Bestselling author and radio host Eric Metaxas is urging the American Church to work out their faith by standing up against the rising evil in the culture, which he warns threatens to incur God's judgment.
"It's up to believers to speak up for what is right and good and true, and to bring our faith into the public square; not to be afraid of politics — to get involved in politics — because this is one of the ways God has given us to effect change," Metaxas told The Christian Post.
"And I think a lot of people are more worried about being liked. They think that being a Christian means 'I don't argue with people; I'm winsome all the time.' And sometimes you have to battle."
'Faith without works is dead'
Metaxas spoke to CP last week from a hotel room in Los Angeles, where he had traveled to speak at Godspeak Calvary Chapel of Thousand Oaks as he promotes a new documentary adaptation of his 2022 book, Letter to the American Church.
The film, which was made in collaboration with Turning Point USA, debuts on EpochTV on Feb. 8.
The book and film draw sobering parallels between the American Church today and the passivity of the German Church in the 1930s.
Metaxas, who rose to national prominence for his bestselling 2011 biography Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, warned that as Christian leaders in Germany largely failed to stand against the rise of the Nazi regime that unleashed worldwide horrors, many American Christians are not sufficiently resisting the rising evil in the culture now.
Metaxas noted that German Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer's prophetic warnings to Germans about idolatry in the German Church and the evils of National Socialism fell on deaf ears until it was too late.
Bonhoeffer was accused of being involved in the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, and he was ultimately martyred at the Flossenbürg concentration camp in April 1945 while the Nazi government was collapsing and Germany was conquered.
Metaxas said he fears that the United States could face similar judgments if American Christians do not stand up. That Germans suffered because they didn't listen to Bonhoeffer and similar voices "is precisely God's message to the American Church today, to stand against the evil," he said.
The fundamental message of Letter to the American Church is the idea that "we've got some theology wrong," Metaxas said, adding that many have seemingly forgotten "that faith without works is dead, that we've got to bring our faith into action."
'Inhuman, cruel worldview'
Metaxas believes many Evangelical churches in the U.S. have drifted into a "fundamental misunderstanding of what the Scripture says" regarding the duty of Christians to have an impact on their culture, which he said poses a danger in the face of rising cultural evil.
Too many Christians seemingly believe that their theological beliefs are sufficient, but he noted that "the Scripture demands that we put our faith into action."
"The point is, if you believe those things — if you actually do believe those things — you will behave differently," he said. "It's impossible not to behave differently."
He said he believes God commands Christians "to stand against evil, not simply to say, 'Well, we're just going to do church, we're going to avoid those hot-button issues.'"
Metaxas also dismissed the flashpoint term "Christian nationalist," which he suggested is a phrase concocted by the devil to "shut people up." He believes Satan wants Christians to be silent because "the voice of God is only alive through His Church."
"He sent His Holy Spirit down and deputized His Church to be His voice in history," he said. "And when you have people come up with a term like 'Christian nationalist,' and then [have] Christians who are so thin-skinned, or so really shallow in their faith, that's all it takes to silence them."
While Christians are being intimidated to slink away from the cultural battle, Metaxas warned that "a culturally Marxist-atheistic worldview, an inhuman, cruel worldview, is being brought in."
He pinpointed some of the issues that are tearing the nation apart as consequences of such a worldview.
"Open borders, transgender madness, rampant crime, a two-tiered justice system, parents being divided from their kids, insane trans ideology being forced, drag queen story hour. No matter where you look, you see this kind of madness," he said.
"If the Church does not rise against it to bring God's eyes into the cultural sphere, then evil wins," he said. "And evil does win when the Church steps back. It happened in Germany."
'Evil is real'
Metaxas was reticent to offer specific predictions regarding what he believes might happen to America if the Church fails to stand up against surging cultural evil, but noted that because of their Christian heritage, many Americans have no concept of what it looks like when a nation is engulfed in demonic darkness and persecution.
"All I can tell people is that there is no doubt that evil is real," he said. "We've been shielded from it because we've been so blessed. We've been living in a free country that has flourished. We haven't been forced to see satanic evil in the way that people in Third World countries have had to see it; people in the former Soviet Union, people in North Korea, people in China. Try to be a Christian — an outspoken Christian — in China today."
Metaxas fears that despite its cultural inheritance, the U.S. is not immune to God allowing evil to prevail if the Church retreats as it did in Germany, which he noted "was an amazingly civilized, wonderful society, tremendously Christian in many ways" before the Nazis took power and destroyed it.
"If you, as a Christian, do not participate with those who are standing against it, the Lord will allow evil to continue to rise, and what we've seen is just the beginning," he said. "It will come for absolutely everyone. And that's the warning."
"You think it's just to going happen to other people. That's never the case. It happens to them first. If you do nothing, eventually it will find its way to you and to your family, and I think that we're commanded to love our neighbors. If you love your neighbors, you won't let this stand," he added.
Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org