These are the times that try men’s souls. – Thomas Paine – Dec 23, 1776
Every so often, God sends a test to publicly differentiate the wheat from the chaff. During the Decian (250–1 AD) and Diocletian/Galerian (303–311 AD) persecutions, the official test of fidelity was whether professed Christians would renounce Christ and sacrifice to the gods under pain of punishment including death. Those who succumbed, were branded lapsi (apostates) and traditores (“those who had handed over” – e.g. Scriptures, other religious artifacts, or the names of other Christians). Such would later have understandably difficult time being accepted back into the fold.
In 1934, the church was confronted by fascists and their Deutsche Christen wolves, who attempted to sublimate and subordinate the mandate of Christ under the immediate needs of the Volksgemeinschaft. Yet there remained a minority of faithful who were among those who signed the Barmen Declaration and belonged to the German Confessing Church.
I suspect that the Trump phenomenon might be one of those divine tests. For whether from the sociopolitical perspectives and concerns of conservative Evangelicals or of progressive Evangelicals, Donald Trump, this lawless one, violates the ethics and ethos of them all. Continue reading “Well done, you good and faithful servant”