8/4/17

On the corruption of the American evangelicals

On the corruption of the American evangelical church:

How some evangelical Christians are complicit in Trump's cruelty

"Late in 1945, amid ruin-choked, refugee-filled cities, church leaders of Germany issued the Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt. This short, yet controversial confession acknowledged the church's partial responsibility for National Socialism. By their acquiescence in the gradual degradation of civil society, the persecution of all who did not "fit," and their embrace of the national mission of domination, many Christians had failed to stand for the Gospel. Some had pulled the trigger while most had sat by consoling themselves with patriotism and personal morality. As the "Declaration" put it, however, "Founded on Holy Scripture, with entire seriousness before the Church's only Lord, we are undertaking to purify ourselves from influences alien to the faith and bring ourselves into order." The church had to do better."

Much better, in fact, as the 'Declaration' was really quite inadequate.

and

"... Many evangelical Christians have embraced "influences alien to the faith:" nationalism without self-restraint, fear of immigrants, a readiness to make social warfare upon the young, stern opposition to science and knowledge in all its forms. The list goes on."

and

"... much of the church pretends to be focused on the gospel while supporting political leaders who promise to make us great again. No meek inheriting the earth for us."

and

"Above all others, however, the most pernicious "alien idea" is the cult of the strong leader. Some evangelical Christians tell us, with all seriousness, that we must turn a blind eye to the character of the leader or the consequences of the policies under consideration and simply fall into line. "Support" means "obey." Such a person might be a fulfillment of prophecy, after all."

For that, the American evangelical church is rapidly becoming a whore.

And here's the best part:

"Ever read Amos or Isaiah or any of the prophets? It would be hard to imagine them taking such a supine view of political authority. Think of  1 Samuel 8's critique of power, which lays out an immediate ancestor of the idea of checks and balances so central to the American system. Or take Jesus, who insisted not only that his kingdom was not of this world, but that his followers must pursue its commitments with their whole lives, not just on Sunday mornings. Or St. Paul, whose suspicions of authority as a source of violence have been turned around into praise for the state. We badly misread the Bible if we see in it support for the cruelty now celebrated in the public sphere."

Bonhoeffer, Niemöller, Barth and their pastoral brethren must be spinning in their graves, crying, "What are you *doing!*" in shocked disbelief at the slide of the American evangelical church into the pit of moral and spiritual corruption.