“God hasn't created the other as I would have created him. He didn't give me the other as a brother so that I can rule over him, but to find the creator through him. In his freedom as creation the other becomes a reason of joy for me, having been only labour and trouble before. God does not want that I form the other according the image that I think is good, i.e. according to my own image, but in his freedom of me has God made the other in his image.”
“Within spiritual community there is never, nor in any way, any “immediate” relationship of one to another, whereas human community expresses a profound, elemental, human desire for community, for immediate contact with other human souls. . . . Human love is directed to the other person for his own sake, spiritual love loves him for Christ’s sake.
Because Christ stands between me and others, I dare not desire direct fellowship with them. . . . This means that I must release the other person from every attempt of mine to regulate, coerce, and dominate him with my love. The other person needs to retain his independence of me; to be loved for what he is, as one for whom Christ became man, died, and rose again. . . . Because Christ has long since acted decisively for my brother, before I could begin to act, I must leave him his freedom to be Christ’s. This is the meaning of the proposition that we can meet others only through the mediation of Christ.”
“Life together under the Word will remain sound and healthy only where it does not form itself into a movement, an order, a society... but rather where it understands itself as being a part of the one, holy, catholic, Christian Church, where it shares actively and passively in the sufferings and struggles of the whole Church. Every principle of selection, every separation connected with it that is not necessitated quite objectively by common work, local conditions, or family connections is of the greatest danger to a Christian community. When the way of intellectual or spiritual selection is taken, the human element always insinuates itself and robs the fellowship of its spiritual power and its effectiveness for the Church, and drives it into sectarianism.”