After pausing earlier this week to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we resume highlighting the most popular articles of 2023 by reposting the top article from each month (based on traffic) in their entirety. In May, the most-read article was America’s religious leaders are equal to Nazi Germany’s religious leaders*.
As things begin heating up for the 2024 presidential election, one thing remains perfectly clear: America’s religious leaders today are equal to the Nazi Germany religious leaders ultimately responsible for the rise of Adolf Hitler.
In 2016, I wrote an article about the similarities between the two based in part on the biography written about Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. In the forward written by Timothy J. Keller, we read:
It’s impossible to understand . . . without becoming acquainted with the shocking capitulation of the German church to Hitler in the 1930s. How could the “church of Luther” . . . ever come to such a place? The answer is that the true gospel, summed up by Bonhoeffer as “costly grace,” had been lost. On the one hand, the church had become marked by formalism. That meant going to church and hearing that God just loves and forgives everyone, so it doesn’t really matter much how you live. Bonhoeffer called this “cheap grace.” On the other hand, there was legalism, or salvation by law and good works. Legalism meant that God loves you because you have pulled yourself together and are trying to live a good, disciplined life.
Both of these impulses made it possible for Hitler to come to power. (Emphasis mine)
My contention at the time was that the spiritual condition of the 21st century church closely resembled that of 1930s Germany, and as a result, we could see our great nation fall into the hands of a Hitler-like leader. And with the 2024 election quickly approaching, I felt it was a good time to revisit the article; although in hindsight, I wish I hadn’t because the parallels between 1930s Germany and today are even more stark that they were nearly eight years ago.
The church in 1930s Germany had become a house divided, with one side preaching an “anything goes” abuse of God’s grace, and the other side preaching that salvation was based on the law and good works. It was the acceptance of these false gospels that created the vacuum that was filled by Adolf Hitler. Church “leaders” on both sides may have seen things in him that bothered them, but nothing that bothered them enough to risk losing their comfortable existence.
In 2016, the “cheap grace” evangelical leaders I refer to as the Fellowship of the Pharisees supported Donald Trump in much the same way that the 1930s German church supported Hitler, and as a reward for their servitude to “God’s Man,” they have been given seats at Trump’s table where they fight for the crumbs of power he offers.
Sure, the Fellowship often mentioned things about Trump’s behavior and policies that bothered them, but they were never willing to risk losing their seat at his table.
The parallel between America’s religious leaders today and Nazi Germany’s religious leaders continued in 2020. Even after witnessing every warning about Donald Trump’s unethical and immoral behavior come to pass, America’s false prophets continued giving him their unconditional support, destroying Christian faith and America in the process.
With the 2024 election on the horizon, the Fellowship of the Pharisees still embrace Trump (USNews.com):
Trump, who has been divorced twice and is now under indictment as part of an alleged scheme to pay hush money to a porn star, has shown resilience with evangelicals, who credit him for a series of conservative policy victories including the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning federal abortion protections.
Trump won 76% of the white evangelical vote in 2020, down from 80% in 2016, according to Edison Research exit polls. About one-third of U.S. adults identify as born-again or evangelical Christians, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll in November 2020.
At the moment, an opening exists for another candidate such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Trump’s closest rival, to pull some evangelical votes away from the former president, interviews and opinion polls show.
But there are signs that there may not be much time before those voters coalesce behind Trump.
Pastor Robert Jeffress, an influential evangelical who heads a 14,000-member church in Dallas, earlier this year said he was uncommitted in the 2024 Republican primary. But Jeffress told Reuters this week that he is now solidly behind Trump, saying that he has found DeSantis, who has yet to formally announce a presidential bid, to be “lackluster.” (Emphasis mine)
The impact of false prophets like Robert Jeffress has been significant:
Trump seems to be gaining ground with evangelicals, according to national polling by Monmouth University. In a March poll, Trump edged DeSantis among evangelicals in a two-way matchup 51% to 42%, a nine-point improvement for Trump from the month before.
A Des Moines Register poll of Iowa voters in March also underscored Trump’s continued popularity among evangelicals, with 58% of them reporting a favorable assessment of the former president, though 39% viewed him unfavorably and 3% were unsure. (Emphasis mine)
Much like the Laodicean church spoken of in the Book of Revelation, today’s cheap grace evangelicals have become lukewarm and lazy as they bask in their so-called riches, not realizing that they are pitiful blind beggars who will be vomited out of Jesus’ mouth.
For members of the cult reading this article, I’m not saying that Donald Trump is Adolf Hitler — at least not yet — so save me your phony outrage and profanity-laced emails. However, the parallels between America’s religious leaders of today and Nazi Germany’s religious leaders in the 1930s are beyond dispute.
*The link to the original article can be found here.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.
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