28 October 2020

Dooyeweerd on racial ideology in the churches

Here is a great quotation from philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd (1894-1977) chastising the German churches for allowing themselves to be co-opted by the racial ideology of the new National Socialist government:

The Church has already expunged its inviolable boundaries opposite the state, it has already accepted a violation in principle of its essential character by tying itself, albeit under the protest of a significant minority [perhaps a reference to those who would sign the Barmen Declaration the following year], to the racial foundation of the new German political order. . . . But the Christian church cannot accept being tied to a 'racial theory.' It cannot without committing spiritual suicide, depart from the teaching of the Gospel that in Christ there can be no distinction between the Greek and the Jew. Certainly this equality in Christ does not exclude any and every temporary inequality in social life. Yet the church is the congregation of Christ and not a state writ small. A fundamental principle of the new political order is that the Church may not participate in politics! Well then, let the Church not follow the 'racial politics' of the new political order. Let it maintain without compromise its 'sphere-sovereignty' in its own spiritual fundamental structure, a 'sphere-sovereignty' that it does not derive from the state but from the grace of God!
-- Herman Dooyeweerd, "De grondwet van de nieuwe Duitsche Evangelische Kerk en de positie der gereformeerden in de 'Landskerken'" (1933)

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