Those of us who believe in constitutional government, the Bill of Rights, personal liberty, and State autonomy are beginning to taste what German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and pastor Martin Niemoller experienced back in 1930’s Germany. These two great lovers of God and freedom were ostracized and eventually persecuted by both Germany’s political and social societies and by “German Christians.” History does have a way of repeating itself, doesn’t it?
Anyone who does not recognize that America is rapidly being transformed into a fascist state is as dumb as Balaam’s ass. No, dumber! At least the ass had the sense to stop when it realized it was heading smack into God’s wrath.
For all intents and purposes, the US Constitution is dead; the Bill of Rights is dead; the vision of the Founding Fathers is dead; and federalism and republicanism are also dead. What we have left is a blend of socialism, welfarism, fascism, statism, and warfarism, with fascism becoming the dominant “ism” of the bunch.
If you want to know where America is quickly heading, go watch the movie “The Hunger Games,” currently playing in theaters everywhere. Or read Orwell’s “1984,” or Huxley’s “Brave New World.” Or better yet, take your eyes off ESPN just long enough to take a good look outside. America, as “the land of the free,” is disappearing. It is already unrecognizable from the country I grew up in, not to mention the country that our Founding Fathers fought and died to create. What happened in fascist Germany is happening right now in America. And one of the telltale marks of this emerging fascist society is the way people who believe in constitutional government, liberty, and individualism are being treated by the mainstream media, mainstream religion, and mainstream politics.
For years, the mainstream media has characterized constitutionalists, patriots, and traditionalists as “far-right,” “extremist,” “radical,” etc. Establishment politicians in both major parties have likewise branded anyone who would not subscribe to their big-government agenda. Groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) have regurgitated the same inflammatory rhetoric, throwing “racist” and “anti-government” into the mix. And since 9/11/01, the Naziesque Department of Homeland Security has picked up the hype and fomented fear and suspicion of anyone so identified in the hearts of law enforcement personnel nationwide. Now, just like in Nazi Germany, even churches and professing Christians are getting into the act.
For the sake of their precious 501c3 non-profit corporation status, many churches are becoming little more than government disinformation centers. Instead of energizing men and women with the message of Christian liberty (of which the Gospel is at the center), churches are busily sedating them. The Caesars’ “bread and circus” scheme had nothing over the “music, smoke, and entertainment” scheme of the modern American church. Instead of giving young people the scriptural tools necessary to be the champions of liberty, they are providing the opiate by which they will sheepishly take the Mark of the Beast. And woe be unto any Christian who decides to step outside these politically correct religious boxes!
In his blockbuster book, “Hitler’s Cross,” Erwin Lutzer wrote, “The crisis of which he [Bonhoeffer] spoke was only partly a conflict between Hitler and Christianity. It was primarily a struggle of the church against itself; it was the struggle of the false and true, the swastika and the Cross. It was a struggle within a church that had voluntarily embraced the German nationalism of the day.”
Lutzer continued saying, “The ‘German Christians’…were committed to bringing the church in line with Nazism.” Again he wrote, “The ‘German Christians’ [were] also known as ‘The Faith Movement.’” And again, “These Christians adorned their altars with Nazi flags and had their congregations join in the Nazi salute.”
Lutzer points out that the “German Christians” commonly sewed the Cross in the middle of the Nazi flag and enthusiastically embraced what they called Hitler’s “positive Christianity.” Lutzer rightly notes that Hitler successfully “Nazified” Germany’s churches, and that had he not done so, the history of Germany (and the world) would have been drastically different.
It was men such as Bonhoeffer and Niemoller who resisted Hitler’s “Nazification” and started what became known as “The Confessing Church.” These churches were comprised of pastors and Christians who would not subordinate the scriptures to the dominion and will of the state. They refused to sacrifice the Gospel message of Christian liberty to Hitler’s erroneous “Obey-the-government-no-matter-what” interpretation of Romans chapter 13. They refused to allow their churches to be bought off or bribed by government tax deductions and benefits.
How many churches were in “The Confessing Church”? Out of 14,000 evangelical churches in Germany at the time, approximately 800 stayed true to scripture. That’s right. About 5% of Germany’s churches and pastors refused to surrender to the fascist state emerging around them. And you know that those 800 churches paid a terrible price for their resolve. They were scorned and snubbed by their “Christian” brothers and sisters. They were called “extremist,” “radical,” and “anti-government.” Friends and coworkers ostracized them. The German national press corps marginalized them. They were blackballed, ridiculed, and shunned. And eventually, they were imprisoned, tortured, and even murdered.
And ladies and gentlemen, right now in these United States, Christians who are part of the modern “Confessing Church” are experiencing the same kind of mischaracterization, ridicule, and resentment by the mainstream media, the SPLC, and even fellow Christians. Yes, in America today, the SPLC and many churches have the denouncing and hatred of the uncompromising “Confessing Church” in common.
To those of us in the modern “Confessing Church,” I ask, “If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses?” (Jeremiah 12:5) In other words, if we cannot withstand a little ridicule, if we are unwilling to be ostracized, if we cannot take the mischaracterizations that we are experiencing now, what will we do when it gets serious? If the footmen tire you, what will the horsemen do? I say to you, “Quit you like men; be strong.” (I Corinthians 16:13) “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)
And to those of you who think you can sit on the fence of popularity and acceptance and yet remain true to Christ and to the principles of liberty, which He established, you are sadly mistaken. If you think you can be neutral in this fight, you are deluded. If you think that when America has been thoroughly immersed in this baptism of fascism that you and your family will escape unscathed, you are dreaming. What we in the modern “Confessing Church” are experiencing, you will soon experience. Either that, or you will sell your soul and the souls of your children to Satan and his kingdom.
Someone rightly said, “It is dangerous to be right when your government is wrong.” Bonhoeffer and Niemoller discovered the truth of that statement; and so are many of us today. But as Sean Connery’s character said at the end of “The Wind And The Lion,” “Is there not one thing in your life that is worth losing everything for?” Ask yourself, are comfort, acceptance, money, and position, etc., worth losing your liberty for? No, they are not; but liberty IS worth losing everything for! At least Bonhoeffer and Niemoller thought so. So did America’s founders. And so do I!
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© Chuck Baldwin