Barmen: the Church then and now

Tom introduces listeners to the Barmen Declaration of 1934. He then helps listeners understand what genuine resistance to the Nazis looked like at the time, and how many German churches had been coopted by cultural trends.
In our ideological age, cut off from both nature and nature’s God, totalitarianisms emerge to fill in the empty spaces in our heads and hearts. Classical Christian theism is what we need today, but most evangelicals don’t know what that is.

https://crosspolitic.com/podcast/the-theology-pugcast-the-barmen-declaration-saying-no-to-cultural-accommodation/

Here’s the wiki page for the Barmen Declaration–https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barmen_Declaration

Highlights/Outline of this Episode

The Barmen Declaration

1934 Germany, 139 delegates of the churches meet to declare the true aligence of the church and encourage resistance to false allegiances and the political evil of national socialism. (Yes, socialism, the same godless ideology we are facing today in America.)

False allegiances

  • Turned from the true God
  • Political symptoms are related to the sickness of theological liberalism
  • Theological liberalism is embraced in order to make the church more relevant, attractive
  • Resulted in “domesticated,” “accommodating,” and effeminate church

Resistance to evil

  • Godly relevance (truth) is not always popular
  • The movement started from the Barmen declaration had to go underground
  • Grace and salvation give you the freedom to proclaim unpopular truths no matter the worldly consequences
  • Stop following the godless culture in order to be relevant
  • Build a Godly culture in the church and our households

Socialism, Communism, Marxism https://ministry.family.blog/america/socialism-marxism-communism/

Prayer of Hope

A prayer of Hope in times of danger, distress, and terror.

July, 2016

I was feeling great sorrow and distress over the turmoil in our nation and world. It is obvious God has been pulling away as we have been pushing him out. The acts of terror, racial and police violence, and political uncertainty and division.

But, Christ is in me, the hope of glory! (Colossians 1:27)

In my Scripture reading and meditation today:

1. I prayed from the Psalms “I am weary from grief; strengthen me through Your word.” (Psalm 119:28)

2. I was both encouraged and challenged that when God had twice revealed plans for the ultimate destruction of Israel, twice he relented after the intercessory prayer and pleading of the prophet Amos. All is not lost, but we must plead and pray and repent! “‘Lord God, please forgive! How will Jacob survive since he is so small?’ The Lord relented concerning this. ‘It will not happen, He said.” (Amos 7:2-3)

3. I marveled in the hope of glory! “God’s mystery—Christ. All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him.” (Colossians 1:2b-3)

So, have hope, do not be deceived and be thankful! (Colossians 1:4,7)

Pray

“O Lord, whose power is infinite and wisdom infallible… let us dwell in Your most secret place under Your shadow, where there is safe protection…

Help us to be entirely dependent on You for support, counsel, and consolation.

Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit for every purpose of our Christian life.

In Jesus Christ’s name we pray – Amen!”

Prayer adpated from the “Puritan Prayers: Refuge”

Reading plan From the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings for Year C, Monday (July 18, 2016): Psalm 119:17-32; Amos 7:1-6; Colossians 1:27-2:7.

Prayer for Healing

“Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, You became man and died on the cross for our salvation. You healed people of sickness and affliction through Your love and compassion. Visit me, Lord, and grant me strength to bear this sickness with which I am afflicted, with patience, submission to Your will and trust in Your loving care. I pray that You will bless the means used for my recovery and those who administer them. Grant that my sickness may be to my spiritual benefit and that I may live the rest of my life more faithfully according to Your will. For You are the source of life and healing and to You I give praise and glory, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.”

“My Orthodox Prayer Book” by Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Rev. Theodore Stylianopoulos

See Healing https://ministry.family.blog/2020/01/05/healing/

Healing

God can and does heal

  • Remember all the times Jesus healed and even brought the dead to life
  • I have seen people healed from health afflictions after earnest prayer in our small group

15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

James 5:15-16 (ESV)

But does not always heal

7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,[a] a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (ESV)
  • To keep Paul from becoming conceited, or trusting in his own ability and righteousness, rather than in God’s grace and power.
  • So that Paul’s weakness would bear witness to God’s greatness.

