Listen, if you will, to this word from Rich Dixon:


Why didn’t they listen?

The question came up in our small group (I might have asked it). A prophet brought a clear message from God. He told them the consequences of disobedience. They ignored his warning and suffered the consequences. Cry out to God. Repent.

Rinse, and repeat. We see the same pattern throughout Israel’s history, and we have to wonder.

Why didn’t they listen?

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There’s a quote we use a lot around the FREEDOM TOUR.

“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” – – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We like the quote for a couple of reasons. First, it’s like he wrote it for us. Injustice, spokes, wheels – it’s the perfect bumper sticker for a bike tour focused on human trafficking.

And it’s BONHOEFFER. Everyone respects Bonhoeffer, right? Pastors love to quote him in sermons. Want to impress the folks in your bible study? Toss out a casual reference to the latest Bonhoeffer book you read.

When so many remained silent, Bonhoeffer spoke out against Nazi brutality. He visited America in 1938 and could have remained and criticized from safety. Instead, he returned to be arrested, imprisoned, and eventually executed.

As close to a modern-day martyr as we’ll get. Everyone respects Bonhoeffer.

+ + +

I wonder.

If Bonhoeffer or MLK wandered into many current churches and offered the same sort of blistering commentary that makes them so respected now, how would they be received? Would they be hailed as prophetic voices calling us to confess and repent? Or would they be reviled as radical leftist agitators?

Our “heroes” weren’t universally loved in their own times. Bonhoeffer was executed, MLK was assassinated.

This is NOT about politics. It’s about a simple question.

Why don’t we listen?