What a privilege it was to attend the drama, “The Sound of Music” at the Dassel-Cokato Performing Arts Center recently. The director, actors, singers, staging and stage hands, and organizers must be highly commended.
The drama, “The Sound of Music” is close to my heart because it’s a story from the land of my birth. As a child, I roamed the foothills of the Alps not far from Salzburg, where the movie was filmed. In my office, I have a beautiful picture of my village with the Alps in the background.
I sincerely loved the performance. I was really into it until the giant eagle and swastika came down over the stage. Then, I struggled with my feelings of anger, fear, and sadness.
I recoiled, like Georg Von Trapp, that ‘I am an Austrian” and wanted nothing to do with the German Nazi government. But it was too late. The Nazis had already infiltrated Austria 10 years prior and captured the minds and hearts of the young and disenchanted.
Thus, in 1937, at the right moment, Hitler annexed Austria without a shot. By then, there were enough Nazi sympathizers within the country to bring about this coup. In 1945, the Allies liberated Austria and in 1955, it became an independent republic.
I share this history because “infiltration and deception” is a common tactic of the Evil One. John says, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
Or, from Romans 16:17-18, “I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naïve people.”
Deception is the primary mode of the Devil. Notice Rev. 20:7-8, “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth . . . ”
This deception has taken place in the church and in society. So many churches have abandoned the authoritativeness of the Bible for contemporary cultural theology. They have abandoned the foundational doctrines of the church for new age theology. They have abandoned the moral virtues of the Christian faith for relativism.
Basically, Satan has defanged and declawed the church so that it has little influence on the culture or its people.
In the 1930s, Nazism infiltrated the moral, educational, and political arenas of Austria and neutralized the virtues of its young. Through the official political elections of 1937, the Nazi candidate declared himself chancellor and ordered German soldiers across the border. Austria fell from within.
In the past 50 years, have you noticed what has happened in America? Have you noticed the moral decline of our nation?
Have you noticed the shift of the educational system to moral relativism and multiculturalism? Have you noticed the political drift from trust in God, freedom, and self-reliance to dependency on the national government? Have you noticed the church supporting a nationalistic welfare agenda in the name of social compassion?
“The Sound of Music” is a powerful reminder how a beautiful, light-hearted nation can be sold for “a pot of porridge.” As a people, are we discerning enough to see the deception of the Evil One on this great land?
Beware of the “blind guides” (Matt. 23:16) who want to cloak us with the flag of deception and oppression, all in the name of compassion and fairness.