It was an odd feeling. In early September 2014, I stood in the long dining room of the elegant Wannsee House, at the edge of a picturesque lake in Berlin, where, seventy-two years ago, fifteen Nazi leaders, including Adolf Eichmann, met for a ninety-minute working breakfast to adopt die Endlösung der Judenfrage, “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” The enormity of human evil hit me. Over amazing German breads, cheeses and sausages, these intelligent, urbane men solidified a genocidal plan to murder all the Jews of Europe.
Recently, the world discovered that ISIS Muslims were committing rape, torture, and crucifixions and watched an internet video of the beheading of an innocent American journalist by black-robed and hooded men convinced that they were executing the will of “Allah, the Merciful One”!
In seventy two years, nothing has changed.
Will there ever be an end to human cruelty in the name of the common good? ? When tempted by ultimate power, and as our Western culture now blithely casts off any limits to its “freedom,” just how fragile and untrustworthy is the sense of moral accountability and the respect of human life?
Could this ever happen in “Christian America”? Probably yes. The Apostle Peter already exhorted his flock: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you,…But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Peter 4:12–16). He was only repeating what Jesus had said: “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20).
Is persecution even conceivable in the sophisticated twenty-first century? It is likely that those who redefine and undermine marriage, who support the abortion holocaust, who normalize sexual fornication and homosexuality, who dismiss any notion of the laws of Nature, and who promote moral anarchy—should they succeed in taking power—will hardly embody fairness or to show respect for those with whom they disagree? In such a “liberated” world—liberated from God’s law—the end always justifies the means and might is always right. Actually, the handwriting is already on the wall.
Joe Barro, a writer at the respectable New York Times, “tweeted” recently: “anti-LGBT attitudes are terrible…we need to stamp them out, ruthlessly [emphasis mine].” The term “ruthless” is used here to defend an agenda that has changed public opinion through the outlandish manipulation of popular television, through vitriolic intimidation and accusations of hate, and through the use of false statistics. Meanwhile, it has seductively proposed itself as a “the right thing to do.” This “ruthless morality” ought to give cold shivers to anyone counting on a fair and just future utopian society.
The homosexual agenda is merely the tip of the spear of a utopian “progressive” vision, that ultimately places no moral limits on its thinking and is dedicated to the overthrow of the old Western “Christian” culture. The tip of that spear is marinated in rationalized toxins of extreme hatred and violence. Certainly some so-called Christians have been unloving, even hateful, but on September 20, 2014, the homosexual Human Rights Campaign took a further step, making veiled threats to a number of wise Christian leaders (e.g. Dr. Michael Brown, Peter LaBarbera, Matt Staver, Dr. Scott Lively (and, by implication, all Bible believers), whose only “hate” has been a clear and courageous defense of the biblical teaching on sexuality. They have been dismissed as “American extremists” and ominously menaced, “put on notice to end the export of hate.” And if not…? Well, within days, these hardly masked threats from a public entity (HRC) supported by major companies and leading TV personalities, have given rise to venomous and obscene death threats. The only printable excerpt of a note to Rev. Lively states: “I’m not gay myself. I just loathe homophobic bigots. I have far more respect for any rat or cockroach than for human vermin like you!”
Uncivil war has been declared on Christians who, in loving humility, have boldly addressed issues of sin in order to announce the cleansing power of the Gospel. As public vitriol heats up, “The Final Solution” for some could well be to treat Christians as insects that must be squashed. Certainly, believers must defend their civic and legal rights and seek the well-being of the public square. But we go forward in the strength of this divine promise, that in suffering for Jesus there is blessing, and beyond the cross there is unimaginable glory. In the meantime, we beg God’s mercy on his church and our culture and seek to love our neighbors and promote their ultimate good.