Monday, December 22, 2003


I read this in the latest Leadership: -

"On February 13, 1945, 873 Royal Air Force bombers dropped 1,500 tons of explosives and 1,200 tons of incendiaries on Dresden, Germany. On February 14, 1945, the Americans sent 311 B-17 bombers to finish the city off. They turned the city into a firestorm visible for 200 miles. A column of 1,000-degree heat rose from the blaze, sucking oxygen from the outskirts of the city with hurricane force winds.

"Operation Thunderclap," as it was called, destroyed three times as much of Dresden in two days as the Germans destroyed of London in 1940. German estimates placed the death toll at 135,000.

The city's strategic value scarcely warranted the intensity of the attack. Dresden lacked heavy industry or vital transportation routes; rather it was a city of arts and letters and widely considered one of the architectural gemstones of Europe. Whereas bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki stopped the war with Japan, bombing Dresden did not effect the outcome of the war-nor was it intended to do so.

To this day "Dresden" is a symbol of how forces fighting for an upright cause can collapse into the barbarity of the enemy."

History shows us Dresden caused questions; regret; discomfort.

It’s challenged me to think do we as a church ever "collapse into the barbarity of the enemy…" Do we see it in our relationships with each other? Do we see it in the booming ecclesiastical businesses that bombard? Do we see it in the manipulation we call evangelism? Do we see it in our designer church pre-occupation?

Sometimes I feel uncomfortable!

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