothing and, of course, all the Nazi literature and media central to educating the masses in the Nazi program. The famous Volkswagen Beetle also appeared on German roads at this time, encouraging and allowing the common German man the freedom of economical travel. While Hitler outlawed all trade unions and every other political party, he silenced a great deal of dissidence with prosperity. German workers were given holidays and vacation time, plenty of work produced plenty of income, wives were encouraged to be home-centered, new schools and educational programs revitalized education and gave many opportunities to the children and youth of Germany. These family values, this sort of successful conservative progress, looked to many like a new Christian Germany emerging from the ashes of the liberalism of the previous fifty years. Hitler was also outspoken against communism, the atheistic political program of the Soviet Union. Hitler claimed to have a high regard for the right of private property and many basic, everyday freedoms. Hitler and the Nazi Party seemed to Germany to present the way of progress and rebirth. Ever since the First World War, Germany had suffered terribly from economic depression, political indecision and infighting; here at last, Hitler and the Nazis presented a unified and confident alternative to liberalism and socialism.
Recognizing all of these supposed “blessings” of Adolph Hitler as ruler is important for pointing out how the Christian faith dramatically diverges from Hitler. As we have seen, Hitler’s plans were larger than just some idea of “struggle.” Hitler believed that in, addition to pure blood, the next most necessary provision for progress and evolution was Lebensraum or “living space.” In order to win the fight, to prevail in the struggle, Germans needed bigger backyards. This necessity justified the expansion of German borders. It was the greater good of progress and freedom for the Aryan race that warranted the invasion of France, the annexation of Austria and the lightening warfare (or Blitzkrieg) that conquered a number of other eastern European countries within days. It is important to point out that the Scriptures also teach that the Kingdom of God will expand. In fact Jesus sent his disciples into the whole world, to every land and people, to make disciples by baptizing them and teaching them how to live like Christ. In other words, King Jesus has sent His people on a mission of world conquest. But the significant differences between this world conquest and what Hitler imagined are in the method of conquest and the reason for conquest. Where Hitler believed that a pure race of Aryan peoples would subjugate all the inferior races of the world and use them as slaves, like so many cattle, the Great Commission of Jesus sends His people into the world to declare the good news of salvation to every land and race. In fact, faithful ministers of the gospel are declaring that there is only one pure-blooded man, and His name is Jesus, and He shed his blood for all the nations of the earth to make them pure and blameless before God. Where Hitler lifted up Aryan blood and condemned the nations of the world, we lift up the perfect blood of Christ and proclaim the salvation of the world.
This story of Hitler’s “wooing” of Germany also serves as a solemn warning to American evangelical Christians. Given that Christians are some of the most enthusiastic supporters of “family values” and “conservative politics,” we must recognize the slippery slope of following strategies like voting for the “lesser of two evils.” One of the most important ways we must protect ourselves and our descendants from the temptation of seeing politics as our savior must be the determination that all reformation begins in the Church. Faithful worship results in honest, joyful living before the face of God, and honest, joyful living is what results (eventually) in economic blessing, political stability and peace. Germany bought the lie that they were completely backed into a corner; they believed that Hitler really was the only way out. But Christ has promised that we are part of a Kingdom against which the gates of Hades will not prevail (Matt. 16:18).
