Sadly, one of the things I believe the church has become very good at is to take some particular words from the bible and twist them around to more conform to their way of thinking. That is what today’s post is going to be about.
Sometimes small alterations make a great deal of difference. For instance, we have about 90 percent of the same genes as cats and more than 98 percent of the same genes as chimpanzees. But those little differences matter a lot.
This is also true when it comes to faith. I have been doing some reading in A Church Undone: Documents from the German Christian Faith Movement, 1932-1940. The German Christian Movement was Germanized Christianity, supportive of Nazism. The church leaders involved in this movement believed that the church should be “relevant” to contemporary German experience….
In a Germanized “translation” of the beatitudes of Jesus, one of the prominent ministers in this movement rendered our Lord’s, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9), using these words: “Happy are those who are at peace with their fellow Germans; they do God’s will.” Not quite the same!…
Like those in the German Christian Movement, American Christian nationalists often speak in terms very similar to the ways Christians have always spoken. They take up themes that have been heard in churches throughout the centuries. But the “little” differences make a huge difference, just like the alteration of a few genes can result in a whole new species.
I don’t know much about how the Lutheran church in Germany dealt with Hitler but I am not surprised that they, like American Evangelicals, politized their religion to support the regime. Just twist a few words around to make it seem like you are following Jesus when in fact you have totally ignored his teachings.
I wonder what books written after the church eventually returns to its roots will say about our times? I suspect it will be pretty similar to “A Church Undone” as mentioned above. Jesus’ messages and teachings are good for the ages, they don’t need to be re-interpreted to meet the times. Love God & Love each other is the message for us as it was for the early Christians.