”Es lebe unser heiliges Deutschland!”
These were the final words spoken by Col. Claus, Count von Stauffenberg just before he met his death from the bullets of SS rifles on July 20, 1944. The attempt on Hitler’s life had failed and thousands would now pay the price. But why would otherwise sane and reasonable men follow someone like Adolf Hitler? Hitler did not attempt to hide his hatred for the Jews or even his affection for war. He had written all about it many years earlier in Mein Kampf. But sill seemingly honorable men had followed him. Why?
Well let us take a look at what those words that Stauffenberg shouted. In English they mean, “Long live sacred Germany!” And those words reveal the underlying reason why men could follow and even serve a maniac. They loved and had an allegiance to their country and it was that loyalty and affection that Hitler leveraged and had millions pay homage to him. In fact Hitler himself worshiped Germany. But the nationalistic fervor is not just peculiar to Germany in WW II. It is alive and well even today.
But so far we have discussed what the world does. The world, the lost and dark kingdom, chooses countries to worship and will die to defend and protect them. And so you have all sorts of politics and negotiations and saber rattling and sometimes even war. It’s a continuing narrative with a similar script throughout the ages. The cemeteries are littered with headstones of men and women who died either defending a country or attacking one. And it continues today with great vigor only with more sophisticated weaponry.
But that is what happens among the citizens of the kingdom of darkness. It is an alliance based upon national allegiance and it includes all races, all creeds, all religions, gay and straight, liberal and conservative, atheist and preacher, drug user and adulterer and liar and every miscreant known to man. All of them bound together in one common cause and with common allegiance that they will march into war hand in hand to defend. And many times these wars are perpetrated by lies and manipulated truths and are fueled by the hidden agendas of men. And millions of gallons of human blood saturate the earth from east to west and north to south.
The word “sacred” is especially revealing as it pertains to how people felt about Germany. Many still do. But make no mistake, there are tens of millions, and perhaps hundreds of millions, of Americans who feel the same way about America. And I am not suggesting that this is an aberration or is wrong in the kingdom of darkness. No, on the contrary, it’s what fallen souls do. They search for some idol to which they can attach their heart and allegiance. And in the case of nationalism it is a self serving idol since defending it serves to defend their way of life and prosperity. In the end, Stauffenberg could not even understand that the very sentence he shouted was the foundational reason for Hitler’s Germany.
When men’s material life is threatened they will join hands with their enemies in order to protect it. It is the way of the jungle. Christians will join hands and hearts with Muslims; racist whites will join hands and hearts with blacks; straight people will join hands and hearts with gay people; prolife people will join hands and hearts with pro-abortion people; and on and on it goes. That which benefits people is considered precious, and that which is precious creates all kinds of strange bedfellows when it is threatened.
But let us leave all that behind since I was dealing exclusively with what happens in the kingdom of darkness and among those who know not God. Let us now address what happens within the community of faith which deems Jesus as Lord over all and which follows the dictates and teachings of the Spirit and not what benefits the spiritual citizenry. Or at least that is what you would think. You would think, just based upon the New Testament teachings, that followers of Jesus would not pledge their allegiance to anything or anyone other than to Jesus Christ. But in these last days there has arisen an expression of a faith which claims to be Christian overwhelmingly based upon what they say they believe and significantly less upon how they live.
The same sin that brought Germany to follow a man like Hitler is now being committed openly and enthusiastically within the evangelical churches in America. Can you even fathom such a thing? And Stauffenberg’s word “sacred” is no hyperbole as it pertains to how millions of professing believers feel about America.
It is almost impossible to overstate the devastating impact nationalism has had on the evangelical community in America. It seems a little subtle and even something that can be managed before it gets a little overboard, but in reality it is spiritual treason at the highest level. I remember my high school basketball coach telling us that in order of importance these things should have the priority: 1. Faith, 2. Family, 3. Country, and 4. Basketball. Seems reasonable, right? But that is exactly the kind of thinking which makes sense to the carnal nature and makes Jesus part of a list instead of Lord of everything. And it is that mindset which has changed the very fabric of Biblical truth and created another Jesus and another faith even though they both find orthodox slots in our statements of faith.