And so here you are in high school in the 21st century. Why are you in school? Why are you reading this page? Why are you reading Mein Kampf? You may be wondering these very things yourself; or perhaps you are quite sure it was your teacher’s fault or that your mom or dad “made you do it.” But let me offer you an even more meaningful reason. You are studying and reading this book because you are training to be a faithful worshiper of the Triune God. Hitler was absolutely right: education’s central purpose is to train young men and women to be the most useful subjects of the kingdom. However, he was terribly wrong for believing that any amount of struggle–however heroic–would amount to anything in the blender of Fate. He was terribly wrong to believe that Germany, a plot of land in central Europe, was the pinnacle of civilization. In the end, all his dramatic posturing is like watching a small child wrestling in a sandbox with his eyes closed pretending to be doing deadly battle with some unseen foe. God looks down from heaven and laughs; He holds in scorn all those who set themselves against His Anointed. But we do well to consider: What is the chief end of man? What is the greatest calling of every subject of the Kingdom of God? Your central purpose from beginning to end, first to last, your greatest task and privilege is the worship and glory of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This being the case, the central purpose of education is the training of Christian worshipers. The reason you are reading this essay is so that you might chant, sing, clap, pray, kneel, raise hands, listen, eat, drink and shout with understanding, reverence and joy to the end that the God of heaven and earth will send justice like summer rain and mercy like a downpour on the earth. The reason you study math, science and art is so that your imagination will be filled with wonder and awe at the Creator of the most mind blowing project ever: the world. And whether you are learning to read music or playing an instrument, whether your hand is holding a pencil or gesturing in the theater, you are training yourself for the warfare of worship. You are teaching your body gratitude; you are teaching your soul thanksgiving. There is hardly an adequate evaluation of your progress, but the best grade you can receive is the outworking of a thankful heart. If you have truly learned Algebra, if you have mastered the story of Western Civilization, if you can tell me the names of the constellations that whirl about our heads, then you will do it with laughter in your voice, you will do it with joy in your heart and gratitude in your bones. Worship is the point of learning because worship is the point of life. And worship is the point of life both because this is the chief honor of every faithful subject in the Kingdom of God and because it is the head of many waters, the council chambers of the King of all the earth. From the world gathered at the table of the Lord issues the great judgments of the King.
Hitler’s world is the story of eternal collision, unending struggle and violence. In that world blood and genes are the fundamentals of life, and pure Aryan blood is Hitler’s absolute best. But the Christian story scoffs at the small-mindedness of German nationalism even as it scoffs at American imperialism. The Lord of Heaven derides Hitler’s arrogant racism and sickening genocide as much as He abhors the slaughter of the unborn in our own country. But this is all the inevitable end of evolutionary thought. If the world is a galactic mosh pit, then bigger is better, might does make right. However, history tells the story better. Those who live by the sword will die by the sword. But blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God. And the sons of God are welcome at His table. The gospel declares the pure and undefiled blood of Jesus Christ, whose blood purifies every nation of the world. Hitler was right: pure blood will conquer the world. But ironically (for Hitler) that blood is the blood that was shed by an innocent Jewish man two thousand years ago. The sons and daughters of the Most High are family through the blood of Christ and are therefore invited to the family meetings. The Christian faith encompasses all of life, visible and invisible. Forgiveness cleanses the soul, and fruit proceeds out of the heart. In a mystery, the visible and invisible mingle and mix. In a wonderful glory God adopts us into His family with water and faith, He feeds us with His word and bread and wine. And we bless one another with words and smiles and hugs. Joy makes bones strong, and wisdom gives long life. We live in the world that God made, a world where heaven and earth touch, for we have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God. In Christian worship we ascend into the throne room in heaven to ask the Father for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Fate speaks, destiny beckons and all of the scrapings of Hitler are like sand in the wind. But the Lord speaks, the Triune God beckons and the prayer of the righteous man avails much.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
[Originally posted back in 2006, the following is an excerpt from a chapter I wrote for Veritas Press' Omnibus III Textbook. This excerpt was published in VP's "epistula" e-newsletter in September 2006.]
Monday, June 28, 2010
In an article in Semeia Cheryl Exum points out that Pharaoh thinks that only sons are a threat to Egypt. He orders the murder of the Hebrew boys but explicitly allows the "daughters" to live (1:16, 22). Pharaoh does not think that daughters are a threat. He does not think that daughters will cause Israel to go up out of the land (cf. 1:10).
But Exum notes that this is explicitly and directly contradicted by the text. The very next verse in 2:1 describes a "daughter" of the tribe of Levi giving birth to Moses. Then when she cannot hide him any longer, another daughter, Pharaoh's own daughter saves Moses from her father's wicked decree. Pharaoh thought that daughters were no threat, but daughters are the ones who save the son who will be the downfall of the house of pharaoh and lead Israel up out of the land.
