Bertha Dudde 1891 - 1965  
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BD 2748 21.5.1943

Spiritual Dependence ....
Doctrines of Faith in Compulsion ....
Reward or Punishment ....

People become spiritually dependent if they allow themselves to be forced into a school of thought by their fellow human beings which demands that they accept their teachings without contradiction, which thus deprives the human being of his spiritual freedom. The human being should certainly take note of it but be allowed to utilise every teaching offered to him without coercion, he should remain uninfluenced and decide completely freely for or against this teaching.

Spiritual freedom must not be touched, and the human being remains spiritually free as long as he is not influenced in any direction by coercion or threats to decide. As soon as he is threatened with temporal or eternal punishment, his decision is already unfavourably influenced insofar as he makes it driven by fear, and then it is invalid before God.

The human being should certainly be made aware of the effects of the right as well as the wrong earthly change, but the term punishment or reward must never be used for this, instead it must be made clear to him that it is in his power to make the life in the beyond beautiful or unbearable, that he himself determines the state in eternity through his way of life, that he can create incomparably glorious things for himself, but that he can also prepare a meagre, painful fate for himself through his will, but that his fate in the beyond is never a punishment or a reward imposed on him by God.... .... for he should never strive upwards for the sake of reward, just as the fear of punishment must never determine his will and actions.

But as soon as a person's thoughts are so guided by religious doctrines that he lives his life under a certain compulsion, that he thus only carries out prescribed actions or even works of love because they are, so to speak, made his duty, because their omission is regarded as a sin which will bring him punishment in eternity.... .... if he tries to gain a reward in eternity by performing such actions, his actions can no longer be regarded as free will, instead, the human being is spiritually dependent which makes him fulfil according to the rules what should be done of his own accord, without fear of punishment and without hope of reward.

The human being should always bear in mind that he is in an unredeemed state from which he should and can free himself if he has the will to do so, that he will shape his own fate in eternity, but that God will never punish or reward him for what he should or should not do for his own redemption. God leaves the human being complete freedom, and punishment or reward would already be a curtailment of the human being's freedom of will. The human being shapes his own fate according to his will, and only this should be made clear to him that his earthly life will have an effect in eternity, so that he will not live his life irresponsibly. ....

If, however, spiritual coercion is exerted, then his free will is eliminated insofar as it is replaced by fear or hope and then the good deeds are not to be evaluated as works of love, for the completely free will to do so is the first condition. Every good deed should be borne by love, and love cannot be determined either by fear or by hope for an advantage.

That is why only love should be preached to people, but love should never be compulsorily demanded, which is the case when a person's actions and intentions are determined by the threat of temporal or eternal punishment. Love cannot be awakened by any kind of coercion .... it must develop in the heart and drive the human being to everything he thinks and does, then the will remains free and his actions and thoughts have value before God ....

Amen

 

* Translated with www.Deepl.com/Translator

 
   

 

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