The future of the Church in the west is at stake.
Today we know the name of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This is in large part because he denounced the fascists of his day while most of the church was silent and complict. I pray that this time there would be too many names to remember as we turn against fascism.
We must collectively denounce Trump. We must dismantle the continual swell of hateful rhetoric he rode to power on top of. Those who vocally supported him (proudly wore his merch, went to his rallies, volunteered, or donated to his campaign) must repent to stay within our churches. Silence is complicity with these domestic terrorists. Those insurrectionists believed that they were saving the country on behalf of everyone who voted for Trump. People did not vote pro-life, they voted for a seditious fascist. There has not been a seditious fascist on the ballot before in my lifetime. Many of us saw this coming and you dismissed our cries.
Large parts of the church have been complicit in this as well – for centuries. Many of us have been trained and instructed to allow “freedom” of thoughts and perspectives. We have been scared to anger donors and volunteers who have chose to follow Trump. We have allowed the insanity of anti-science, anti-vax, lust for violence (with its murder fantasies under the guise of protecting their families), and willfully ignored the racist and bigoted foundations our western churches have been building on since the 1600s (a christian Europe would never have gone along with slavery and colonialism without the church shifting the moral lens of the people). There have been few ecclesial exceptions, and nearly every one of our churches have been built upon toxic foundations of white supremacy and christian nationalism. The two key problems that we haven’t been willing to deal with (despite the urging of many leaders who get marginalized within the church).
Let me be clear. This is far beyond a heart issue. This problem is a systemic, structural, and cultural. We need not convince everyone in our communities to do this work. But we need our leaders committed to the work. We need to have the courage to allow others to lead us in change. The church in the west has been in near free fall – and the events of this week are only going to accelerate the fall.