The text underlines the significance of daughters by repeating the word "daughter" in the singular 7 times in chapter 2, and the word is used twice more in the plural to refer specifically to Reuel's 7 daughters. Exum points out that Moses is saved by daughters, and then Moses flees to Midian where he saves the daughters of Reuel. This foreshadows Moses ministry. He is saved by daughters at the beginning of his life, and he will save the daughters of Israel from Egypt when he returns.
Opening Prayer: O God, You are good and glorious and wonderful beyond our reckoning. And You are good particularly because You are always before us, ahead of us. You are always at work preparing a way for us. We thank you for this, and we ask it for it now, that your Spirit would prepare us now for Your word and lead us to fear you and obey you, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
We saw last week that Exodus opens as a new creation narrative with the word of God naming and prevailing over the word of a nameless satanic king whose word is repeatedly overturned. Despite hints of unfaithfulness and the oppressive slavery, God is bringing a new world to life. Israel is a son being born. And Moses is one son among many whom God is raising to rule with Him.
The Baptism of Moses
Moses came from the tribe of Levi. He is a member of the priestly tribe who will be tasked with the teaching and guarding of Israel. His mother sees that he is “good,” and this is another unmistakable allusion to the original creation story (cf. Gen. 1). She hid/treasured him for three months (2:2) until she could no longer hide him. The extreme measures that Moses’ mother takes suggest that the murder of Hebrew boys had become fairly widespread (but 12:37). Notice that his mother is obeying the command of the Pharaoh: she is putting him into the river. But Moses is placed in an “ark” made of bulrushes or papyrus, and the ark is covered with clay and pitch (v. 3). The word for “ark” is only used elsewhere to refer to Noah’s ark and implies that his mother is taking great pains for his salvation and rescue. The word for “clay/asphalt” could be translated cement or mortar, and this suggests that Moses is also in some way symbolically being given up for dead, returning to the ground in the river-grave of the Hebrew babies. The word can refer to the color “red” and may have actually looked somewhat “bloody” in the water. The ark is placed in the “reeds” in the Nile because his mother hoped he would be found by an Egyptian and saved (v. 4). This is clearly a prefiguring of Israel who will later pass through the Sea of Reeds. Pharaoh’s daughter probably knows what’s up, and goes along with the plan of Moses’ mother (v. 7-9). Literally, she “spared” him (v. 6). The same water that has killed many Hebrew boys is the water of life for Moses. Notice also that it’s Pharaoh’s own daughter who is saving the Hebrew baby who will rise up and deliver Israel. This further indicates Pharaoh’s impotence: it’s not just the midwives fooling the king; his own daughter is not obeying him. She is not only sparing Moses but paying his mother to nurse him. His mother is given money like the Israelites will receive from the Egyptians later (12:35-36).
From Saved to Savior
There are three events that mark Moses’ transition from an adopted prince in the royal house to Midian. He sees an Egyptian beating a Hebrew and intervenes to save him (v. 11-12). He intervenes to break up a fight between two Hebrews (v. 13-14). Finally, he intervenes to defend the daughters of Jethro from the shepherds (v. 16-17). The stories have in common Moses’ defense of the weak, but they also show us Moses’ future ministry to Israel. He will deliver them from Egypt (the Exodus), he will be their “prince and judge” to secure peace in Israel (the Law), and he will provide Israel with water in the wilderness.
The word for “strike/smite” in 11-12 is the verb form for the word “plague.” Moses is prefiguring what Yahweh will do to oppressive Egypt. One commentator suggests that when Moses “looked here and there” (v. 12), he was actually looking for help. Regardless, Moses pictures what Yahweh will do to Egypt to deliver Israel. The episode at the well is a scene that we have witnessed before (Gen. 24, 29). This is what might be called a “stock scene” or “type scene” (think of a western movie shoot-out scene). This wedding-well scene has its great fulfillment in Christ (Jn. 4). Moses is married to one of Reuel’s (Jethro’s) daughters, Zipporah, and she bears him a son named Gershom. The narrator says that this fits with Moses’ historical circumstances; we might also point out that the name is based on the verb “to drive out” and is what Moses has just done to the shepherds. This is also what God promises Pharaoh will do to the Israelites and in fact what he does (6:1, 12:39, cf. 23:28ff).
