This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, September 20, 2022:
Author Eric Metaxas, used his #1 best-selling book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy as the basis for his latest one, Letter to the American Church. Released Tuesday, September 20, Metaxas’ book reveals parallel after parallel between events in the 1930s and events now. He warns that unless the American church awakens from its slumber and its focus on just the Gospel and nothing else, the destruction of America is imminent.
His target: pastors who offer “cheap grace,” i.e., the mental assent that Jesus Christ died for their sins, but leaving out the part about following Him through a totally changed life. He wrote:
Dietrich Bonhoeffer … called the German church to be the church in their time, and as I hope to make clear, his voice to them is his voice to us today, calling the American Church to actually be God’s church, with all that entails, so that we might avoid the mistakes of the German church in in the 1930s, and those direst consequences we know to have been their result….
I have written this book because I am convinced the American Church is at an impossibly — and almost unbearably — important inflection point.
The parallels to where the German Church was in the 1930s are unavoidable and grim.
So the only question … is whether we might understand those parallels, and thereby avoid the fatal mistakes the German Church made during that time, and their superlatively catastrophic results.
If we do not, I am convinced we will reap a whirlwind greater even than the one they did.
The church folded like an accordion in 1954 when then-Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson, angered that local Texas churches called him out for his egregious sins, offered a bill granting tax exemptions to churches provided they don’t get political. It was passed into law and is now called the “Johnson Amendment.”
Pastors in the eighteenth century spoke boldly from their pulpits against the tyranny of King George III, and opposed him by name….
[But in the 1950s] it is astonishing that pastors in America allowed this wild idea to go uncontested. In this they behaved rather like many of the submissive pastors in Germany two decades earlier.
When we think of the death camps and the murder of so many millions … we need to understand that in the beginning [German citizens and their pastors] had no idea where it was leading, and had no idea there were facing nothing less than the forces of anti-Christ.
We are now facing those same forces [but] in different guises … those forces … have an agenda … that is globalist.
Part of this may be traced back to the 1960s, when the U.S. Supreme Court took prayer out of the public schools … part of a general trend down a path that was fundamentally mistaken in its views of [Thomas] Jefferson’s famous “wall of separation” between church and state.
Rather than protecting people of faith from government intrusion, as the Founders intended … the judiciary began to interpret it to mean that the public square should be stripped of faith entirely….
Because the American people did not see the dangers … and because Christian leaders did not speak out boldly, the drift toward an unconstitutional and secular view began to be enshrined in our laws and in our culture.
The Covid parallel:
What the Nazis did first, a mere four weeks into Hitler’s [takeover], was to use the incident of the Reichstag Fire — in which a Dutch madman set fire to the German Parliament building — to enact sweeping emergency decrees….
It was a stunning erasure of [legitimate] German government, with blitzkrieg swiftness….
[The Nazis used the incident] to demonize their enemies … and to crush dissent by instilling fear in anyone who wished to object.
Wayne Grudem, professor of theology at Phoenix Seminary and author of the massive and highly regarded Systematic Theology, was moved to say this about Metaxas’ effort:
[It is] bold and insightful.… Metaxas calls for pastors (and other Christian leaders) who … will be courageous enough to speak unambiguously against the massive anti-Christian forces that now threaten to permanently transform American society and bring to an end America’s role as a beacon of freedom for the world.