The lessons of history are warning enough. The lessons of heresy are even more pressing. Brothers and sisters in Christ, we dare not miss the lessons of history and heresy. God will judge us. This we know.
(Written by Albert Mohler, and posted on his blog site).
To the Christians of the United States:
As I write, I am looking at the modern city of Berlin on a beautiful Sunday. The parks and streets are filled with people, the churches far less so. Berlin is now a hyper-modern metropolis, with relatively few older buildings in the central city. Modernity is celebrated here, and Berlin is now the capital of a united and democratic Germany.
As its citizens will proudly tell you, Berlin’s federal buildings advertise modernity and openness. Even the old Reichstag building, now home to the Bundestag, Germany’s elected parliament, features a giant glass dome, glistening in its modern lines. The message is clear — this is a new Germany.
The destruction of World War II explains the relative lack of older buildings in Berlin. Much of the city was flattened by Allied bombing raids once Nazi Germany made clear that no surrender would come until the city was taken. The relatively few buildings in central Berlin that survived the Allied bombs had to face Soviet tanks. The evidence can still be seen.
Berlin is a city of ghosts. Outside my window now I see the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church; its famous steeple tower left broken and merely the ruins of the massive church remaining. There is a new modernist church building there now, sitting alongside the ruins of the old. There has been no king or emperor in Germany since Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated at the end of World War I, bringing an end to the Hohenzollern dynasty, but the ghosts of Prussian militarism still haunt the German memory.
Nazi ghosts also haunt the city, and will so long as human beings retain memory. This was the city of Nazi parades, thousands upon thousands of Nazi flags, Nazi salutes and the idolatrous ideologies of genocide and national destiny.
Most infamously, this was the city of Adolf Hitler and his demonic dreams. This city was to be the eternal capital of the Third Reich, with Hitler’s architect drawing plans for Welthauptstadt Germania, featuring a Volkshalle that was to be crowned by a dome sixteen times the size of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Instead, Berlin has done everything possible to sweep Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime from its visible memory. This is not done dishonestly. The motivation is to prevent any possible celebration of Hitler or Naziism. Just last week, some foreign tourists were arrested for posing in a Nazi salute in Berlin. This is a city that advertises its tolerance of just about any lifestyle. But for the Nazi salute — no tolerance. Berlin is determined that the ghosts of the Nazis do not reappear in neo-Nazis.
Imagine, then, how the news from Charlottesville, Virginia breaks in Berlin. A demonstration billed as an effort to “Unite the Right” leads to counter protests and violence. Among those who attended the demonstration on Friday night were self-identified neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Photos quickly appeared in Berlin, showing protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia — in the United States of America — offering the raised arm of the Nazi salute.
The FAQs: Violence and Death at a White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville, by Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition
The FAQs: What Christians Should Know About the Alt-Right, by Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition
To paraphrase GK Chesterton, if Christianity was easy, everybody would be following it. At times the Christian walk, and faith is a hard path ,a difficult path, with difficult choices and decisions at many points. Never more so than the Lord’s injunction to pray for your enemies and those who persecute you. No matter how evil or abhorrent they may be. The Romans caused Paul and the church great harm, but you never read in Ephesians where to told the faithful to pray for the death of Nero, in fact quite the opposite. The problem when you read so many of the prayers and responses from the mainline Left is that they more or less resemble talking points from the OGA or Stated Clerk, checking off various platitudes to sooth and rally its base. And until such time the church and Christians in general can gather the courage to pray for those in the hoods and torches, that God would change their hearts, the church in general will prove itself to be as useless and irrelevant as it already is in many circles.
That said there are many troubling parallels in the US to what happened in the 1930s Germany, none more so than the mainstreaming and acceptability of political violence as a general tool of those on many side. You saw this this part weekend on the thugs of the alt right, as you did with anarchists and BLM in everything post-Ferguson and what happens on many college campuses now that the establishment thugs of the left. History is that these things eventually do get resolved, but not well. Russia 1917, Spain, 1938, Italy 1932, China 1948, Germany 1932. Let us hope and pray people of faith and courage and able to walk the path of faith and witness for a better way for all. We will see.
Let’s be clear—the alt-Right marching in Charlottesville are Nazis and White Supremacists. The President was slow in condemning the racism that they espouse. The violence of the extremists erupted into violence, Sieg Heil salutes and beatings. It is more than disappointing to find Mr. Gregory offer an inarticulate screed that seems to ignore the hatred and bigotry so reminiscent of the 1930’s in Germany and to attack the leaders of the PCUSA. President Trump’s wandering condemnation was lame. I am used to the soaring rhetoric of President Obama, that was always more measured in response and propriety.