Monday, June 14, 2010

Since I didn't throw away the fundraising letter...

...I thought I would read it. It was interesting, and I think it was from a good group (a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.) The premise was that God did NOT promise prosperity to believers in the New Testament, and it used wars and persecution throughout history as detailed examples

Your latest fund-raising letter seems to assume that the majority of Christians in Hitler's Germany were evangelicals. While hard to measure, this is very unlikely, given the weak response of most of the church to Hitler's takeover of the state church as part of the Nazi movement. A vigorous, but unsuccessful, response was the Theological Declaration of Barmen and the Confessing Church movement. Even among those who did align themselves with the Confessing Church, some were theological liberals like Rudolf Bultmann. He was a legitimate scholar, to be sure, and some of his articles still appear in reference works used by evangelicals and others. But he had no belief in the divine inspiration of Scripture, and treated the New Testament as a human document that he could reshape according to his highly dubious theories of “authenticity.”
Perhaps your letter should've clearly stated that the persecution of Christians in WWII was at the hand of the German government, not allied bombers. I am concerned that some might read it and confuse those persecuted for their faith and those who died indiscriminately in wars. The WWII bombing raids, tragic as they were, constituted just punishment for a nation, including relatives of my mother, that started a war of conquest, enslavement, and outright murder. Hitler's party never won a majority in a free election, and yet the majority didn't do enough to stop him.
May God bless you in your efforts to spread the Gospel

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