Notice that this chapter begins and ends with a wedding and the birth of a son. The names of the sons even have similar meanings: Moshe “he drew out” and Gershom “he drove out.” We noted in chapter 1 that there was a repeated emphasis on the word “son.” Here, interestingly, the word “daughter” is repeated 9 times (2:1, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 16, 20, 21). While the Pharaoh thought that only the sons were a threat (1:16, 22), these “daughters” join the midwives of chapter one in playing instrumental roles in the deliverance of Israel (cf. Gen. 3:15).
This text piles up the ways in which pharaoh’s word is thwarted and God’s word is established. The very thought of Israel “going up out of the land” begins with Pharaoh (1:10), and it is ultimately all of his actions that are used to bring about this result. Pharaoh’s house ends up saving and raising the very man who will be used to bring it down. This is a glorious testimony to God’s providence and sovereignty. The prologue of Exodus 1-2 describes a world where there is little explicit mention of God but where His hand and purposes are obviously present. By the time Israel cries out to God, God has already been at work. And this is the way it always is: God’s grace always precedes us.
But this doesn’t mean that Israel should not have cried out. The danger of teaching the doctrine of God’s providence is the temptation to apathy. But the text says that God heard Israel’s crying and their groaning and he remembered his covenant with their fathers and He looked upon them and knew them (2:23-25). God had been at work preparing for Israel to cry out to Him. This links back to Ex. 1:1-4, and between these two verses all of chapters 1-2 are the names and people that God knows. Knowing God and being known by Him is the crucial difference between blind arrogance and stoic apathy. And this applies to everything. Shall we buy this house or not? Shall we take this job or not? What should Moscow look like in 20, 50, 70 years? The only way we can be faithful is if we know and are known by the God of heaven, and that path is in the Word, Sacraments, and Prayer. What are you praying for?
In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.
Closing Prayer: Our God and Father, we thank you and praise you that you have called us out of darkness into light, that you have raised us up and seated us in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and that you wait expectantly to hear from us. And we confess that we are too often timid and silent or else we ask for foolish and selfish things. But we know that your grace always precedes us. Your grace is always getting ready for us. And so we place our trust in You, and we begin to pray again, we call out boldly to you in the words of our Savior who taught us to pray, singing…
In 1 Cor. 10:2, Paul says that all of Israel was baptized “into Moses.” Paul explains that it was “in the cloud and in the sea.” At least one way of understanding this is that Israel followed in the steps of Moses. Moses passed through the water and reeds of the Nile and was delivered from his enemies as Israel was later delivered from her enemies through the waters of the Sea of Reeds. Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness and Yahweh spoke to him at Mt. Sinai as Israel would later do. In other words, if Israel had looked closely in faith, they would have seen how Moses’ early life was all a down payment and a preview of what God planned to do for them. Moses went through an Exodus before God brought Israel through theirs.
And this is why Paul can say that Israel was baptized into Moses. To be baptized is to be joined to a head, to be married to a leader. Israel followed Moses, the savior Yahweh raised up for her, and we are called to do the same. Our baptism is into King Jesus. His baptism was a literal death, and therefore we have been baptized into his death (Rom. 6:3-4). We have been called to follow him to the Promised Land. Throughout Scripture God points his people to what he has already done in history. This is how we know that God will deliver us now and in the future. God has been faithful in Jesus, our great Moses, and therefore he will be faithful to all who are in Him.
Now this meal is another memorial of the death of Christ. We partake of that death and resurrection, that Great Exodus in faith believing that our lives, our stories, are in the process of being turned into the story of Christ. Just as Israel’s story came to resemble the story of Moses, their spiritual head, so too we believe that as we trust and obey, our lives and stories are being conformed to the image of Christ. So come, eat, drink, and rejoice in the Exodus of Jesus.
