Moral Man, Immoral Society: Part 2

 Individuals can be moral in purpose and in actions.  But, combine a bunch of individuals into a coercive group can cause the group to become immoral.  For example, Adolf Hitler’s rise to power was initially a good thing for Germany.  He brought jobs and prosperity to his people.  However, as he gained power, the moral imperative became the despotic immoral coercion.
 The answer to this apparent contradiction is, of course the Gospel.  Neibhur stresses the role of the Holy Spirit (what he calls the “religious imagination”).   In a sense groups, political parties, remain moral because the individuals in that societyanswer to a “higher power,” not to the coercion of the group or to the agenda of the group.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German World War II martyr, for example, was perhaps the most patriotic of Germans because he loved his God and his country enough to obey God and His Word above all persons.  This was the only way, Bonhoeffer understood, that his nation could be moral and right before the God he served.  Unfortunately he was a lone voice in the wilderness!
 Today, young people, as you look ahead of you, do the right thing.  All the time.  Every time.  Do not seek to overcome evil with evil, even if your society tells you it is all right.  Make the Word of God central to your life and, as you do, and as thousands do, society will change too.

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