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The Christian and the Holocaust

In this post we are going to look at two quote. One is by Elie Wiesel and the other is made by Harry James Cargas. The latter wrote the book Shadows of Auschwitz: A Christian response to the Holocaust and the former wrote the foreword to that book. We are attacking neither person and only looking at their words and point they are trying to make.

The Holocaust demands interrogation and calls everything into question…It is impossible to detach the Final Solution from its Christian context- E.W.

While the Holocaust does demand interrogation it does not call everything into question. It is important to learn how the event came to be, the reasons behind its existence and what could be done to avoid such events in the future, it is equally vital to identify the source of the event and not distort it by placing it in a category or the result of a belief which had nothing to do with the event. People may argue that the Nazis were Christian in some respect, they were not Jewish, Hindu, or of some other religious faith but to do so would distort and misapply the term Christian.

It is not impossible to detach ‘the final solution from its Christian context’ because there was no Christian context surrounding the Holocaust. Yes there may have been weak immature believers who did not have the strength to withstand the pressure of the Nazis and their agenda, and supported their extermination efforts or did little to block them, but that does not place the Holocaust in a Christian context. Yes Hitler was part Jewish but being Jewish is not being Christian so that argument does not place the event into a Christian context. Then, yes many prominent Nazis came from Christian families but that fact does not provide a Christian context either. There is nothing Christian about the Holocaust. It was not conducted under biblical commands, and if any were used they those verses were misapplied,nor has there been a time in the New Testament era where God told Christians to exterminate any group of people. The Crusades were not Christian either nor conducted within a Christian context.

To be Christian and placed in a Christian context the Bible must be obeyed correctly. The command ‘thou shalt not kill’ cannot be overruled because one person or a group of people dislike another. People say that the word ‘kill’ actually means ‘murdered’ well that is what the Nazis did to the Jewish and other unfortunate people who fell on the wrong side of the Nazi perspective. It was not a final solution but murder. it was not a terrorist act or a hate crime, it was simply murder. We cannot distort the event by using modern politically correct terms to make the event more palpable. For that reason alone the Nuremberg trials were justified. The Nazis on trial were basically being tried for murder and other illegal acts not because they were Nazis. BUt that is another issue for another day.

To be considered a Christian context, the people participating in the event must actually be Christian. AS to the Christian faith of the Nazis and other German people we cannot judge but their actions tend to place them outside of Christianity or in the category of being immature Christians who did not trust God enough to take better action.We cannot lump everyone who were not members of the Nazi party into the non-believer category because that would be wrong. Christians do make mistakes in judgment and behavior but those mistakes and errors does not cost them their salvation. Nor does it put a Christian context to a horrible event. Christianity becomes the excuse to justify the false application of blame.

The late Mr. Wiesel also talked about a ‘Christian guilt’ in his foreword to that book but that is another distortion. Christians are not to blame for the actions of others. They are only responsible for their own actions. Also the Bible tells us that the sins of the father are not to be paid by the son and vice versa. No Christian today has any guilt for what took place 70 years ago. They are only guilty of the infractions they make in their lives, their ancestors are responsible for their sins alone. This does not mean we cannot try to right some wrongs or help take steps to avoid another Holocaust, (though Christians will be the next victims in the next Holocaust, and that too is another topic for another day), we are to follow the Bible in participating in prevention of any crime.

Yet with that said, God’s word must be remembered. He tells us in Isaiah that his thoughts and ways are higher than ours thus when we analyze any action by Christian or unbeliever we must learn how to look at those actions through God’s perspective.Our human views are too restricted to get a clear picture on why people, especially Christians, act the way they do. To apply only human reasoning and justifications only clouds the issue and does not explain the behavior taken unless of course that behavior is clearly a violation of God’s word. To judge the Christians living during the time of the Holocaust is unfair and wrong, we are not privy to all the pertinent information that would explain their actions. God is thus we need to look to God before concluding anything about past actions or determining an ancestor’s eternal destination.

How does one explain that the killers came from Christian families and had received a Christian education- HJC

The word ‘killers’ here of course refers to the Nazis and other German people. The answer is quite simple. Coming from a Christian home and receiving a Christian education is no guarantee that people will not choose to follow evil. This change of character happens all the time. The founder of the Children of God was an evangelical minister before sliding into evil and founding his cult. You can check the many websites where former missionaries and pastors and other Christian workers reside and see how they have left their faith and stopped believing in God. Being from a Christian family or being educated in Christianity does not stop people from exercising their right of free choice and doing horrible things.