Today is the Fifth Sunday in Trinity Season. Some traditions of the Christian Church count these Sundays as the Sundays after Pentecost and so refer to this as Pentecost Season. But both ways of designating this season are interested in celebrating and remembering the ways in which the life of God is being impressed into this world in history. When the Spirit was poured out, the apostles and first Christians began acting and speaking like their master, the Lord Jesus, because they had been given His Spirit, and the book of Acts is the story of that beginning. At the very end of the New Testament, John sees the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, and this is not merely something John hopes will happen some day. John was confessing that it had begun in his day, some 2000 years ago. The birth of Jesus was the birth of this world’s King, and when He poured out His Spirit, the invasion of this world began. And that is why we are here. We are here because we have been conquered by that Spirit. We were once enemies of the Kingdom. We were once enslaved by tyrants and gods and demons. And sin and death had its way with us. But Jesus did not take no for an answer, and He invaded our lives, our stories, and He subdued us to Himself. We are the spoils of King Jesus.
And we are among many countless millions this morning gathered around the throne of grace. John saw a vision of a multitude that no man could number, and in his day, there were only a few thousands of believers. If there was any doubt, there cannot be any more. We serve the Lord Jesus who rose on the third day conquering the last enemy, and Paul says that He must reign until all of his enemies have been put beneath His feet. We are citizens of this Kingdom, the Kingdom that has come, the Kingdom that is coming, the Kingdom that will come and fill this world. And we are gathered here to proclaim this fact, to proclaim that every pharaoh will fall, every tyrant will be brought down, and we are here to proclaim the forgiveness of sins and the exodus of every slave. And as we look around our city and neighborhoods, we here to cry out to God to remember His promises. We are here to cry out for those still in bondage, those still groaning beneath their loads. But we cry out in faith because Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt. 11:28-29)
Monday, June 21, 2010
In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul says that in Christ all things are being reconciled. The Spirit has been poured out as the guarantee of this, the down payment of this reconciliation. Paul says that having the Spirit means that he and the other apostles are ambassadors for Christ pleading with all men to be reconciled to God. This table is the enactment of this word of reconciliation. At this table, God invites all of his people to eat together, to fellowship in the communion of the body and blood of Christ by the working of the Spirit. And it’s important to point out that the Passing of the Peace is not this sacrament of reconciliation. The Scriptures urge us to greet one another in the peace of the Lord, and the Church has wisely kept a custom of sharing that peace before coming to this table and it may be an important part of reconciliation, but the point is that this table is the act of reconciliation. Just as an engaged couple may hug or kiss before the wedding day, that does not mean they are married before the wedding ceremony. It is the ceremony that affects the marriage. Of course a ceremony doesn’t guarantee faithfulness; the Spirit is the guarantee. It’s possible to lie at this table. But that doesn’t change what this meal is. This meal is an act of communion, an act of fellowship. And in that sense, every week it is an act of re-union, renewed fellowship, reconciliation. This body was pierced for the reunion of all things in Christ; this blood was shed for the reconciliation of all men to God. You are eating reunion. You are drinking reconciliation. And for those who eat and drink reconciliation while harboring bitterness and unfaithfulness, this table is poison. But for those who in brokenness and weakness know that what they need most of all is forgiveness and healing and reunion, this meal is grace and healing and reconciliation. So come, eat and drink in faith, and rejoice in the goodness of God.
