Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My kingdom is not of this world

This is a German postage stamp that was issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the Barmen declaration, largely written by Karl Barth, and adopted by German churches who stood against Hitler's attempt to establish a "German church" which identify God's Kingdom with the Third Reich.

God is on our side. That is what every nationalistic movement wants to believe and can be used to justify not only war but also atrocities.

I am currently reading a fascinating book, Heavenly serbia: from myth to genocide by Branimir Anauzulovic which chronicles the blending of nationalism, church, folklore, and violence in the history of Serbia. A good summary and critical review of the book is here.

I recommend reading the full text of the Barmen declaration. Although, obviously written is specific historical context, there is much to be challenged about the sin of idolatry of nation and State, and the Lordship of Christ over the church. That is relevant to people of every nation and at any time.

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