Ethicists mark 75th anniversary of German 'Confessing' movement

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gb93433, May 29, 2009.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    ATLANTA (ABP) -- A document written three-quarters of a century ago to protest rising nationalism in Nazi Germany's Protestant churches provides instruction for American Christians navigating through today's culture wars, say a Baptist ethicist and Methodist filmmaker working together against torture.

    Sunday, May 31, marks the 75th anniversary of publication of a statement that came to be known as the Barmen Declaration. Drafted by Swiss Reformed theologian Karl Barth, the six-point declaration challenged the popular "German Christian" movement, which at the time was lending theological support to Hitler's National Socialist (Nazi) party.

    Many modern Christians assume that theologians who opposed Hitler, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Niemoller, were the norm in Germany's Protestant church. But in reality a majority of Germany's Christian leaders viewed Hitler as a gift from God and the best hope for restoring national pride dashed in the aftermath of World War I.

    The rest of the story is at http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4117&Itemid=53
     
  2. Freedom

    Freedom
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    There is a lot that America in the 21st century can gain from looking at the history of the Church in Nazi Germany. In this article the author makes the statement that:

    In 2008 Gushee published The Future of Faith in American Politics, a book arguing that there is an "emerging evangelical center" distinguished from the Religious Right. Gushee defined one mark of that center as a "Barmen ethic" of political independence from governments and political parties as the church seeks to follow Christ.

    "American Christians need to decide whether we are Christians or Americans first," Gushee, who writes an Associated Baptist Press column, said. "We need clarity about the discontinuities between these two identities and the dangers of confusing the one with the other."


    Aligning closely with one political party has done a great deal of damage to the church's ability to effectively evangelize many of the unsaved in America. When you're told that you can't be a Christian unless you belong to a given political party that significantly turns off members of other political parties. They see the church as more of a political front organization than an institution primarily concerned with winning the lost to Jesus Christ.
     
  3. Revmitchell

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    No they don't. Such rhetoric is untrue and nothing more than a political tool itself used by the liberal left theologically. The only thing those who refer to themselves are center of is the theologically conservative and complete disbelief. No such thing as a moderate.

    The theological left needs to stay away from such political tactics if it bothers them so much. And be the example they are failing to be. But making comparisons to Hitler and those who followed him is itself a political tool and incorrect. You libbies need learn how to make legitimate comparisons.
     
  4. gb93433

    gb93433
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    A professor I know who was invited to teach at a divinity school in Germany from a conservative perspective told me that the majority of Christians in Germany supported Hitler initially. The point being that as Christians we need to be careful about who and what we support. We can be fooled into supporting a fraud. I see that in churches today as we watch them focus on attracting people through programs and going into debt to build buildings rather than doing the hard work of going out into their communities and reaching them where they are as Jesus did.

    We must be careful to stay close to scripture in our obedience and not succumb to the "latest and greatest" pragmatic approach that yield nothing more than nickels and noses.
     
  5. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    You know when I see resources like The American Patriot Study Bible (see my thread in the Bible Translations forum for details) and nationalistic worship services around July 4th pushed hard by leadership in conservative evangelicalism we know we have a problem.

    I often joked with friends that it would be ironic if someone like George W. Bush ended up being the antiChrist because so many of our deeply conservative evangelical brethren would be completely fooled by him. We need a significant push to recongize that Christianity is much more than the branding some leaders have ascribed to it.

    We need to realize that those who try to polarize without care for understanding the vast (and legitimate) middle ground often polarize out of a quest for power and desire to inflate their ego. We need to see that our ethics are so messed up that we are close to losing the ground to a surging syncretism.

    The confessing church realized these things! :)
     
  6. sag38

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    PJ perhaps Obama is the anti-Christ and many of your friends would be fooled. Now wouldn't that just be ironic.
     
  7. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    Well it was more an observation in humor than anything. Most of my friends and I don't believe in a literal, singular anti-Christ as presented by dispensational pre-trib, pre-mil. Anyhoo, it would be as ironic but probably for a different reason. :)
     

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