They may use scripture to justify their thinking or behavior but again such action does not place their deeds in a Christian context nor does it mean a Christian committed the offenses. Sometimes they are Christian but deeper examination than a superficial judgment is needed to assess the situation.

The Holocaust is not a Christian event nor was it conducted in a Christian context. It was conducted via hatred which is a sin and not a Christian virtue or teaching. There is no Christian guilt to be endured. Those who say there is, mislead and distort the issue, such accusations are probably motivated by their own hatred for Christianity and Christians. To find solutions to such events like the Holocaust you cannot falsely accuse a belief or group of people. Even if Christians were a part of the Holocaust, we can say they were probably not Christian because Jesus told us ‘my sheep hear my voice’ and Jesus never told anyone to kill another person no matter what faith they adhered to.

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Learning

We decided to take a look at an old website we used to frequent. It was a great sight to get examples of what should not be done. That sight still doesn’t disappoint. Here is a quote that while is important it ignores vital information and leads people in the wrong direction

Let’s be honest- if you’re an American biblical scholar/ theologian and you only read English, you are terribly hobbled by that. The greatest hindrance to learning is monolinguism.

https://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/the-greatest-hindrance-to-learning/

Yes it is important to learn other ancient languages to learn, and to read books outside of one’s denominational literature to grasp what God is saying to us, it is not enough. The greatest hindrance is for believers to stop following or ignore the Spirit of Truth. For believers being scholarly, academic, theologian is not the goal. The believer has to go for the truth. There is no alternative goal for the believer. Interpretation is not a tool that can be used either. Interpretation brings confusion to any biblical issue and allows for too many opinions to hide the truth. It makes the Bible vulnerable to subjective opinion and nothing the Spirit of the Truth says is the truth.

The greatest hindrance to learning is ignoring the Spirit of Truth.

P.S. Going for the truth means we do not automatically believe every accusation that one gender hurls at another. We believers investigate honestly, properly and get to the truth supported by real evidence. Hearsay is not allowed nor is ‘a woman’s honor’ a turning point in which story will be believed.

We follow the Spirit of Truth to the truth even in legal , sexual, and other issues that plagued life.

 

Obey Now

We are not usually fans of bumper stickers but the one we saw on the inside of a bus is an exception to the rule. It reads “obey now, play later; disobey now, pay later. These few words bring the message of the Bible down to the basics. If we correctly obey God now then we will be able to play in heaven (hopefully, we are not sure of all our activities when we get to heaven). After obeying and enduring throughout this life, we can put down are troubles and relax, enjoy our eternal home. BUT if we disobey God now and play with our lives here, abusing scripture by using our own interpretation and ignoring the Spirit of Truth, then we will have to pay the piper and that eternal destination is not attractive.

Sadly, too many churches and church members like to do the former. We cannot tap dance around that fact. They use their own interpretation, their own desires and justify their behaviors with scripture. They are not obeying scriptures correctly. The words in the Bible ‘men love darkness rather than light’  apply to Christians and churches as well. There are far too many church members who prefer darkness to light while still claiming they are in the light. As 1 John says these people lie:

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (ch. 1)

We shall state clearly here that there is no such thing as eternal security as 2 Peter 2 tells us

20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. 22 [h]It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”

these people are disobeying now and if they do not change they will pay later.

 

Human Rights is Not the Goal

Many people are dedicated to bringing human rights to the world. They feel that if everyone has the same rights then the world would be a better place to live. Unfortunately, their ideas fall short and are far too subjective to make any real contribution to the condition of all societies in existence today. We have seen many of these people’s ideas and the one idea they have in common is that they all think they know better than God on how to run life on earth. The UN certainly thinks it does as they define human rights in the following manner:

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.

Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law , general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Pages/WhatareHumanRights.aspx

It is a nice sentiment but it is idealistic, irrational and unrealistic. Treating others in a respectful, etc., manner is a voluntary choice, it cannot be made mandatory as laws are not solutions to problems faced by society. Laws may stop some people from acting in certain ways but it does not remove the cause for crimes or non-human right behavior. But this is the human solution to a problem that was solved millennia ago. The essence of human rights  says that there is no real right or wrong. We have seen this statement supported by the rise in support of the homosexual and transgender. Their behavior under human rights is not seen as a perversion of what is normal, as wrong the way to conduct life but as individuals who have the right to participate in life as if nothing was wrong.

