Nazi German Church vs the Contemporary American Church-10
History has recorded anti-semitism as one of, if not the church’s greatest sin! And, in my opinion, Germany’s fall into Nazism was firmly rooted in its cultural anti-semitism.
Victoria Barnett* writes, “…the Jews were blamed for a number of crises, even when their purported role in one would logically eliminate their role in another. In 1819, German farmers rioted and burned Jewish businesses, blaming the Jews for industrial changes. Following the attempted revolution in 1848, Jews were linked to the workers’ movement; thirty years later (1870’s), after the stock market crash, the Jews were blamed for controlling all the money. In 1918, an ‘international Jewish plot’ was blamed for the terms of the Versailles Treaty.” (pg126)
“In the 1880’s, German philologist Paul de Legarde compared the Jews to a dangerous form of bacteria, breeding uncontrollably to spread cultural weakness and disease in the German people, and he recommended the forced deportation of Jews to Eastern Europe. Other writings compared Jews to spiders, worms, and other insects that lived in darkness. As early as the 1840’s the ‘Jewish question’ was discussed as a biological or racial problem.” (pg124)
“Anti-semitism is justified, argued one German pastor, but this anti-semitism must remain within the biblical set limits.” (pg125)
Anti-semitism ran rampant in Germany…even among some Jews who had converted to Christianity! “Dietrich Goldschmidt, son of a Jewish Christian father and a non-Jewish mother, recalled that his father, an historian who lost his job at the end of 1934 because of the Aryan laws, was baffled by what happened to him.” “My father (Jewish) said, ‘Oh, we wouldn’t have all these annoyances with the Jews if so many Easter European Jews hadn’t immigrated here after World War 1….If that hadn’t happened, things wouldn’t have reached this difficult state.” “To a certain extent, my father is a typical case of a baptized Jew who was fully assimilated, who couldn’t imagine that he wouldn’t be accepted as assimilated by the other side.” (pg127)
Furthermore, “Around 2000 racial laws were passed during the course of the Third Reich, 1219 of them passed before the Kristallnacht** in November 1938.” (pg127)
Jews were blamed for all manner of evil in spite of the fact that “In 1933, only 1 ½% of the German population was Jewish and the actual numbers of Jews in influential positions was far less than popularly assumed. Although many Germans blamed the uncertainties on the Weimar years on too much Jewish influence in the government, for example, only 4 of the 250 government ministers during the entire Weimar Republic were Jewish. Yet in April 1933, Berlin church leader Otto Dibelius wrote, “In the last 15 years in Germany, the influence of Judaism has strengthened extraordinarily. The number of Jewish judges, Jewish politicians, Jewish civil servants in influential positions has grown noticeably. The voice of the people is turning against this. (pg124)
Although Jew-hatred was not the only form of wickedness that pervaded Germany, it certainly contributed the most to their blindness! Remember, pre-Nazi Germany declared themselves to be 95% Christian! Therefore, having access to the Holy Spirit (Jn14:26), they should have known better!
As for America, though anti-semitism is also on the rise, I give God all the glory because we have not seen anywhere near the type of thick anti-semitism as pre-Nazi, Germany. As a matter of fact, the pro-Israel, pro-Jewish stand of the average American is not only a direct result of Gotd’s grace and God’s word preached across this nation, but is also the primary reason God has not judged America more severely for such blatant sins as abortion and gay marriage. Of course, this does not mean God winks at those grave sins, or that he will not hold us accountable, but rather means that He has simply chosen greater long-suffering, giving us more time to repent! Furthermore, America’s pro-Jewish stand also gives me great hope that the Beast may not necessarily be an American President. However, things can change quickly if the wrong person gets into office (Ps140:11,Hos8:4). Pray for a president who loves the Jew! Never vote for a political leader—at any level of government--who stands against Israel (Gen12:1-3)!
*These series of tidbits use Victoria Barnett’s work, “For the Soul of The People”
**Kristallnacht means night of the broken glass. In one night, Germans attacked and destroyed thousands of Jewish businesses and synagogues, murdering hundreds and imprisoning up to 30,000 people.
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Victoria Barnett* writes(pg58), “In the spring of 1934, one of the major questions dividing PEL(Pastor Evangelical League) members and Lutherans was whether the Evangelical Church could include both PEL members and “German Christians.” Could the two extremes theologically co-exist in the same church? The PEL’s position was that they could not: A truly Confessing Church had no place for the “Aryan” ideals of the “German Christians.”
