Right-wing author and pundit Eric Metaxas, interviewed at an American Renewal Project conference in Missouri last week, “reflected on the failures of the German church to react and preserve freedom from a tyrannical dictator leading to World War 2,” according to a local Baptist publication, The Pathway. Said Metaxas,
The Germans waited just too long until the window of opportunity closed, and once the window closed, the game was over. The German church was dead, defanged, and had no power. Hitler was able to take over and take the country off the cliff for 80 years, and they never recovered.
What imperils freedom in America, according to Metaxas, is not President Trump and his attacks on democratic institutions, but secularism and government overreach. America has been on the precipice of losing our freedom, he said, because we have been losing our faith in recent decades. Metaxas writes and talks about a concept promoted by Christian author Os Guinness of a “golden triangle” of freedom: “Freedom requires virtue; virtue requires faith; faith requires freedom.”
The Missouri conference at which Metaxas spoke was sponsored by the American Renewal Project and its leader, Christian nationalist David Lane. Lane believes the U.S. has a national mission to glorify God and advance the Christian faith, and he views politics as spiritual warfare. Lane regularly sponsors “Pastors and Pews” events that bring conservative politicians together with evangelical pastors who Lane hopes will be energized to turn their congregations out to vote. Trump attended a Lane event before the 2016 election.
According to The Pathway’s Jeremiah Greever, the conference was “quite successful.” Although Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley was a last-minute no-show, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft spoke, and “all in attendance were encouraged by his biblical knowledge, model of political integrity, and earnest appreciation for pastors and the local church.”
“To be sure, a war is waging within this nation for the soul of America,” Greever wrote, “and to quote Eric Metaxas, ‘Christians need to be politically active in their communities because without that, this whole thing [freedom and liberty] will go away.’”
In his Missouri interview, Metaxas said that he told people to vote for Trump because “we had a choice between someone who might get this right, and someone who surely had dedicated herself to not getting it right.” America couldn’t afford four or eight more years, he said, of “getting it wrong.”
In fact, he warned, America is at the “11th hour” when it comes to the survival of self-governance. Trump’s election has given Americans just a short “window of opportunity,” he said, which is why the 2018 elections are so important.