This is the problem with human rights. Those advocates ignore God’s standards of right and wrong and declare that all practices of life are correct and have a right to exist. The other foundation that supports many human rights activists is a misconception of the purpose of the law and the freedom of governments to rule their nations. Here is an example:

All human rights are indivisible, whether they are civil and political rights, such as the right to life, equality before the law and freedom of expression; economic, social and cultural rights, such as the rights to work, social security and education , or collective rights, such as the rights to development and self-determination, are indivisible, interrelated and interdependent. The improvement of one right facilitates advancement of the others. Likewise, the deprivation of one right adversely affects the others.

We put in bold one line that if followed would shut down the abortion industry. Humans beget humans thus all human rights must be applied to their unborn children in the process of fully developing into a viable and functioning person. According to this definition, they have the right to life and no one has the legal authority to hinder fulfillment of that right. The definition of when  fetus becomes human is always going to come up for debate but that debate is subjective not objective heavily influenced by sin and other personal views. It is not a topic that needs to be discussed here.

Another thing that human rights activists miss out on is that when one lives in a collective society certain rights are given up so that the society can function in a peaceful and constructive manner. The human rights activists cannot obtain that ideal with their granting everyone ‘human rights’. For society to survive anarchy cannot be part of the system. Then just because one set of people have rights doe snot mean that everyone has a right to do what they plan. Something has to be determined to be wrong and not good for the health of the society.

Another issue with human rights advocates is that they will throw out the very book and author who has given everyone the same human rights which co-exist with a strong standard of right and wrong. The reason for this is that the human rights advocate does not want to be subservient to anyone. They want to dictate to society what it should and should not do. B doing away with a strong objective form of human rights, the human rights advocates have opened up a slippery slope that has no where to go but down.

The human rights advocate is like the atheist. They want something and they want the world to be a better place yet they toss out the only way to achieve what they want. Of course these last two paragraphs are talking about the Bible and God. Everything those two groups desire can be achieved if they turn to Jesus and follow his ways. Yet they do not want to humble themselves and follow Jesus, they want to be the master of their destiny. They give up what they want in order to try and get what they want. That is an impossible route to take.

God has already outlined and instructed throughout his word how others should be treated. He guarantees human rights without sacrificing his standard of right and wrong. Homosexuals and transgender are to be treated in the same manner as the normal person BUT without accepting or condoning their sin. Yes both are sin. You cannot have real human rights if one allows for sin to enter the definition of the term. Because if you do there is no longer any boundary to draw the line.

To obtain true human rights then there must be perverted and wrong behavior, preferences, and practices. Along with that an objective course of action must be adhered too,one that is not human. Any human version is not greater than another and all are corrupted by sin making them unworthy of elevation to being the standard to follow. You want human rights then you need to follow God’s word correctly, excluding interpretation and following the Holy Spirit to the truth or you just end up in the same situation as before- a very subjective human idea that can only go down hill.

 

Breastfeeding In Public

We are going to throw our hat into this debate. It seems that many women like to breastfeed wherever and when ever they want regardless of all the people around them and how they feel. The women claim they have the right, and many governments have allowed this point to become law, sadly at the expense of the rights of those who do not want to be part of this new spectator sport. Other women think that just because breastfeeding is normal they have the freedom and permission to force their activity on those who do not want to be a part of it.

This misguided thinking is not for the believer to follow. The Bible does not speak directly about breastfeeding in public but it does talk about being modest and not following the world.  These two indirect instructions should be guiding Christian women to schedule their breastfeeding times to be near some secluded or alternate spot where their activity will not bother other people. Oh and that is another indirect instruction concerning breastfeeding. The Bible talks about living peacefully with one’s neighbor and forcing your feeding habits on others is not living peacefully with others. it is thumbing your nose that their rights, and sensibilities.

Another teaching that indirectly provides guidance to the public breastfeeding issue are the passages that tell a woman to love her husband. In one perspective it is hard to think that a wife loves her husband by exposing herself to other men who are strangers and not family. Demanding one’s rights is not love either and the wife should be in submission to her husband’s wishes and if he wants her to be discrete and breastfeed in secluded locations, etc., then the wife should comply without complaint.

Only the secular war makes this issue about rights, control of the woman’s body, discrimination and manipulation of the woman. They do not want to obey God or their husbands so they will make this issue about everything it isn’t. This issue is about obedience to God’s instructions and one’s husband. Being modest and following God is more important than breastfeeding in public. The secular world only wants to do things their way as they are under the mistaken impression that they know more than God does.

If you want to be a light to the dark world, you can achieve that objective through breast-feeding if you follow the Bible correctly and do not follow the secular world.

