DEVIL

The disciples should not think that they could simply flee from the world and stay safely in the small group on the narrow path. False prophets will come among them, and the confusion will make their isolation even greater. Someone stands beside me, externally a member of the community. A prophet or preacher stands there, a Christian by appearances, words, and deeds. But internally dark motives are driving him to us. Internally he is a rampaging wolf; his words are lies and his deeds deceit. He knows how to guard his secret well, but under cover he works his evil deeds. He is among us, not because faith in Jesus Christ brought him to us, but because the devil drives him into the faith-community. Perhaps he is seeking power and influence, money, fame by his own thoughts and prophecies. He seeks the world, but not the Lord Christ. He hides his dark intent in the cloak of Christian piety and knows that Christians are easy to fool. Because of his cloak of innocence, he is counting on not being unmasked. He knows well that Christians are prohibited from judging, and he will remind them of that at just the right moment! No one can see into another’s heart. So he can deceive many a person to stray from the right way. Perhaps he does not even know all this, perhaps the devil who is driving him has concealed from him the truth about himself.

 – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

EUGENICS

[The aim of eugenics is] the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks — those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.

– Margaret Sanger (Founder of Planned Parenthood) quoted in the New York Times

FAITH

[The account of the nobleman in John 4:46-54] presents us with a beautiful example of the characteristics and nature of faith, namely, that it is to increase and become perfect. It portrays faith as something which does not lie quiet and idle, but is something living, restless, which either regresses or progresses, which lives and moves. If this does not happen, then it is not faith, but a dead idea in the heart about God, for true, living faith, which the Holy Spirit pours into the heart, simply cannot be idle. I say this so that no one will be secure, thinking that once he has laid hold of faith he will persist in it. What is important is not the beginning, but continuing, more and more as time goes on, and increasing and learning to know God better.

– Luther (LW 79:233)