“of all the passions, the passion for the Inner Ring is most skillful in making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things.” -C.S. Lewis
The church often bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the dysfunctional family. There is the authoritarian presence of the minister–the professional who knows all of the answers and calls most of the shots–whom few ever challenge either because they don’t dare to or because they feel it would do no good if they did. There is the outward camaraderie and inward loneliness of the congregation. There are the unspoken rules and hidden agendas, the doubts and disagreements that for propriety’s sake are kept more or less under cover. There are people with all sorts of enthusiasms and creativities which are not often enough made use of or even recognized because the tendency is not to rock the boat but to keep on doing things the way they have always been done.
Controllers, abusers and manipulative people don’t question themselves. They don’t ask themselves if the problem is them. They always say the problem is someone else.
– Darlene Ouimet-
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
First they came for the Socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.
– Pastor Martin Niemoller –
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.