German legend Otto Von Bismarck managed to turn 18 different German states into one united empire, the largest being Prussia, with Berlin as it capitol. Describing the culture of Germany at the turn of the 20th century, French Statesman, Comte de Mirabeau, declared, “Prussia was not so much a state with an army as an army with a state.” Furthermore, Victoria Barnett* wrote of an English visitor to Berlin at the end of the 1800’s, who said, “nowhere in Europe were so many uniforms to be seen in the streets. The mentality instilled in the wearers of these uniforms was one of absolute unwavering obedience to the German empire and its Kaiser.” (pg9,10)
Additional evidence of the German state of mind just prior to World War 1(1914) is found in remarks made by the great Confessing church pastor Martin Niemoller, who in 1910, joined the Kaiser’s army at age 18: “I was never interested at all in politics…. Officers and reserve officers were not interested in political issues. We simply remained true to our oath to the flag under which we stood.” (pg10). Another Confessing church pastor Kurt Scharf, testified that he, his brothers, and their classmates were allowed to participate in the Kaiser war maneuvers in 1913 at age 11! Yet, many Confessing church pastors, not only Scharf and Niemoller, were raised to believe they were ‘apolitical’!
“Since Martin Luther’s time...” (1483-1546)--almost 400 years—“…one of German Prostestantism’s foundations had been unwavering support for state authority. The Biblical passage frequently cited…was Romans 13:1-5, used to characterize the correct relation between the Christian and State” (pg11). “This view developed into the doctrine of two kingdoms, represented by the thrones of earthly rulers and the altar of God. Christians owed political obedience to the throne and religious subservience to the altar. German Protestants viewed their love for the Fatherland and loyalty to its leaders as patriotic and Christian virtues” (pg11).
“Institutionally and ideologically, then, the German Evangelical Church was aligned with the state, a situation formalized over the centuries by law.” (pg11)
In 1889***, Adolf Hitler was born into an atmosphere where parents raised their children according to strict German traditions and cultural pride which taught absolute loyalty. Although the German nation possessed a doctrine of two kingdoms, which is comparable to our doctrine of the separation of church and state, their cultural focus on the absolute loyalty to leadership established the nation in a place where the state controlled the church. As Hitler grew-up in such an atmosphere, it is easy to understand how simply and quickly he was able to turn such a culture to support his dictatorship. After winning a ‘democratic’ election on January 31, 1933, by May, less than 3 months later, Hitler was able to shut down the Reich (legislature), and get the Enabling Act passed, which gave him absolute authority over the nation! Hitler now became “The Fuhrer”, i.e. the absolute leader!
It was a complete misunderstanding, misapplication, and rejection of God’s word that allowed a German ‘Christian’ culture to pine for, and democratically elect one, who many believe to be the most evil man in human history! Adolf Hitler is often used as an example of the anti-Christ!
How does this relate to America? The Pilgrims, followed closely by the Puritans, crossed the Atlantic in flight from England--a land where the church controlled the state. Although initially, the 13 American colonies adopted some of the same practices from their old England; after the Revolutionary War (War for Independence), the Biblical wisdom of our Founders kicked-in and they implemented a Constitutional Republican form of government that not only rejected Germany’s idea of the state controlling the church, but also rejected England’s idea of the church controlling the state.
With these facts in mind, I move to contemporary America. With the Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay (anti-)marriage in the Obergefell case, our beloved United States has now initiated a new phase in American history where the state has assumed control over the church. We are now in the beginning stages of the same philosophy which allowed Hitler to create a dictatorship!
Why do I make such an accusation? The Kim Davis case in Kentucky is not the beginning, but the precedent upon which the government will begin to enact laws making certain doctrines of the Bible illegal; i.e. this is the state control of the church! In other words, it will soon be against the law in America to ‘say’ that either homosexuality and/or gay marriage are sin! Legislation to this effect is already being considered in Britain!
The world is watching America…but more importantly God is watching America!
The saving prayer for America is now…Have mercy, sovereign, Creator God…have mercy!
*This series of tidbits uses Ms Barnett’s great work “For the Soul of the People”
**The Confessing church was the orthodox Christian church in Germany, in contrast to the “German Christians” who were heretics. The Confessing church was the church of Deitrich Bonhoeffer.
***Please notice the date