And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 1 Samuel 8:5
This passage records the elders of Israel requesting of Samuel to give them a king. We understand from verses 6 and 7 that it was not God’s will for Israel to have a king, and by requesting one, they rejected God! There are many lessons from this passage of scripture, but the lesson I want to focus on is crisis. The elders used the crisis of Samuel’s family--his sons were wicked--to demand a king to follow the example of other nations. In essence, Israel used the spiritual condition of Samuel’s sons as a means to sin!
At the time the Nazis were vying for power, there were many crisis happening in Germany. For example, during the decade of 1920-30, the Versailles Treaty which was signed by German officials after World War 1 was considered anathema; a national tragedy! The Weimar government, which was a democratic-republican form of governing, were considered traitors for attempting to comply. Instead of disgruntlement with the Treaty however, the German people opted to hate the entire government. Furthermore, the German mark (dollar) was worthless, creating another crisis. Millions of marks were necessary to buy one loaf of bread!
Instead of crying out to God, and searching the scriptures for answers, because of the tradition of the people, who for centuries had been ruled by the Kaisers(kings/monarchs), the people began to cry out to ‘return’ to their former one leader rulership!
Interestingly, just prior to his death in 1900, Friedrich Nietzsche, German atheist philosophy, homosexual, and son of a Lutheran pastor, predicted (prophesied?) Ubermensch, a blond superman, would emerge to rule the world.
In addition, before meeting Hitler in 1920, Rudolph Hess, one of Hitler’s henchmen, wrote an essay entitled, “What kind of Man Will Lead Germany Back to Her Previous Heights?” He said, first, the man must be a person of the people. He meant someone whose roots were in the masses. Second, he must be someone who had nothing in common with masses. He must keep his distance from the people in order to shed blood when necessary. Third, he had to be able to slaughter his closest friend to achieve his objectives. He must be a man of “terrible hardness.”
After meeting Hitler, Hess was shocked to find that he possessed all these characteristics! Hitler believed he was the fulfillment of both Hess’ and Nietzsche’s predictions. Like Israel, Germany cried out for a leader of ‘their’ desires!
How did the German church respond?
Victoria Barnett* writes of Hitler’s impact on one theology student,
“I knew a man—a theological student—who said, “Hitler is coming to Heidelberg, I’m going. But he won’t get me”…I knew this man well, and I thought a lot of him; there was something to him. He was someone who, normally, you couldn’t fool. And he came back from Heidelberg and said, I’m completely convinced by him.” And it was true. Very strange. Hitler must have had a charisma, and unstable and ignorant people fell for him at once. But even someone who was educated, was a convinced Christian, who argued with everything—he came back and said, “He convinced me.”
Like Germany, America is in crisis. Most recently, the cases of Kim Davis, Planned Parenthood videos, and mass murderer Chris Harper-Mercer; not to mention the 18 trillion dollar national debt, which Candy Carson, wife of Presidential candidate Ben Carson says, “If we paid 10 million per day, would take 5000 years to pay off!” YES! America is in deep crisis.
How has the American church responded? Fasting, prayer, seeking God’s face?!?!
There are at least 2 responses that capture the American church’s present state and attitude:
1.The response to the Planned Parenthood videos
2.The church’s response to Obergefell gay marriage case
Many church people have either yawned at these monstrous evils, or simply turned their head, closing their eyes, acting like the monkey who: “sees no evil, hears no evil, and speaks no evil.”
Other Christians have declared, “Oh well, it’s Monday, back to work—Kay, sa ra, sa ra, whatever will be, will be!”
Christianity in Germany was split into:
1.Confessing Church. Those who attempted to remain true to the Word of God.
2.German Christians. Their name expresses their belief—Nationalism. They tried to Nazify Christianity.
In America, the church is also split into two names--Conservative and Liberal. The Conservative line of those who confess Christ attempt to remain true to the Bible; while the Liberal line, in the name of love and tolerance, bend the scriptures to their desire, promoting abortion and gay marriage, etc., while creating division through their own racism!
The final word is that, like the German Christians, the Liberal version of the American church will possess an ‘appearance’ of growth and dominance because media, government, academia, sports, business, music, etc., will both support and promote them. However, because the Bible says where sin abounds grace will much more abound(Rom5:20), the real church will experience actual growth because persecution will push us to make a stand for Christ! God will honor that stand, and bring many to Himself! The blood of the martyr is the seed of the church!
*These tidbits use Victoria Barnett’s, ‘For the Soul of the People’
If you develop the habits of success, you will make success a habit.