Since there is a lot of name calling and “Nazi” language being bandied about and the casual dropping of the word “values”, usually by people who urge pitch forks and torches outside the home of those with whom they disagree, it might be useful to think about value language and politics. This bantering about who is evil and demented and causing hatred by the use of the Nazi tag is usually brought up by people who don’t even know what WWII was about.
The values question is important because no one bothers to ask where our “values” come from. In our society there seems to be an underlying movement to believe that values come from the ruling class and not from God. Since God has been removed from much of our life and from the public square others move in to take the place. To bandy about words like Nazi to demean and attack political enemies in this country in this day and age is insulting and stupid. So here is some history and at the end note the insult in the evangelical truth.
In 1933, the national synod of the German Protestant churches endorsed the Nazi party. The churches unified into a new organization called the German Evangelical Church, which was known colloquially as the Reichskirche, or the “Reich Church.”
In response, a group of theologians and churchmen formed what they called the Confessing Church. One of the key figures in this confessing church was a young professor of theology at the University of Berlin, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The Barmen Declaration was drafted by a group of German churchmen, theologians, and leaders in the city of Barmen in May 1934. The statement contains a number of articles and ends with six items that they called “evangelical truths.” Here is one of them.
The church reminds men of God’s kingdom, God’s commandment and righteousness, and thereby the responsibility of rulers and the ruled. She trusts and obeys the power of the Word through which God maintains all things. We repudiate the false teaching that the state can and should expand beyond its special responsibility to become the single and total order of human life and also thereby fulfill the commission of the church.
A repudiation of a false teaching is by definition an insult in the eyes of the false teacher. The Nazi’s must have been infuriated. because it was their mission to control “the total order of human life”. There are those I am watching right now on TV who want the State to be the orderer of human life and who want to define values on their terms. That stand is an insult to God as creator.