In our sermon text today, Paul says that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away and all things have become new. One of the things this means is that every new life, every new generation of believers is a new act of creation by the Spirit. There is continuity in history just as we might see continuity in the original creation week: God creates the firmament, places stars in it, and then makes birds to fly across it. It is the same overall project of creation. But there is another sense in which stars are completely new, birds are completely unexpected, and who could have anticipated Zebras? Being a new creation in Christ is a promise and blessing to every new creature in Christ. Just as God created Adam and Eve, showed them the new world, and then set them free to work it and make it beautiful, so too every new creation in Christ by the working of the Spirit is set free to make this new world beautiful and glorious. But this also means that this Spirit of new creation continues to be the Spirit of newness throughout our lives. This means that there is never a point in a believer’s life when the Spirit stops being the Spirit of the new creation. Individuals may harden themselves in sin and grieve the Spirit of God. The are real warnings about that. But for believers who stumble and fall, believers who make enormous mistakes and regret it, believers who wonder if they have spent many years of their lives well, believers who may wish they could do some things over again, for you, there is all kinds of hope because you have been given the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of resurrection life, the Spirit of the new creation. And the mercies of God are new every morning. Every morning is another day of the new creation. Do not say it is too late. Do not fret away hours or days or months wishing you might have done it differently. You have the Spirit so that you can begin again every day. Confess your sins, ask for forgiveness, do whatever restitution is necessary, and then get started. There’s a world before you, and God loves to do new things.
Speaking of Pharaoh's wisdom/cunning to reduce the Israelite "threat" Calvin writes:
"But this is a wicked kind of cunning, (however it may be varnished over with the specious name of foresight,) unjustly to molest others for our own security. I fear this or that person, because he both has the means of injuring me, and I am uncertain of his disposition towards me; therefore, in order that I may be safe from harm, I will endeavor by every possible means to oppress him. In this way the most contemptible, and imbecile, if he be inclined to mischief, will be armed for our hurt, and so we shall stand in doubt of the greater part of mankind. If thus every one should indulge his own distrust, while each will be devising to do some injury to his possible enemies, there will be no end to iniquities." (Calvin's Commentaries Vol. 2, 27)
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
For those curious about my previous comments regarding Barth's views on Christians serving in the political realm "anonymously," Barth writes:
"In the political sphere the Christian community can draw attention to its gospel only indirectly, as reflected in its political decisions, and these decisions can be made intelligible and brought to victory not because they are based on Christian premises but only because they are politically better and more calculated to preserve and develop the common life. They can only witness to Christian truths..." (292)
Through the course of this essay, Barth has developed a fairly strong doctrine of the political nature of the church at the center of the kingdom. The church is called to witness to the entire kingdom which includes even the realm of the state. But many, on these assumptions, have then proceeded to establish "Christian" political parties and Barth objects to this on the grounds that it creates a number of strange contradictions. What of Christians who don't go along with the Christian party? Isn't the church as the community of God's people already a political force in the world?
In place of the Christian party, Barth writes:
"In the political sphere Christians can only bring in their Christianity anonymously. They can break through this anonymity only by waging a political battle for the church and by so doing they will inevitably bring discredit and disgrace on the Christian name. In the authentically political questions which affect the development of the civil community Christians can only reply in the form of decisions which could be the decisions of any other citizens, and they must frankly hope that they may become the decisions of all other citizens regardless of their religious profession." (292)
Barth goes on to insist that as the gospel is preached effectively within the church and the church is faithful to her calling this will have a far reaching impact on the broader culture. But Christians who are faithful in the political arena will be so, Barth insists, as they act "anonymously."
"There will be no lack of individual Christians who will enter the political arena anonymously, that is, in the only way they can appear on the political scene, and who will act in accordance with the Christian approach and will thereby prove themselves unassuming witnesses of the gospel of Christ, which can alone bring salvation in the political sphere no less than elsewhere." (295)
As I mentioned in the original post where I mentioned this, I find Barth to be refreshingly helpful in large part in his discussions of politics and the role of the church as a polis in its own right, and I share his concerns about "Christian" political parties. But I'm not sure I understand what he means here, and it sounds unsatisfying at the very least.
These quotations are taken from Karl Barth: Theologian of Freedom ed. by Glifford Green
Sunday, June 13, 2010
"As disciples of Christ, the members of his church do not rule: they serve. In the political community, therefore, the church can only regard all ruling that is not primarily a form of service as a diseased and never as a normal condition."
- Karl Barth