Cults & Heresies

The Nazi State Church

Berlin, 1933. Wikimedia

The Third Reich’s persecution of Christian churches began shortly after Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of the Weimer Republic, in January 1933. This story has been told in many books. See especially William L. Shirer’s account in his epic The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.1 The following article appeared in the New York Times on January 3, 1942:2

BERNE, Switzerland, Jan. 2—Dr. Alfred Rosenberg, long the antireligious polemist of modern Germany and the protagonist of the “new national church,” has just released for publication a thirty-point program that will form at the same time the program and tenets of the “religion of National Socialism.”

The Nazi religious concept is founded not on the worship of Wotan and Valhalla, dear to the memory of General Erich von Ludendorff, but surprisingly enough, in view of Dr. Rosenberg’s past attacks on Christianity and its teachings, on a partial worship of God, whose works are “eternal.”

Briefly but succinctly he outlines the organization and teachings of the church in the following phrases—for which, as the Swiss Socialist newspaper Volksrecht of Zurich points out, “one needs to be no ecclesiast to draw his own conclusion”:

1. The National Reich Church specifically demands the immediate turning over to its possession of all churches and chapels, to become national churches.

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‘Handmaid’s Tale’ is not much like Trump's America, but it does resemble Elisabeth Moss' Church of Scientology

"The goal of the faith, founded in 1954, is ostensibly to achieve “spiritual enlightenment.” Yet, former members report abuse and coercion from within." - Washington Examiner

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Church leader wants people to stop using 'Mormon' and 'LDS' as substitutes for full name

"The faith has the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir, recently made a documentary about its members called 'Meet the Mormons' and uses 'Mormon' in its official website addresses. But on Thursday, church President Russell M. Nelson said he wants people to stop using 'Mormon,' or 'LDS' as substitutes for the full name of the religion: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." - USA Today

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Review: Leaving Mormonism

Image of Leaving Mormonism: Why Four Scholars Changed their Minds
by
Kregel Publications 2017
Paperback 320

I was sent this book (and another that I must review soon) before Christmas and the publisher, quite understandably wishes me to review it. I am very happy to do so, since this is a fine resource

This book is a great idea. Four former Mormons with academic credentials and a passion for the truth write about why they left Mormonism and add a critique of it from their own perspectives. Each writer communicates clearly. None is mean spirited in their criticism of their former belief, though all are keen to inform readers not only of the errors of the Latter-Day Saints — errors which lead to a particular worldview — but also of the chameleonic nature of Mormon teaching as it seeks to adapt to criticism and exposure.

Corey Miller’s chapter, “In Search of the Good Life” asks whether experiencing the good is objectively possible under Mormon teaching. His answer begins with his personal testimony of being a Mormon with descendants reaching all the way back to acquaintances of Joseph Smith himself. His essay deals with the nature of Mormon testimony and the difficulty of achieving “salvation.” Miller is a philosopher and has provided excellent notes to go with his essay, even briefly outlining Alvin Plantinga’s response to de jure objections to Christian faith in his Warranted Christian Belief (70 n.41).

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