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7 Ways Not to Be the Religious People Who Turned Out the Jews
No one in religious circles today would fail to find fault with Germany’s religious community, which was complicit in the Nazi machine that liquidated 10 million people, including 6 million European Jews. People still gasp at pictures and accounts of this period. The hope in recounting such events is that this epic calamity would never occur again.
Yet, similar liquidations have taken place since the Nazi’s Final Solution. Among them was Stalin’s genocide which continued until 1953. The Chinese Communist Revolution starting in 1949, oversaw the liquidation of up to 40 million people. Pol Pot liquidated millions between 1975-1978. The Rwandan genocide of 1994 saw the liquidation of nearly 800,000 people in a scant period of 100-days.
Of course, the dynamics involved with these subsequent examples were quite different than those surrounding the Nazi-Jewish story. The point is millions of people beyond the Jewish story have been ruthlesslessly exterminated. Secondly, humans and their governing orders are either still capable of the same outcome or incapable of stopping the same. Thus, the pressing question is how you and I can remain innocent of turning our backs or being passively involved. The answer will prove to be challenging for even the most dedicated of Jesus followers, and much more for Christians.
Let’s Look at the Contributing Factors
The basis for turning one’s back on the suffering of others has three primary contributing factors in both the Nazi debacle and its modern corollaries.
- A sense of disenfranchisement allegedly caused by those now suffering
- An identity and belonging to and with the agency exacting the judgment
- A desire to survive and not become a target out of sympathy or empathy
These contributing factors have more significant dynamics tied to them, but we will dispense with these because that’d be another article. I ask why these three points would be salient to or identifiable with ANYONE claiming the New Testament (NT) and thinking they are following Jesus. Christians in Germany tossed most of the NT to go along and get along in the Nazi era and the Soviet era. How many people do you know who are weak, convictionless, and utterly morally rotted inside and ready to capitulate to the same today because they only believe the “Jesus loves you” and the “get saved” texts in the NT? All the other teachings of Jesus and Paul they’ve no use for.
Already, the elites and propagandists are salting society with “value questions” like the Nazis did in order to create the situational ethics that will give way to turning one’s back and “not getting involved.”
Here’s what you need to know about not falling into such devilish thinking.
- If you follow Jesus Christ, you have no right to live, survive, or identify with a social-political order. Survival and identity with a political-temporal order will make you toss any “higher loyalty” like dirty socks because you think you have a right to both (Matt. 6:24). Church leaders have spent 17 centuries peddling the lie that you can be part of the State and think you’re serving God at the same time.
The entire NT models and teaches that the kingdom of God is among the kingdoms of men from the time of Christ’s resurrection. You and I—if we are following Christ—are that kingdom amidst the temporal world. Peter writes, in 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are A CHOSEN PEOPLE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR GOD’S OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (NASB). This verse was not a metaphorical reference but quite literal. Nearly 500 texts in the New Testament speak of believers in terms of not belonging to the society around us. The American Revolution nor 17 centuries of theological lying did not abrogate the NT.
- Nothing and no one can be “our enemy” politically, socially, economically, or emotionally in this world. There are enemies of God’s kingdom in the collective sense within the religious institutional complex, but that is another article. Therefore, we cannot become an actuary of the State; to hate, to feel disenfranchised about, or turn our backs on any human that God has made. Again, we are God’s royal priesthood to proclaim HIS excellencies in any or all situations. Luke 10:25-37 relates the story of the Good Samaritan who embodied doing what is right when all the “right people” did not do what God intended.
- Our life is, and always was, temporary. For the follower of Christ, that means as long as God has use and need of us, He will care to keep us. It is when we take our eyes off Him and look at the storms around us, think we deserve better, or when someone has caused the end of our earthly entitlements; that we become part of the temporal world’s problems. The purpose of our lives is not to survive and materially prosper. Our role in the world is to be ineluctable to the cause of Christ wherever we are. Gelassenheit, as the Anabaptist understand, is a surrender and yieldedness to being in the precarious place of being undeniable and unavoidable in the cause of Christ. Most Christians have ZERO intention of being such.
- Fear – The apostle John admonishes us, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love” 1 John 4:18 (NASB). Most Christian people are being boiled in fear and the terrorism of propaganda. This is because they depend on the State, survival, entitlement thought to come from the State, and so on. The propaganda involves fear of loss—punishment—for not aligning with state ideas and direction to fear. The kingdom of darkness uses fear, uses terrorism to create horror and wild imaginations about what might happen and the temptation that we can avoid the world’s intrinsic essence of evil. If we know Christ, fear is put to flight because He will be with us through the valley of the shadow of death.
