Early last month, Angel Studios, the company that produced the global blockbuster, Sound of Freedom, announced they had acquired the rights to the feature film, Bonhoeffer, and are planning to release it in November of 2024.
“There has never been a time in history where we needed to be reminded of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer more than today,” said Jordan Harmon, President of Angel Studios. “The Angel Guild has shown, time and again, that true stories of heroism resonate.”
Most readers will be familiar with the German pastor best known for his courage in standing up against Adolf Hitler and the wickedness of the Nazi regime. He also authored two compelling books: The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together.
Originally a pacifist, Bonhoeffer grew frustrated with the German church’s unwillingness to oppose Hitler and his antisemitic policies.
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil,” he once wrote. “God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
Many scoff at attempts to compare the tactics of the 1930s and 40s Germany with the bullying and silencing of Christian believers today. Yet, the principles at play remain relevant.
Speaking out comes at a price. Standing up invites the slings and arrows of the world. Critics will try and cut you down. The elites will try and shut you up.
What should you do when you encounter criticism for pushing back on the indoctrination of children or the perversion of God’s gift of human sexuality?
The Apostle Paul provided timeless guidance when he was writing to Christians in Ephesus.
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm,” he urged them (Eph. 6:13).
In other words, having done all that you can do, what more can you do? Nothing – but to stand.
Stand firm against the spirit of the age.
Stand firm in the face of opposition.
Stand firm even when it appears you’re the only one left.
As we begin the season of Advent, a special time to prepare our hearts and minds for the celebration once more of Jesus’ birth, it might be encouraging to be reminded what Paul told believers in that same sacred text:
“For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).
News commentators often like to frame social conservative opposition to modern times as a “culture war.” By obvious definition, “war” is a conflict, and there’s no question that biblical truth is at odds with much, if not most, of today’s age. Yet, it’s not Christians who are warring – it’s the world that’s rebelling.
And the very best news of all is that the battle has already been won.
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace,” promised Jesus. “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
We look forward to next year’s release of Bonhoeffer, the story of a man who walked the talk of his Christian faith – and whose bold witness and courage should inspire us all.