Most Lutherans rejected this position. If the Kingdom of God was truly open to all, they argued, how could one justify a church that preached selectively and excluded a group because of its politics?”
The ‘German Christians’ adopted both anti-semitism, and what was known as ‘positive Christianity’, which basically is Christianity without sin. Furthermore, they wanted to remove the Old Testament from the Bible! Simply, 'positive Christians' were Nazis who wanted to remain part of the traditional Lutheran church. Yet, when the PEL tried to separate themselves from such foolish theology, “most Lutherans rejected this…” What is most interesting however, is that their response for objecting actually reveals the spiritual condition of the church in Germany: “If the Kingdom of God was truly open to all, how could one justify a church that preached selectively and excluded a group because of its politics?”
First, the Bible nowhere indicates that the kingdom of God is open to all. On the contrary, the Bible declares God’s kingdom to be exclusive, not inclusive; it is open only to the elect(Matt24:31), i.e. the select who make Jesus Lord of their life! The apostle John writes, “…no man comes to the Father but by me…” (Jn14:6). On the contrary, the question of the objecting German church sounds eerily similar to contemporary 'Christian liberal' thinking which declares that the church is to be so tolerant and accepting--which they define as love--that everybody will be saved, regardless of their relationship to Christ, or their lifestyle. This is theologically known as Universalism. In the specific case of the German Christians, they were so 'nationalist' conscious that they would accept anyone or thing who was perceived as patriotic; as someone who was for Germany. This translates into an acceptance of Nazism (Hitler) as part of Christianity because Nazism was perceived as patriotic to Germany, as Christianity was perceived as patriotic to Germany! Oh My!!
My second point on the state of the German church originates in their statement "...because of their politics?" This comment indicates the depth of the rejection of the Bible in German Christianity. Of course, Germany’s rejection of the Bible is first and foremost made obvious by their intent to remove the Old Testament from the Bible! However, second the above quote reveals their unBiblical doctrine of "two spheres," which equates to our contemporary doctrine of the separation of the church and state.
Originally, the separation of church and state meant that God rules over both areas, BUT..has a purpose for both the state and the church. The key is that the two purposes are different, yet originate in God. However, liberalism/atheism took the Biblical separation of church and state doctrine, and turned it on its head to now mean to separate God from the state!
The German Christians erroneously believed the Bible was to have no influence over German 'political' thinking. It was this heresy that birthed their rabid anti-semitism! On the contrary, the Bible is the ultimate plumb line of good and evil! There can be no understanding of what constitutes right and wrong without the Bible. The rejection of the Bible as God's word, leads to a rejection of God's law written in nature(Rom1:20), also known in our Declaration of Independence as "the laws of nature and of nature's God". Gary Amos in his wonderful work, Defending the Declaration, wrote regarding this phrase, "It was a legal phrase for God's law revealed through nature and His moral law revealed in the Bible."
In other words, a person or nation who rejects the Bible, will quickly reject God's laws written in the creation(Rom1:20)--for both the Bible, and the laws of nature, originate in God! This is precisely the reason that Germans, who called themselves 'Christians', of their own volition, elected Adolf Hitler to power in 1933, in spite of his book Mein Kampf, being published in 1925!! The Christians of Germany had a full eight years to determine who this man was! His book trashed the most sacred moral laws of God, along with the laws of nature, and the church ignored it to the destruction of the nation! Psalms 140:11 declares: "Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth..."
The American church is repeating Germany's sins! Over 70% of Americans declare themselves to be Christians, yet, we elected people to political positions, including our current president, who stand for such obvious evils as abortion, gay marriage, homosexuality, big government, high taxes, promote Islam, reject Israel---to name a few---all of which are unbiblical, AND contrary to God's laws of nature!
There is even a current Democrat Presidential candidate--Bernie Sanders--who publically, and bodaciously, declares himself a Socialist! In spite of the fact that Socialists are atheists by nature, I have some personal friends, who say they are Christians, yet support him!! There has ‘never’ been a ‘publically’ declared American atheist president; nor socialist president! Why is this happening now? The American church is repeating the German church's sin!
The good news is that, "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." God is not done with America...as evidenced by the many Christians who are standing in the gap for this great nation!! Are you one?
*These series of tidbits use “For the Soul of The People” by Victoria Barnett
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