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Reading from Life Together

The bright love of Christian service, agape, lives in the spiritual community; the dark love of pious-impious urges, eros, burns in the self-centered community. In the former, there is ordered, Christian service; in the latter, disordered desire for pleasure. In the former, there is humble submission of Christians one to another; in the latter, humble yet haughty subjection of other Christians to one’s own desires. In the spiritual community the Word of God alone rules; in the emotional, self-centered community the individual who is equipped with exceptional powers, experience, and magical, suggestive abilities rules along with the Word. In the one, God’s Word alone is binding; in the other, besides the Word, human beings bind others to themselves. In the one, all power, honor, and rule are surrendered to the Holy Spirit; in the other, power and personal spheres of influence are sought and cultivated.

Bonhoeffer, Bonhoeffer Works, Vol 5, 39–40.

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