We can’t always understand His ways

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Romans 11:33-36 (ESV)

But we can trust that all things are for our good and His glory

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28 (ESV)

And even death cannot separate us from His love!

38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)

Truth

Veritati adhaereto
“Stick to the truth.”

 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
John 8:31-36

Truth and Knowledge: Dr Strange Magic


What are some themes in the Doctor Strange movie? 

People seeking answers in all the wrong places and falling for the same lies that humans have since Adam and Eve in the garden when Satan questioned God’s truth and promised that “you will be like God.” (Genesis 3:1-7) But good does win over evil in the end.

The Spiritual

Doctor Strange starts off as a materialist, someone who believes that all that exists is physical matter, what we can understand with our senses (see, touch) (3). Since there is no other reality, no moral truth of right and wrong, all he pursues is power, money and possessions, and he doesn’t care about anyone but himself.

But when he loses everything he learns there is more than meets the eye! We are more than just physical bodies!

“the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7)

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

The Library

A major theme is the good guys and bad guys seeking knowledge and wisdom. Studying is generally good, but what you study can be good or bad. Much of the studying in Doctor Strange is of mysticism (magic, witchcraft, or occultism) or gnosticism which are bad.

mysticism (magic, witchcraft, or occultism) is the study of secret knowledge, supernatural powers, and or demonic forces (2). Or as Satan lies, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-7)

gnosticism is a false belief in secret or special knowledge or adding to God’s truth with mystical knowledge (2).

“Doctor Strange’s magic points real-world viewers in some potentially dangerous directions, spiritually speaking,” says PluggedIn (6).

Turn to the Bible for the truth. Study theology to learn more about God, His creation, His plan of salvation, and His plan for His new creation. Do not look for “secret” or “special” knowledge. God’s word, the Bible, is God’s very breath. Let it transform your life.

“… evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:13-17)

Theology: Greek theos which means “God,” and logos which means “reason,” “wisdom,” or “thought.” So, theology is to think about God (1).

The search for secret knowledge apart from God is nothing new. Satan in his pride wanted to be like God, and now he continues to deceive people into thinking that they don’t need God. From Satan, to Adam and Eve, to Nimrod, Noah’s great grandson, that studied astrology and mystical occultism and built the city of Babel (Babylon), where the tower of Babel was built (5). (Genesis 10:8; 1)

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared… Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:1-2, 7-8)

Establish your knowledge in sound doctrine so that you will know the truth and know when someone has been deceived.

Doctrine: Teaching of the Church from the truth of the Bible.

Isaiah 40:8
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

Matthew 24:35
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 24:35, John 14:6, Romans 12:2

What I want you to understand is:

1. The movie is fiction. Much of the “magic” as seen in the movie is just pretend.
2. But, there are demonic forces, cosmic powers, and spiritual forces of evil!
3. And they are very very dangerous because they want to deceive or trick us into denying Jesus.
4. But, we who live in Christ have nothing to fear! Jesus Christ has overcome death, and even the demons shudder! In fact, “whenever the unclean spirits saw [Jesus], they fell down before him and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God.'” (Mark 3:11)

So, put on your armor and be prepared!

The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 

18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
(Ephesians 6:10-20)



References:

1. “Who Needs Theology: an invitation to the study of God” Grenz and Olson, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL., 1996

2. “The Concise Evengelical Dictionary of Theology” Elwell, Baker Book House Company, 1991

3. “Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms” Grenz, Guretzki, and Nordling, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL., 1999

4. The Dobra Family Mission

5. “The Barbarians are Here: Preventing the collapse of western civilization in times of terrorism” Youssef, Worthy Books, Franklin, TN., 2017
www.amazon.com/Barbarians-are-Here-Preventing-Civilization-ebook/dp/B01MY9QH4X/

6. PluggedIn Movie Review www.pluggedin.com/movie-reviews/doctor-strange