- Don’t kid yourself that the world—the collective of the unbeliever—is an exceptionally evil place, no matter the constant media and temptation that we can be Lot in Sodom, and there are no concerns. Church people have been lulled into thinking they can set up shop in the world and take their booty from the world to live high and mighty lives. God is allowing this illusion to be destroyed by what we see happening. Corrie Ten Boom once wrote, “Hold everything with an open hand; otherwise, it hurts when God has to pry your fingers open.”
So many Christians are compromised by thinking the world is just a playground we live in until we kick the bucket, where it’s all better for us. They have no concept of being Ekklesia; God’s set apart people to hammer out what it means to be the kingdom of God amongst the evil of the kingdoms of the world. They have no understanding of kingdom citizenship and find ways to justify an evil world as not as bad yet as it could be. Thus, we can get what’s ours and enjoy a shock absorbered life through the dirty rotten world on our way to the Celestial City. Apostle John said, “The world…is passing away,” 1 John 2:15-17.
- We must accept that suffering is the most essential reality of a fallen world—the temporal reality. Christians have been deluded with the notion that America, for instance, is purposed to be above the evil of the world, that it is a “city set on a hill,” in the manipulative words of Ronald Reagan. Nothing could be further from the truth! If Jesus said, “My kingdom is not from this world.” (John 18:36), it wasn’t because America—or whatever it ever was thought to stand for—wasn’t on the historical scene yet.
Christians are, by and large allergic to suffering and their part in it. Their theology aggressively denies it; their living proves their absolute apoplexy regarding the subject. But the reality is, in God’s view of the world—and a person ACTUALLY following Jesus—is that suffering is part and parcel of the territory. We need the Anabaptist’s Gelassenheit (surrenderedness and humility) to the mystery of our role as the kingdom of God amongst the kingdoms of the world. The reason is we represent absolute contrast to the unregenerate’s hidden evilness. Evilness cannot stand being decloaked. If we join any part of what the world is doing, we help perpetuate the lies that it is not pure evil.
- We must accept that God is allowing the world to be as evil as it is. God needs to clean the house of posers and the compromised. But more so, He allows such evil so that truth, goodness, love, justice, and all that He is in His followers might be; would be on full display, contrasting the world. The sin and evil of the world cannot be seen for what it is in any other way than to be as evil as it wants to be amidst God’s people being surrendered to being lambs led to the slaughter.
If we do not get a grip on these seven items, we will CERTAINLY become turncoats and slide down the slippery slope of trying to protect ourselves and survive in a reality we were never meant to. We can try to justify ourselves by finding texts that support the way we want to continue living, like Lot in Sodom. Be we’ll have to deny tons of texts that show God has His timing, and we have to understand those times and live accordingly.
The next group the political order is going to thump on will be the followers of Christ, Christians and anyone who would be seen as supportive. Why then write to the target of the next pogrom? Because many, who will “turn their backs” will have read this article and will have sat next to you at the local religious club. You and they need to understand this content before the beat down starts. Perhaps you or they may want to submit to conviction.
God uses the times we find ourselves in to “cull the herd”—those who think they are following God. He’s using these times, which will become epically desperate to winnow and purify. Many people’s theology keeps them from seeing God’s purposes because they are the “sweet, bye-and-bye” types while the nasty now and now rages around them outside their religious clubs. Either people will wake up, repent, and seek God’s face; resigning themselves to whatever He has. Or they will become EXACTLY like the religious people of Germany who allowed Jews to go away to slaughter by themselves, offering no other option. Following Jesus will get you killed because it got Him killed, offering His alternative to you. Do you think the slave is better than the Master?
We need to be humble and throw ourselves before God. We need to see that though eternal as our kingdom is, from when we follow Jesus. We are still in a temporal reality that has not played itself out yet. Scheming will get you nowhere besides compromise and becoming as evil as the world to “survive,” in their estimation.
The followers of Christ are in eternity now. Our purpose in eternity now is to bring God’s kingdom in proximity to the kingdoms of men so they can see it. In order to do so, we can’t just be a whitewashed, delusional version of them, trying to get ours as long as we can get it. We must live the truth that we are in God’s hands for His purposes alone. If we depart from this narrow path, we become either fodder for the enemy in meaningless ways. Or, we become his unwitting perpetrators. Those religious church people of Germany turned their backs on the Jews to save their skin because they believed in the propaganda of the State instead of God.
Great reading to support this post awaits you in Labyrinth of the World.
For more great reading to support the thesis of this post see: