By Darrin J. Rodgers
Christians have an obligation to oppose statism. An article in the May 1933 issue of the Latter Rain Evangel, a magazine published by the Stone Church (a prominent Assemblies of God congregation in Chicago), warned against fascism. The article defined fascism as “a State organization so absolute, [where] every interest is subordinated to the overriding authority of the organized State.”
This fascism, or statism, left little room for freedom of conscience. Under fascism the dictates of the State, according to the article, “overrides all considerations of religion, prejudice and inherited doctrine.” The State defined right and wrong: “All morality, as all religion, is thus lodged in purely civic virtues.”
The article noted that the Fascist and Nazi parties arose in a mere eight years in Italy and Germany due to economic distress. How did this happen? People who called themselves Christians accepted an “idolatrous nationalism” in which faith in human progress replaced the idea that truth resided in scripture and natural law.
What should Christians do when the state forces them to choose between loyalty to Christ or country? The article answered this query forthrightly: “Should such a dilemma arise, we follow Christ.”
Read the article on the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center website: “State Religions,” Latter Rain Evangel, May 1933, pp. 17-18.
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