Thoughts on the Barmen Declaration at the Election of Donald Trump and the Rise of Trumpism in North America

I like many others am feeling deflated, frightened and concerned at the election of a man who made bigotry, hatred, and misogyny the centerpiece of his election rhetoric.  I am deeply disheartened by the many in our country who failed to recognize the dangerous moral and ethical qualities of this man, and chose to vote for him in any case.  I am particularly disturbed that anyone who confesses Christ as savior and Lord could with any conscience cast a vote for Trump or support Trumpism.
Image result for trump hitler

There will be judgment upon our land.

I can only turn to the words of the Barmen Declaration for comfort.  These words, written in 1934, are the response of an ecumenical group of Christians in Germany who responded to the "German Christians" who had lined up behind the Nazi takeover of Germany. This was surely a dark time for the church in Germany. As we who are committed to Christ and the Word of God, let us remember that this can be part of our confession too.

I am including selected portions of the latter part of the confession. I invite you to read it.  Consider it. If you feel so moved, pray on it and confess it with your own tongues.

This is the sole form of resistance I can offer now. I don't have strength for anything else.

Barmen Declaration 3, 4, 5, 6
3. “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body [is] joined and knit together.” (Eph. 4:15–16.)
The Christian Church is the congregation of the brethren in which Jesus Christ acts presently as the Lord in Word and Sacrament through the Holy Spirit. As the church of pardoned sinners, it has to testify in the midst of a sinful world, with its faith as with its obedience, with its message as with its order, that it is solely his property, and that it lives and wants to live solely from his comfort and from his direction in the expectation of his appearance.
We reject the false doctrine, as though the church were permitted to abandon the form of its message and order to its own pleasure or to changes in prevailing ideological and political convictions.
4. “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” (Matt. 20:25, 26.)
The various offices in the church do not establish a dominion of some over the others; on the contrary, they are for the exercise of the ministry entrusted to and enjoined upon the whole congregation.
We reject the false doctrine, as though the church, apart from this ministry, could and were permitted to give to itself, or allow to be given to it, special leaders vested with ruling powers.
5. “Fear God. Honor the emperor.” (I Peter 2:17.)
Scripture tells us that, in the as yet unredeemed world in which the church also exists, the State has by divine appointment the task of providing for justice and peace. [It fulfills this task] by means of the threat and exercise of force, according to the measure of human judgment and human ability. The church acknowledges the benefit of this divine appointment in gratitude and reverence before him. It calls to mind the Kingdom of God, God’s commandment and righteousness, and thereby the responsibility both of rulers and of the ruled. It trusts and obeys the power of the Word by which God upholds all things.
We reject the false doctrine, as though the State, over and beyond its special commission, should and could become the single and totalitarian order of human life, thus fulfilling the church’s vocation as well.
We reject the false doctrine, as though the church, over and beyond its special commission, should and could appropriate the characteristics, the tasks, and the dignity of the State, thus itself becoming an organ of the State.
6. “Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matt. 28:20.) “The word of God is not fettered.” (II Tim. 2:9.)
The church’s commission, upon which its freedom is founded, consists in delivering the message of the free grace of God to all people in Christ’s stead, and therefore in the ministry of his own Word and work through sermon and Sacrament.

We reject the false doctrine, as though the church in human arrogance could place the Word and work of the Lord in the service of any arbitrarily chosen desires, purposes, and plans. 

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