It seems dark times have fallen upon the civilized world. The recent attacks in Nice, Dallas and Baton Rouge cause all of us to pause and wonder if the world falling apart. Are we living in the last days? Are even more horrific days ahead? Many likely asked such questions in Germany during the 1930’s. This is not the first time the western world has been upon the precipice of a dark doorway. Society is often faced with horrific challenges and tough choices. We are not unique and our choices no more difficult than those faced in generations past. The question is whether or not we have learned anything from the choices those past generations made when faced with similar trials. How will we respond to the terror, war and division present in our culture? The answer will likely be found in how we respond to the prejudice and nationalism found within the church of 21st century America.
Most problems in life grow more serious when left to fester. The importance of “nipping it in the bud” isn’t lost on those who know their history. The Nazis could have been stopped in the early 30’s had a “nip it in the bud” mindset existed in Germany or among the nations which had won World War I. Chamberlain and his cronies chose to appease Hitler and his thugs rather than challenge and destroy the rise of the Reich. The tragic result was the loss of millions of lives in a war which lasted six years across multiple continents. But was it the fault of government alone that such evil was allowed to rise in the first place???
The Nazi’s had an easy time uniting the German church around their political aims because of the anti-Semitic prejudice and intense nationalism which dominated the thinking of so many in the church of the day. These prejudices superseded Scripture and theology. The result was a church manipulated by corrupt politicians for their own personal gain. The Nazi’s could not have risen to power so easily had the majority of the church chosen to follow Christ instead of a “fuhrer.”
Is the American church of the 21st century in danger of making the same mistakes the German church did in the the 1930’s? On both sides of the aisle we have Christians who would rather champion their political candidate than Jesus Christ. On both sides of the aisle we have believers who are looking to political parties for salvation rather than the Christ of the Gospel. Are we headed to a similar fate as that of the German people before us?
Jesus Christ is our Savior from sin and death. He is our hope. He is our joy. He is our rescue, security and refuge. We must fix our eyes on Jesus and begin to see the evil before us for what it is. We are being manipulated for political purposes by evil men and women literally hell bent upon their own aggrandizement. There are few in the political sphere who genuinely follow Christ and concern themselves with the needs of others ahead of their own. Those who do so deserve our prayers and support but never our devotion or worship.
It is time to get our priorities in order and follow Christ. It is time we see the forest as well as the trees. It is time we stop allowing ourselves to be manipulated and pitted against one another. It is time for the church of Jesus Christ to unite in prayer and fasting for revival; a revival not for the glory of man or the United States but for the glory of God and His Lamb.
The German church was duped so easily because it was largely spiritually dead. There were few to fight the spiritual wars of 20th century Europe and the result was another kind of war fought with bullets, planes and tanks. The time for the church to be awakened is now. The spiritual battle must be fought for our own generation or we doom our times to the evil faced by millions before us. We must run from the mistakes of our grandparents and never allow our prejudice and nationalism to cloud our vision of Christ and His Gospel.
God help us to see the perilous nature of our sin and the infinite hope found only in Your salvation.