Christians have clear call in culture crisis: Quit sitting on the pew

Christians have clear call in culture crisis: Quit sitting on the pew

Christians have clear call in culture crisis: Quit sitting on the pew

An author and historian says enemies of Christianity have weaponized a basic human emotion, the urge to be accepted, and he warns America's churchgoers are following a similar pattern that ignored Hitler and the Holocaust.

Participating in government should be part of the Christian response to a changing culture, William J. Federer insisted in an interview on American Family Radio. 

History, of course, has been divided on that issue. What’s clear in 2023, Federer cautioned, is that youth and children are being targeted in an effort to appease a population bent on gender confusion.

For example, people who believe gender is limited to male and female have in essence become enemies of a movement that is redefining truth and common sense. 

“They have what they call the Pyramid of Oppression,” Federer said. “There are a lot of philosophers that talk about whoever controls the language wins the argument, so they go in and tell these little kids, ‘If you’re at the top of the pyramid you are the evil oppressor. At the top of the pyramid are the cisgendered. That’s what they call you if you believe in a man and a woman.”

Everyone wants to be included 

That type of approach appeals to a child’s instinct for inclusion.

“None of these kids want to be the evil oppressor, so they'll pick anything down the pyramid: bisexual, intersexual, transsexual, whatever-sexual," he said. "But they don't want to be at the top of the pyramid. In the last two years, this has been immensely successful. They’ve weaponized it.”

A study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law in June 2022 estimated the transgender population in the United States at 1.6 million. Of that number, 300,000 are between ages of 13-17.

The study says the number of youth who identify as transgender has doubled from the Institute’s previous estimate six years ago. It attributes that rise to the availability of better data and does not mention the possibility that social media influence and a child's teacher could be a driver in rising trans numbers.

However, a Heritage Foundation report made that connection last fall when it gave personal accounts of young adults who, now later in life, are seeking to regain the comfort and confidence with their birth sex.

Weaponization also appears on public television when “Drag Queen Story Hour” is aired by local PBS affiliates.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, a Republican, last week vetoed a bill that would have continued funding operations for the state’s PBS station. He defending his position citing LGBTQ content he called “really problematic.”

Nationally, the nonprofit group Citizens Defending Freedom last week called on the federal government to defund PBS after the broadcasters released an “LGBT Toolkit” for school teachers and school children.

“They've realized that little kids like all of us are social creatures, and we all want to be accepted. We do not want to be rejected. Most of the world calls this the honor shame culture,” Federer said. “In China and the far East and, in Islam, if you are honored in front of the community, your worth goes up. If your daughter shames you and embarrasses you, they'll murder their own daughter. The acceptance or rejection by a group is very powerful.”

The two-kingdom concept

The Christian response should be to vote in like-minded government officials. It seems logical, but throughout history the response has been complicated going back to Martin Luther and the Reformation in 1517.

“So that turned into the German concept of the two kingdoms, the kingdom of the church and the kingdom of the government, and the two didn’t touch," Federer explained. "There were even German princes that donated money, so they would teach their people not to get involved in the prince's business."

Hitler later used the views of German theologian Martin Luther, who expressed antisemitic views later in life, to help recruit support from German Protestant Christians.

However, it was the two-kingdom concept that played an integral part in the Holocaust.

“Four centuries of that allowed Hitler to put Jews on train cars,” Federer said. “They're going by the church screaming for help, and the church's response was, Well that's the government doing that. We're the church. That’s their circle and we can't touch their circle cause we're the church circle. So let's just sing praise songs to Jesus louder. Hey, anybody see there’s something wrong with that?”

One prominent German pastor who refused to ignore Hitler's murderous plan was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The outspoken theologian, who publicly opposed the Nazis during Hitler's rise to power, angered other churches for shaming them over their open cooperation with the Nazis.

A target of the SS, Bonhoeffer could have remained safely in the U.S. when he visited a New York City seminary in 1939. He returned, however, after only two weeks. 

"I have come to the conclusion that I made a mistake in coming to America," he wrote in a letter to the seminary. "I must live through this difficult period in our national history with the people of Germany. I will have no right to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people."

Bonhoeffer, however, never got to see the end of the war. He was stripped naked and hanged on April 9, 1945. 

Christians who wonder about their role in a representative government should understand that religious freedom today does not mean religious freedom forever, Federer said.

“I tell people that the most important thing is to bring others to Christ, yes," he told the radio program, "but the second-most important thing is to preserve the freedom to do the most important thing."

In other words, Federer concluded, if Christians really believe the gospel is the answer the world needs, then you have to be involved in public life to preserve the freedom to preach the gospel.