 

In The News 24

#1. http://www.christianpost.com/news/n-korean-defector-describes-life-as-a-christian-under-kim-regime-we-met-in-a-hole-to-worship-201921/

A North Korean defector opened up about the underground church he led and the secretive life he and other Christians had there. He also revealed that despite being offered freedom for renouncing their religion, believers in the notorious prison camps refuse to do so.

Don’t forget to pray for the North Korean people

#2. http://www.christianpost.com/news/lee-strobel-details-conversation-he-had-with-hugh-hefner-about-god-gospel-201937/

Famed author Lee Strobel has revealed how Playboy founder Hugh Hefner reacted when Strobel — a well-known atheist-turned-Christian speaker and apologist — went to Hefner’s famous mansion just over a decade ago and shared the gospel with the magazine publisher.

Strobel sparked quite a bit of intrigue and speculation with a Sept. 27 tweet revealing that he once shared the gospel with Hefner and that Hefner “saw significance of the resurrection, but had never checked the evidence.”

Don’t read anything into these type of conversations. Unbelievers have them all the time and they know what to say to placate the believer. Sharing the gospel is not the only duty of the believer.

#3. http://www.christianpost.com/news/lesbian-daughter-of-focus-on-the-family-executive-releases-book-about-her-familys-rejection-201475/

The daughter of a Focus on the Family executive, who is married to another woman, has released a book in which she states that she was rejected by her own family after coming out as gay.

Do unto others… applies to the LGBTQ issue and community. We can reject their sin without violating scripture and bringing abuse on those who do not accept Christ’s ways The church is not allowed to be a persecutor of others.

#4. http://www.christianpost.com/news/christianity-is-not-the-only-way-to-heaven-prominent-presbyterian-pastor-says-201929/

Leader of the second largest congregation in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Rev. Shannon Johnson Kershner has declared that Christianity is not the only way to heaven.

Kershner, 45, who leads the 5,500-member Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Illinois, expressed her belief in a podcast with the Chicago Sun-Times after she was asked the question “Is Christianity the only way to heaven?”

“No,” Kershner replied bluntly.

This is to be expected when you start disobeying God. When you ignore God’s instructions in one culturally difficult area then do not expect those who are finally permitted to do something God does not want them to do to follow God’s instructions.

#5. http://www.christianpost.com/news/raising-middle-finger-at-pastor-in-church-screaming-about-satan-is-protected-free-speech-judge-201792/

A Georgia judge ruled Monday in favor of a man who in 2014 raised his middle finger at a pastor inside a church and shouted about Satan’s influence over public schools, arguing that the behavior counts as protected free speech under the First Amendment.

It may be free speech but WHERE it is said is not protected and not free. The church has the right to remove the person from their presence and property when that person is being disruptive.

#6. http://www.christianpost.com/news/tens-of-thousands-gather-nations-capital-americas-tent-of-meeting-awaken-the-dawn-201659/

Tens of thousands of Christians are expected to assemble on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. this weekend to pray and implore God for divine intervention and to rescue the next generation for a nation in crisis.

We would rather see them obey God and see them go into their prayer closets to accomplish this. There is no biblical instruction to do this in public places. Also we would rather see them pray how God could use them instead of passing the buck back to God. There are thousands there who could make an impact for God if they only would roll up their sleeves and ask God where he wants them to work for him

 

Las Vegas & God

When reading articles like this one

http://www.christianpost.com/news/helping-your-teens-process-las-vegas-massacre-201939/

many thoughts rise and they are not just directed towards the tragedy but towards the author of the work as well. It is clear that many youth pastors are not equipped to handle these situations as we scan the verses quoted and see that many of them do not help in this case. What needs to be told in these and all scenarios is the truth. Young believers need to learn how to be spiritually educated and need to learn how to handle these situations correctly if they do not want to lose their faith in God or make an impact for him. We do not want to sound arrogant here as that is not our attitude when we write the following, but for those of us who have lived through Vietnam, Korea and WW2 these acts of violence are not hard to process. We are aware of the evil man can do. Just ask those people who were alive when Charles Manson and his cult killed their victims. These tragedies happen all the time and in every era and the believer should be the one who can process them the best as they know the source of these events. We know that evil exists and seeks to destroy God’s creation any way it can so these shootings should not come as a shock to any of them.

People may say ‘yea but what about God? He is supposed to be a loving God yet he lets these tragedies take place.’ Yes God does let these tragic events happen but for him to put a stop to all suffering, all crime then things would have to change. Dr. Craig Blomberg explained it best in his book from Pentecost to Patmos when it comes to the suffering in this world. He said, and we paraphrase, that ‘for God to end suffering he would have to bring an end to this world. To do that, God would then have to end the opportunity for all men to be saved.’ That act would mean that God would not get his desire that ll men be saved fulfilled and many more people would be sent to hell for eternity. That is not a good scenario and worse than what the gunman did in Las Vegas.

