Reclaiming the Soul of America
In 1934, during his second year as chancellor of the German Reich, Adolf Hitler invited the leaders of the evangelical churches of Germany to a meeting in Berlin. His goal was to silence mounting criticism from Christians of the Nazi regime and its anti- Semitic policies. Among those present at that meeting was a fiery young pastor named Martin Niemoller. Niemoller would later recall that encounter as the moment from which he knew that Germany was doomed.
Hitler was amiable and deliberately reassuring as he sought support of these prominent churchmen. He promised pastors that the position of the church in Germany was safe and secure -- that its tax exemptions and state support would remain unchanged under Nazi government. Niemoller pushed to the front of the group to confront the chancellor
Standing face to face with Germany's ruler, the brash young preacher asserted: "Our concern, Herr Hitler, is not for the church. Jesus Christ will take care of His Church. Our concern is for the soul of our nation."
An embarrassed silence followed and it was immediately evident that Niemoller spoke only for himself. His chagrined and embarrassed colleagues quickly shuffled him from the front of the room. Noting their timid reaction the director smiled as he replied, "The soul of Germany -- you can leave that to me."
And so they did -- Christians looked the other way while innocent people were slaughtered and a nation was led down the path to destruction.
I would submit to you today that we find ourselves in a similar predicament. Once again the innocents are being slaughtered, the country is being led down the path to destruction, and the Christians, by and large, are looking the other way.
I don't have to tell you how far down that path we have already traveled. As a pastor, I deal with the grim reality of America's moral collapse every day in the anguish and the pain that sin brings into the lives of my congregation. I see it in marriages that are shattered and broken; in young people who have lost their way and often lose their lives in a maze of drugs and alcohol. I see it in a culture that mistakes lust for love and tolerates the vilest perversions as acceptable alternative lifestyles while pestilence stalks the land; in public schools that have become facilitators for fornication and procurers for the abortionist's knife. I see it in the crime and violence that fills our streets and leaves innocent people cowering behind bars in our own homes while criminals go free. Yes, you know all too well, how far down that road to destruction we have already traveled.
We have sown the wind of immorality and we are reaping the whirlwind of destruction and death. And while it has been happening all around us, we Christians, by and large, have looked the other way. In large part, this is because ever time a Christian raises his voice, the immediate response from the intellectual and media elite is, "Wait a minute! These are political matters and in this country we have separation of church and state!" As history repeats itself, they smile and say, "The soul of America -- you can leave that to us."
Brethren in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is long past time for us to stop listening to and being immobilized by these subtle lies from the Father of Lies. The time has come instead for us to pay heed to the Word of the Lord Almighty. God has not called you to be a dumb dog standing by in helpless silence as the enemy approaches. We are to be vigilant watchmen upon the walls of Zion, sounding forth the clear, clarion call of the trumpet; summoning the people of God for war with the principalities and powers, the dark forces at work in this sinful world.
The stern words of God's charge to the prophet Ezekiel ought to burn the conscience of every pastor in America today: "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the House of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them, warning from me. When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, but I will hold you accountable for his blood But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself." (Ezekiel 3;16-19)
That prophetic ministry didn't make Ezekiel popular -- but if popularity is what you crave, you're in the wrong business. God did not call us to scratch the ever-itching ears of men but to fearlessly, boldly proclaim His Truth. America will not turn from the path of destruction until Christians of this land stop timidly blending in and going along. God’s people must stand for what is good, right, and godly, or this country will fall. But the people of God will never take that stand unless their pastors are in the forefront, proclaiming the Word and leading the way,
We must speak to the issues specifically and forthrightly. We must motivate and educate so that the political progress is not left to the unbelievers and the infidels. We must register them to vote and see to it that they actually go to the polls on election day. We must help them to recognize that as they enter the polling place to cast their ballots they do not enter as "yellow dog Democrats" or "rock-ribbed Republicans," not as older folks protecting their social security, or wage earners who want lower taxes, not as blacks or whites, men or women --but as sons and daughters of the Lord Jesus Christ. When the election is over we must demand integrity and responsibility from our leaders, and once they have been elected we must hold them accountable. This we must do, my brothers in Christ, but when we speak we must also be sure that it is God we're speaking for. We must never allow the church of Jesus Christ to become a sanctimonious shill for a political candidate, party, or philosophy. God is not a Republican, nor is He a Democrat. God is not a liberal, nor is He a conservative. But of this one thing we can be certain -- God hates the murder of unborn children.
We can win the next ten elections, balance the budget, eliminate the deficit, and reduce taxes, but if we do not stop the slaughter of unborn children in this land, then America will be destroyed. Abortion is an unholy altar which we have raised up to the pagan gods of our own lust and greed. The blood of more than 30 million innocents has already stained the altar. And that blood cries out to God for vengeance from the ground of America. The day is coming soon when God will heed that cry, and when it comes, woe to America.
On that day of reckoning, as we stand before the Eternal Judge, it will not be enough to say: "Lord we built great churches in your Name! We organized massive institutions in your Name!" To those who stood by silently while the slaughter went on, He will say, "Depart from me, I never knew you!"
But thanks be to God, that day has not come yet. America has turned its back on God, but God has not yet turned his back on America. And so let us work while it is still day before the night comes when no man can work. Let us rouse the Christians of this land to be what God has placed them here to be; the stinging salt that stops the decay of death; the shining light that points the way through the darkness of despair; the glorious city set high upon a hill that will stand as a gleaming beacon of hope to this nation and to all nations.
As Christian pastors, we resolve not to repeat the mistakes of those who have gone before. May we resolve not to stand idly by so that wicked men may triumph simply because good men have done nothing. Bold in the power of the Lord whom we serve, let us declare this day, "'The soul of America, you can leave that to us.
Pastor Laurence White
Our Savior Lutheran Church, in Houston, TX 08/98
Originally Printed in the National Liberty Journal