James Leroy Wilson's blog

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Fourth Reich

Chuck Baldwin is at it again. My favorite independent Baptist preacher is comparing our age with 1930's Nazi Germany. But this time, the Bush Administration is not his target. Rather it is his fellow Christians:
In the case of Nazi Germany, it was the German churches first and foremost that failed their country. It was the churches that provided Hitler with moral and spiritual cover. It was the ministers and churches that allowed Hitler to seduce the nation. Some ministers were no doubt deceived themselves. Many others, like Adam, partook of the forbidden fruit with their eyes wide open. Either way, without the help and assistance of Germany's churches, the Nazi Party could never have become such a horrible leviathan.
at the time of Hitler's rise, there were some 14,000 evangelical churches in Germany. To win the support of these churches, Hitler literally wrapped himself and the Nazi Party in the Cross of Jesus Christ. Even today, one can view photos from Nazi parades showing the Cross of Christ highlighted in the heart of the Nazi Swastika.

In short order, Germany's pastors and churches were convinced that the Nazi Party was God's party and Hitler was God's man. By the time Hitler consolidated power and became Germany's Fuhrer, the Nazi Swastika was displayed proudly on the walls and halls of Germany's churches, both Catholic and Protestant.

Germany's pastors often preached sermons supporting Hitler and the Nazi Party. They told their congregants that to support any other party or any other potential leader was to "fight against God." Very soon, congregants who refused to swear loyalty to Hitler were denied last rites and Holy Communion by Catholic priests, while Protestant pastors excommunicated such members. Romans chapter 13 was often quoted from Germany's pulpits as scriptural justification for demanding loyalty to Hitler.
It seems clear to me that the attitudes and actions of Nazi Germany's ministers and churches are being repeated in the United States today. To a large degree, Evangelicals have wrapped the Cross of Christ in the banner of the Republican Party. They quote Romans chapter 13 to justify their unflinching, yes, even blind support for President Bush. They are willing to surrender their freedoms and liberties so that President Bush might protect them. Pictures of the president almost universally line the halls and walls of our churches, Christian schools, and pastors' offices. They castigate and denigrate in the most caustic terms anyone who dares to challenge or even question President Bush. They are willing to let the president lead them into multiple wars, even wars of aggression, based solely on Bush's word. They refuse to hold the president accountable to the principles of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. It seems to me that President Bush has taken on the aura of an American Fuhrer in the minds of many Evangelicals.

Just how far are Evangelicals willing to allow Bush to go? They already support unbridled spying on American citizens. They have gladly surrendered their Fourth Amendment rights. Would they be willing to support the imprisonment of fellow Christians who don't support Bush if the Department of Homeland Security ordered it? I believe many would. And if so, how is that different from the attitudes of Christians in Nazi Germany?

1 comment:

  1. Frightening, isn't it? An elderly friend of mine who was born in Germany and who unbelievably survived the Dresden firebombings as a teenager tells from first hand experience the eerie similarities between America today and Nazi Germany in the 30's. From both a political and religious point of view. In his judgment, America and its chruches are further along the path of statist nationalism than Germany was at the time Hitler took over. He later found out that the Gestapo were scheduled to pick him up the next day.

    Romans 13 seems to be the Pretestant catch-all for blind Caesar worship in the name of Christian duty. I'm also working on a post commenting on the false interpretation of Romans 13. Stay tuned...