In the USA we have a long tradition, beginning with the Constitution, that separates church from state. Other coutries each have their own histories and precedents as pertains to this issue.
In Germany, a union of the Christian church and the State, or Government, was a long collaboration that stretched back into history many centuries, going all the way back in time to what is called the Holy Roman Empire, of the middle ages.
In the secularizing 20th century, this church-state collaboration became a problem.
In Nazi Germany, the union of church and state became a problem for Christians of conscience who detected some decidedly heathen policies that were imposed by the Nazis, long about 1933. It was also an impedement for the Nazis until they clamped down on religious freedom by restricting the activities and freedoms of certain German pastors who were dissenting against the third reich.
In August of 1933, the Nazis rounded up a bunch of submissive church leaders and imposed upon them a new identity that neutralized their espousal of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and replaced it with a Nazi-approved theology that suited the hateful programs of the third reich.
The new Nazified theology was rejected by pastor Martin Niemoeller, who shepherded a chruch in Dahlem, a Berlin suburb. Niemoeller not only spoke publicly from the pulpit in opposition to Nazi restrictions, but he also proceeeded to organize support among Christians to resist the corrupted churchianity that the Nazis were trying to impose on the German church.
The most notable atrocity that the Nazi heathens had sought to force on the church in Germany was the “Aryan paragragh,” a reprehensible dictum that banned all persons of “non-Aryan” ethnicity (or having non-Aryan spouses) from holding state office. Since the collaboration between church and state had been a very old arrangement in Germany, this affected the church indirectly.
But even more important than that, it was wrong, and some discerning Christian smelled the Aryan rat.
When the dissent arising among Pastor Niemoeller and others likeminded with him became an inconvenient irritant to the emerging Nazi program of exterminting the Jews (and other groups), Hitler and Goering ordered that the offending churchmen should be rounded up and taught a lesson.
In January, 1934, Hitler devised an end to the Christian clergy problem when, in the presence of those pastors, he threw a tantrum, assaulted them with his yelling tirades, and then left the room before they could object to his sociopathic behaviour and the oppressive policies that would ensue.
Unfortunately, Hitler’s bluster worked, as did much of his reprobate assault on civilization until the Allies later defeated his militaristic machine of heathenism.
After that meeting with the resistant pastors in 1933, most of the good German reverends treated Martin Niemoeller coldly, and withdrew their support of his brave resistance to the Nazi tyranny. Martin Niemoeller, although he had been a U-boat hero in WWI, was later imprisoned by the third reich. Thus did the domoniac Hitler neutralize Christian resistance in the Nazi era.
I want to thank Clarissa Start Davidson, whose book God’s Man, the history of Pastor Niemoeller, published in 1959 by Ives Washburn, Inc. of New York, informed me in the posting of this blog. Thank your, Clarissa.
If this ever happens again in the world, I hope and pray that Christians, me included, will have the Christ-inspired courage and good sense to not comply with heathen megalomaniacs, their oppressive regimes, or any other worldly power that seeks to wipe us or our Jewish compatriots out. I’d also point out that the vision of apostle John, as recorded in Revelation 12, reveals that when the evil principalities of this world make murderous assault on the Jews, their persecutive pursuit of us Christians is not far behind.