Because the church has fallen in love with earthly things and pleasures, and because those things have been found in America, the church has fallen in love with America and has set about to create an amalgam which states that Jesus is Lord but He also loves and created America and demands His followers to defend it to the death. And when we embrace such a falsehood the robust nature of our faith becomes compromised. And that foundational compromise leads to fissures within the faith which are patched by more compromises. And eventually the substance and practice of the faith is completely at odds with the teachings of the New Testament.
We have millions of people who not only consider America as a good place to live and to prosper and to have earthly freedoms, but they openly believe that America was created directly by God and continues to enjoy divine favor. Many believe that the sacred favor shown to America is contingent upon America’s support for the secular nation of Israel. All of this seems incredulous in the face of Scripture and yet it is widely and wholeheartedly embraced and practiced. In short, the faith once delivered unto the saints has vanished and a fanciful and western brand has taken its place.
And this deception is so ingrained in the psyche of western evangelical thought that even when you begin to realize how compromised the faith is and just how deceived you have been it is a laborious journey to unravel what you have learned and step into spiritual and Scriptural freedom. It continues to be a painstaking task which places you at odds with mainstream evangelicalism as well as separates you from much former fellowship. It is very painful to sit in churches where you once worshiped and feel alienated and unable to worship at all. You must battle self righteousness, depression, and a critical spirit.
The church has taken the secular and the spiritual, the sacred and the profane, and have made them partners upon this earth. Think about starting a church where everyone is striving to begin a fellowship which seeks to worship and serve the Lord Jesus. But over the years things changed and that church no longer believes the Bible and in fact engages in all kinds of unchristian activities. And it continues to get worse. Would you stay at that church simply because you dream about the olden days? So even if America began as a Christian nation (which it did not) how can you continue to pledge allegiance to that which openly embraces all religions, murders millions of unborn babies, worships money, and is consumed with violence, war, and the pursuit of happiness through material things? The answer is you create a fairy tale about the founding fathers and you suggest that America could return to her former days of glory.
But that is a very sad tale which reveals just how far the essence of the true faith which believes in and follows Jesus has now become a religion of convenience, self affirmation, and national allegiance. The spiritual essence and the magnificent mystery have been removed and in their place is an earthly pragmatism which seeks to satisfy man in his “pursuit of happiness”. And when the essence of Christianity has been replaced with such pragmatic doctrines and practices and attitudes, well then, it is no longer Christian at all. That is a very difficult truth to see and even the suggestion should rattle our beings.
But how many western believers set aside a year or even a month to seek the truth in the face of Scripture with diligence and sacrifice and even with seasons of fasting? Is it not that important and is our love for Jesus not so sacred to us that any hint of compromise must be addressed? Or have we settled into a comfortable and redundant practice which meets our needs and the needs of our family? Is our patriotism so entrenched that we cannot even bear the thought of any sincere investigation? It is obvious the western church runs the gamete from exciting entertainment to dead traditionalism and everywhere in between. There seems to be no real interest in a self denying seeking of the Savior and His kingdom.
But be it known that loving a nation and pledging allegiance to that nation is high treason is the realm of the spirit. Is that too plain and strong? Well, it’s time we all face the reality of the situation. There is little time to play anymore games. That which the Scriptures have predicted is upon us, and the great falling away is in progress and is gaining momentum. And one of the deepest deceptions is when the evangelical community can identify men like Rick Warren and Kenneth Copeland and Joel Osteen and reveal that they are leading people astray while all the while we ourselves are being bound and gagged by the same spirits of antichrist who seek to comfort our orthodox souls with sweet doctrinal songs while we dwell in prisons of national allegiance and worship.
But we still militantly cling to our own idolatry and even claim God approves of it.
Lk.17: 33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
Rev.12: 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
It is a sad day indeed for Christianity. But in the midst of such idolatry there is a place of grace. And God will give us the grace we need to cast off these grave clothes and step into a journey which seeks to follow Christ and Christ alone. Do not resist the Spirit, for shortly we will all stand before our Redeemer and give an account of our lives. Do we wish to lay rewards at His feet or weep because we lived our lives with compromise? Jesus is the Lord of Lords and we must surrender all unto Him. Anything else is spiritual treason and works against the kingdom of God. It no longer makes for a lively discussion. This has expanded in depth and scope and is now a giant leviathan which has literally choked the life out of the faith. It can no longer be dealt with in nebulous and gentle terms. Nationalism is high treason against the faith. Long live our sacred faith!