We are going to look at a few quotes from that article to help that youth pastor enable his youth and all youth to process this event better.

An evil madman in Las Vegas ended the lives of 58 individuals and injured over 480. So here we are once again as a nation, as a culture and as individuals…trying to process an event that defies what most of us could even imagine in our darkest dreams

We disagree with the label ‘evil madman’ simply because he may not have been mad (crazy, insane) and he may not have been evil. W prefer to see him as a creation of God who was not under God’s protection but a victim of evil’s desire to hurt God through destroying his creation. This perspective helps us bring a little compassion to the tragedy for the victims, the offender and their families. All the people killed or injured were not believers, they may have been good people but still destined for hell, so compassion is needed as those concert goers were robbed of any opportunity to repent of their sins. We know by the verse ‘our battle is not against flesh and blood…’ that the shooter may have been under the influence of evil when he committed that act so he may not have been evil.

Then we understand why these events take place because the Bible tells us that ‘people love darkness rather than light’ thus evil has a great opportunity to manipulate humans in to doing these tragic acts. We need to place the blame where it lies and pray accordingly. This verse helps us to understand why people do these acts of violence. They have rejected God’s way thus they are under the domain of evil and act according to those rules not God’s.

First, when tragedy strikes, it’s crucial to remember that we can bring our fears and questions to God. Our faith is expansive enough to engulf every fear and question imaginable. In the Bible, the men and women who walked closest to God also carried some of the deepest doubt

The first question we would ask here is why would believers be afraid? They do not live for this world but for God’s kingdom so why would they be afraid at all? The Bible tells us that ‘perfect love casts out all fear’ thus if we have love for God and Jesus then these events should not make us fearful, even if we are victims of such people. Our hope lies in the next world not this one. Yes we will have questions but if we read the Bible those questions disappear very quickly as we see that people will do evil things because they are under the influence of evil. We believers know why people do things like this and we also know that our duty is to help unbelievers grasp the totality of the events. We need to be armed with the correct answers to meet their questions and bring them comfort as well as ease their fears.

But remind them that God is not Google…you can’t just input an inquiry and expect a nicely wrapped godopedia type answer.

But we do have the answers and they are nicely packaged. They are all found in the Bible. One just has to put down their interpreting method and follow the Holy Spirit to the true answers. We see in the Bible where men have committed evil acts throughout biblical history, we should not  be traumatized or surprised when they take place in our era. We have guidance and forewarning, we should be prepared to handle the aftermath no problem if we learn our spiritual lessons correctly.

Second, consider the fact that when great evil occurs, it should serve as a warning of the greatest calamity that will ever take place –spending an eternity in hell:

There is no need to turn a tragedy into an evangelistic event. That opportunity will come when God wants them to come. Our first priority should be to meet the needs of the victims, their families and help those who only observe these events through the t.v. etc., to grasp what took place and why. Meeting their physical and mental needs will open doors to meeting their spiritual needs. There is no need to do forced evangelism. Let God direct here. There is also no need to proclaim that this or some other natural treagic event was a judgment by God. There was no message from God saying that is so so stay away from such announcements and thinking.

This tragedy in Jesus’ day was a result of a sociopath named Pilate, who murdered innocent Galileans while they were worshipping God. Basically, this was the cultural equivalent of a public shooting. When this calamity occurred, the crowds wanted answers—and God Himself was on the scene.

Why this was mentioned we do not know but it is out of place. The next paragraph is also mishandled

What is amazing, though, is that Jesus doesn’t even try to explain the causes or solutions to the calamities. He purposely avoids going into a social discourse about the disintegration of society, or the effect that the violence in the coliseum has on people. Interestingly, He doesn’t even launch into a discussion about the tension between freewill and God’s sovereignty here.

Instead, Jesus speaks to this situation with a reminder of ultimate destiny: “…unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Jesus was not setting an example on how and when to do evangelism, he was giving a warning to people. That author misreads the passage that he quotes and misapplies it to his stated purpose for the article. While evangelism is important, it is not th eonly duty of the believer. There are other more important duties that a believer must do as well yet that fact has been ignored by the church in its haste to please God in only one area of the Christian life.

May you and your students hold out the gospel like a beacon of hope in the darkness!

If you want to be a beacon in a dark world then you need to believe and follow all of the Bible correctly. You will stand out and if you learn your spiritual lessons correctly then you will be able to make an impact for God even i tragedies like this

 
 
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