My friend, Andy Stump wrote and posted this. I felt it was important enough to share. It speaks of a danger that is almost upon us.
“But the other piece of this puzzle has to do with the confusion that inevitably arises when the Christian faith becomes too closely related to a cultural or national identity. For many Germans their national identity had become so melted together with whatever Lutheran Christian faith they had that it was impossible to see either clearly. After four hundred years of taking for granted that all Germans were Lutheran Christians, no one really knew what Christianity was anymore.” Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Andy Stump commented,
“Metaxas made this statement in the context of the Nazi attempt to eradicate all ‘Jewishness’ from the Bible as well as Church usage. Some examples given by Metaxas: 1. Quoting John 8:44 (you are of your father the Devil) as applying to Jews in general; 2. Replacing Jesus’ reference to turning the Temple into a ‘den of thieves’ with a German word meaning ‘department store’ because most department stores were owned by Jews; 3. Getting rid of Jewish terms such as ‘Jehovah,’ ‘Hallelujah,’ and ‘Hosanna’; 4. Changing ‘Jerusalem’ into ‘holy city’ and ‘Cedars of Lebanon’ into ‘Firs of the German forest’; 5. Arguing that the written word of Scripture was the problem (Jesus didn’t write down His words after all), and that German Christians must move beyond the written word of the Bible. He then pointed out that what made all of this possible was partly due to Luther’s precedent setting break away from the Catholic Church as well as his questioning of the canonicity of certain books of the Bible. He also mentioned the more modern treatment of the Bible by theologians such as Schleiermacher and Von Harnack who tore into the notion of inspiration of the Scriptures, making it possible to shape and mold the Bible and Christianity into what the Nazi’s wanted.
“This is an incredible observation and, in my opinion, has multiple applications to the American Church and American Christianity in terms of America as a whole, but also in terms of smaller segments of the American population. I also believe there are ways in which this can be applied to a national identity (e.g. ‘Of course I’m a Christian, because I’m an American.’), but also from a cultural position (e.g. ‘That song/book/movie is Christian because it is uplifting/positive/inspiring, etc.’).”
“Please do not think I’m suggesting that we have or are becoming something similar to Nazi Germany (although one cannot rule that possibility out). What I am arguing is that without a proper knowledge, let alone understanding, of the Word of God (which is the reality of American Christianity in general), and without a genuine experience of the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there is a myriad of less than desirable possible outcomes for our country and society. Today there is a similar replacement of terms, or at least a redefining of terms (such as ‘love,’ ‘judgment,’ ‘salvation,’ ‘grace,’ etc.) that muddles a clear-cut, Biblical definition of such terms to the point that ‘ . .no one really [knows] what Christianity [is] anymore.'”
I agree with Andy. Too many people who claim to be Christian do not know their Bible. Many Christians and many churches have completely lost true salvation. I’m not sure any denomination is free from this. I am firmly convinced that there are the entire the nominations in the United States today that have no idea what to salvation is.
Proof of this? All one has to do is state that the Bible says a Christian will exhibit these characteristics Or state the Bible says a Christian will do these things but will not do these things. You will learn very quickly there’s a whole lot of people who claim to be Christian to have no idea what salvation is.