Thursday, November 2, 2023

A "nationalist" cult

Russell Moore in "Springtime for Hitler" reminds us of the 1930s and '40s perversion of the faith called "German Christianity":
.... These leaders called for a kind of masculinity that contrasted a warrior Christ with such “feminine,” “bourgeois,” or “pietistic” views of Jesus that were seen as weak. Ultimately, that came to include a gradual erasure of such biblical titles as “Lamb of God” and of the emphasis on weak-sounding phrases such as “turn the other cheek.”

German Christianity, its advocates said, would restore the fighting spirit to a church too long at the mercy of its culture. They derided the Confessing Church as, in Bergen’s description, “a holdout of womanly, weak piety.” The detractors were pictured as self-righteous, as “divisive,” as upsetting the “unity of the church,” and as aiding the enemies of the church—those who wished to advocate Communism, sexual anarchy, and family breakdown.

People responded, they said, to appeals to nationalism and race-love for the fatherland—natural affections that they assured were created by God. Passages such as Galatians 3:28 were explained away. The antisemitism led first to a de-emphasis on the Old Testament and ultimately to an almost total rejection of it altogether.

In constructing what they said was necessary to protect the freedom of the church, they surrendered the lordship of Christ and placed themselves in submission to the F├╝hrer. As Bergen puts it, “they created a cult based on blood membership and dressed it in the ritual clothing of their Christian tradition.” ....

When we see a generation that knows not Bonhoeffer, we should pay attention. And when we're asked to start seeing the existence of Jews as the source of a problem, we should know what to say: Nein.
Russell Moore, "Campus Antisemitism and the Lessons of a Nazi-Occupied Church," Christianity Today, November 2, 2023.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. I will gladly approve any comment that responds directly and politely to what has been posted.