“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
When the prophet Nathan learned that his friend King David had impregnated the wife of Uriah, set up Uriah to be killed in battle, then took Uriah’s wife (Bathsheba) for himself . . . Nathan rushed to his friend. He did not go to give support and encouragement to David. God sent him to confront David with the truth of his wickedness and the terrible consequences of his wrong doing. Consequences which would linger through generations.
These last four years have seen an onslaught of corruption, thousands of lies, and wrong doing by President Trump. Last week’s insurrection at the capital is among, the more egregious of Trump’s wrongs. Through all these years, the president has enjoyed the support of well known national evangelical leaders, who have condoned his wrong doing, defended his crassness, and stayed as loyal supporters, irregardless on his actions. Having defended his previous lies, some continued to support his lie about a stolen election, and encouraged their twitter followers to believe that lie.
Watching evangelical leaders complicit in the president’s disregard of decency, democracy, compassion and the peaceful transfer of power has been painful. I’ve wondered why truth doesn’t seem to matter and why the gospel has taken a back seat to promoting the president’s agenda. I wonder what happened to “Doing justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
During Hitler’s reign in Germany, many pastors and seminary professors made peace with his actions. They did not protest the evils around them, nor speak out against the terrible violation of human rights. Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was in prison, jailed by the Nazi’s when he wrote, *“The great masquerade of evil has played havoc with all our ethical concepts. For evil to appear disguised as light, charity, historical necessity . . . is quite bewildering to anyone brought up on our traditional ethical concepts, while for the Christian who bases his life on the Bible, it merely confirms the fundamental wickedness of evil.”
Evil slips into our lives almost unnoticed. Sometimes, there is slight twinge to our conscience. Other times, it hard to ignore the evil and a more conscious choice is made. Choosing power and privilege, over faithfulness to God, is a temptation that even Jesus faced. In our troubled times, when Truth has been twisted and lies promoted as fact, the scripture has a word for us. “We must not let deceitful people trick us by their false teachings, which are like winds that toss us around from place to place. Love should always make us tell the truth.” Ephesians 4:14b – 15a. CEB
My hope and prayer is that people who have profited off of Trump’s presidency, will start to tell the truth about the election, begin to use facts instead of fiction, and begin to undo the terrible damage done to our nation and to the body of Christ.
*Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison — 1967; 1997)