This piece was written by Paul Isaacs, President of Save the Storks
One of my favorite quotes goes as follows: “Only he who stands up for the Jews may sing Gregorian chants.”
Now you may be wondering why this seemingly random statement has altered my life in such a huge way. Allow me to introduce to you one of my heroes, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
During the decades of the 1930’s and 1940’s, a young Dietrich Bonhoeffer had immense promise as a theologian and pastor. Bonhoeffer’s star was shining bright and on the rise. Conventional wisdom would say, “Teach others in the ivory tower. Publish scholarly articles and write books. Play it safe.” But Bonhoeffer couldn’t do that.
He began to see what was coming for the Jewish people in Germany. He publicly warned his fellow believers that the Nazi party was no friend of Germany, the Jews, or the true Church of Jesus. As time went on his warnings became reality. The official Church of Germany at that time capitulated to Hitler, forcing a group of true believers to form what became known as The Confessing Church–a group that felt a strong obligation to speak for those who had no voice, the Jews.
It was during this time that Bonheoffer wrote that challenging and humbling phrase, “Only he who stands up for the Jews may sing Gregorian chants.”
As Erik Metaxas aptly put it, Bonheoffer believed that “if we were not heroically and courageously doing what God wanted us to do, God was not interested in our public displays of worship.”
To make such a public statement during such a time was both dangerous and inflammatory. I am inspired by his courage. Real heroes don’t need to talk ten minutes without saying anything. They throw it down in five seconds, and let the chips fall where they may.
The same is true today. Sure, there are numerous injustices taking place around the world. But consider the legalized, systemic injustice of taking the innocent life of a person based upon their age, gender, or special need. It is happening by the hundreds of thousands every year in our country.
In fact, nearly 60 million lives have been taken by abortion since it was legalized in 1973.
Dietrich Bonheoffer was placed in prison in 1943. His offense: secretly and subversively planning the escape of 14 Jews to Switzerland. He was executed by hanging three weeks before the end of World War II. And while I wish his fate had turned out differently, I believe his obedience to God is to be emulated.
So I, too, will make a bold statement. It’s a statement that we all must wrestle with in terms of the great injustice of our time. It’s a statement that would greatly impact the way Christians today live their lives. It’s a statement that, if taken seriously, would save millions of children from abortion.
“Only he who stands with the unborn may sing praise and worship music.”
Saying that is not meant to shame anyone into joining the pro-life movement. Instead, it is meant to reveal God’s heart for the unborn and to challenge His followers to see lives in the womb as inherently valuable and worthy of our daily defense.