When the “Leader” Becomes the “Misleader”

Bonhoeffer imageRereading Life Together for the 20th time. Always timely. This quotation is from the introduction.

1933, February
Germany
Bonhoeffer had just turned 27 years of age

“In February Bonhoeffer delivered a lecture broadcast over the Berlin radio in which he flayed the German public for its hankering after a ‘leader’ who would inevitably become a ‘misleader’ so long as he did not clearly refuse to become the idol of the led. The broadcast was cut off before he had finished. When it became apparent that Hitler, the idol, had succeeded, he accepted a call to be the pastor of two German congregations in London, for he refused to have any part in the ‘German-Christian’ compromise with the Nazi government.”

From the Introduction by John W. Doberstein to 
Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s, Life Together: A Discussion of Christian Fellowship.

Questions:

  1. How does the national landscape of American politics reflect an idolatrous view of leadership?
  2. Does the mega-church movement and so-called “celebrity pastors” reflect some of the same tendencies?
  3. What structures in even small churches reflect the same idolistic tendencies in the human heart?

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