I have been researching the religious right ever since I was born again in 2008. I am also a writer. If I came up with a plot that involved a narcissistic con-man president trying to overthrow a national election with over 100 congressmen and senators along with leaders of the Evangelical right, I would throw that idea out for being so ridiculous. Nobody would be able to suspend their disbelief. This is from a recent posting on the Associated Press website.
This can’t happen in America. We have a Constitution. We value democracy above everything else. 50 lawsuits dismissed and the attorney general saying there was no widespread fraud should settle the matter. Right? Well the unbelievable is happening.
Even though this blog is directed to Eric Metaxas, it is also directed to all the religious leaders, politicians, and voters supporting Trump’s coup attempt, at times seems to be Legion. The worst of the worst in this coup attempt, is Eric Metaxas. Metaxas is most noted for writing a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of my spiritual heroes. Bonhoeffer spoke out against the Nazi regime from day one and after fleeing Nazi Germany and landed a safe cushy job teaching at Princeton. He went back to Nazi Germany and became the leader of the religious resistance. He became a martyr,being killed by the Nazis a month before Hitler fell.
Metaxas quoting Bonhoeffer in defense of Trump is most perplexing. Now Trump is not as bad as Hitler. But Hitler wasn’t as bad as Hitler until he was given ultimate power. If people stood up to Hitler in the early 1930s, the horrors of World War 2 and the Holocaust would never have happened. I don’t want Trump to have that power. He has shown that he has no regard for a free press, no regards for the law, and he has a xenophobic streak that really alarms me. He has praised authoritarian dictators and I don’t want him to become powerful like that.
But Metaxas does. He was the emcee of something called a “Jericho March.”, a conservative prayer rally in D.C., held days before the votes were to be certified. This is an article by a conservative describing what he saw there. https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/what-i-saw-at-the-jericho-march/ This is not spirituality. This is utter insanity.
So, I have a new nickname for him, Erik “Ludwig Müller” Metaxas. Ludwig Müller was a Lutheran pastor in Germany and one of the strongest religious supporters of the Nazi regime. He said Christians could serve both Jesus and the Fuhrer. Years and thousands of deaths later, the war was over and an unrepentant Mueller killed himself. Dietrich Bonheffer was an avid opponent of Müller’s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Müller and https://www.dietrich-bonhoeffer.net/bonhoeffer-umfeld/ludwig-mueller/ (You have to Google translate the latter, but it is very interesting.)
Why is Eric Metaxas and to a lesser degree Franklin Graham doing this?I understand they are scared of Communism. I don’t like communism either. But so Müller and the others that supported Hitler’s rise to power. Maybe it’s because they really feel persecuted?
I think that is it. These pastors and the others no longer behave as if they are part of the New Covenant, one in which we are in commune with the One Living God through his SON Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The New Covenant is one of love and truth. It is one of doing good works in His name so people will come to him and be saved. It is one of justice, one of mercy, and one of love. It isn’t one of worldly power or of kings and armies.
It seems that those Christians still supporting Trump view themselves not as disciples of Christ but as the Israelites of the Old Testament. They see pagan threats all around them. It is not for nothing that the name of Metaxas’ “Jericho March” was taken from the Book of Joshua depicting the fall of Jericho, one of the Hebrews first victories in the land of Canaan. These people don’t want to spread the Gospel. They want to take out their enemies and have dominion over this nation.
And mix that in with Babylon. I also think that they believe that they are like the Israelites in Babylon, again surrounded by pagan enemies and a government that is persecuting them. They are searching for a savior, someone who will fight for them. That is where the King Cyrus analogy comes in. King Cyrus was not an Israelite. King Cyrus was the king of Persia who conquered Babylon. He protected the Hebrew people and allowed them to go home and rebuild Judea and the Temple.
Many of evangelical leaders as well as ordinary Christians think that God anointed Trump to save American Christians and Israel the way He anointed King Cyrus. There is a major problem in that analogy. We don’t need another savior. We don’t need another “God’s Annointed one.” The problem is that the phrase “God’s Annointed One” means “Christos” in Greek. Many of these religious people who claim to serve Jesus are calling Trump their “Christos.”
They are willing to break laws for their “Christ”. Many are willing to fight and die for their “Christ.” Right now many are trying to destroy America’s democracy in the name of their “Christ.” The problem with that is, we only have one Christ and His name is Jesus.
Jesus tells us to tell the truth, to not hoard money, to not slander, and to love our neighbor. Trump does not follow Jesus’ teachings, yet thousands of self-declared Christians are following this man. And remember, Hitler posed as a Christian. These are Hitler’s words that got me kicked off of Facebook, and I am not afraid to write them here. He spoke these words before he has absolute power over Germany.
“Today Christians … stand at the head of [Germany]. I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity … We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit … We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theatre and in the press. In short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture, as a result of liberal excess.”
This next quote is from the 1940s after he was in total power.
Eric Metaxas has urged us to pray. In this wicked world, it is hard to pray. It sometimes feels like evil has already won. But it is at times like this that true Christians have to pray. Pray both that this coup will fail but also that Eric Metaxas and all the other modern day Ludwig Müllers will find the true Christ, Jesus, and repent.
Metaxas and I may agree that we need a revival. But we don’t need the one that Eric ‘Ludwig Müller’ Metaxas wants. We need a revival of the Holy Spirit. We need a revival of the Spirit of justice. Of mercy. Of Jesus. Without Jesus there can be no revival, only despair.