My recent encounter with a Hitler expert (3 of 3)
|June 16, 2012||Posted by Joseph Keysor under Blog|
As to the other Christians who would agree to the orthodox statement, but still supported Hitler, did they do so knowing that Hitler’s ideas were false, but fearing the persecution that would follow if they spoke out? If so, they sinned against Christ by disobeying his commandment “Do not fear those who can only destroy the body but after that have nothing that they can do.” They were afraid – are Christ and his teachings to blame for that? Isn’t that a normal human reaction? Many leading scientists in Germany, including Darwinists and nuclear physicists, also followed Hitler. Peter Watson’s book The German Genius: Europe’s Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution, and the Twentieth Century (Simon & Schuster 2011) relates that none of Einstein’s colleagues in the Prussian Academy of Sciences spoke out for him . Einstein is quoted as saying “The conduct of German intellectuals – as a group – was no better than the rabble” (659). Is anyone going to be foolish enough to maintain that those German scientists, mathematicians, nuclear physicists, and astronomers were devout, bible believing Christians who prayed to Jesus every day and read their Bibles devotionally?
Other Christians were politically naïve. They thought Hitler could bring some order and stability to a turbulent political situation but had no idea of what he really was or what he would do. There were many warning signs and they missed those signs – as did many trained diplomats and foreign policy experts who were also fooled by Hitler. Whatever their reasons, their support for Hitler was directly contrary to the faith they professed, and was nothing more than a failure on their part. I say this not by way of condemnation. Who knows what we would do in that agonizing situation? This question applies to many secularists who so lightly criticize the failings of others when they, too, would almost certainly have done the same.
Anyway, Christianity stands or falls by the teachings of Christ and the apostles in Scripture. It does not stand or fall by people many centuries later who fail to understand or live consistently by their own religion.
But what about point (b), that Hitler referred to Christ as “our teacher”? That is easily answered. Which teachings of Christ did Hitler follow? Which biblical teachings have anything remotely to do with National Socialism? In my view, anyone who reads the four gospels honestly and sees anything of Hitler there is incapable of rational thought on the subject. And, anyone who ignores the many German thinkers of the 19th century who rejected the Bible but presented (for the first time in world history) many of the ideas essential to National Socialism, but only worries suspiciously about Christianity, is incapable of discussing this issue intelligently.
But, didn’t Hitler think of Christ as divine? Don’t we have some vague quotes from him somewhere? This does not take a lot of time to answer. If we truly think of someone as divine – be it the Mahareshi, the Buddha, Christ, or anyone else, we will make some effort to follow their teachings, and we will take them seriously. Anyone who wants to mutter about the possibility that Hitler might have looked on Christ as divine should be asked to show which of Christ’s teachings Hitler sought to follow. If they can’t find any they should have the integrity to withdraw the question, and concentrate more on Hitler’s words – and actions – that are in complete accord with ideas floated by Hegel, Fichte, Wagner, Haeckel, Darwin, Nietzsche and others. But, it is too threatening to consider that it was not religion but the rejection of religion that opened the door to Hitler, and that the churches in the Third Reich were nothing but a minor sideshow of no real importance in understanding how the promise of freedom from religion that so intoxicated the 19th century could have gone so badly wrong.
On a final note, some people are studying Hitler’s rise so as to prevent such a thing from happening again. They think that if we can understand what went wrong in Germany we will be able to recognize such dangers when they arise again. Such thinking is totally fallacious. The disaster of World War I was something unheard of and unimaginable. It came and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it. The French built their Maginot Line, but the next catastrophe was likewise completely different. If catastrophe smites Europe and or America again, it will be in a completely different from World Wars I and II, and all of the efforts by intellectuals to prevent disaster by studying the past will prove to have been a complete waste of time, nothing but vanity, emptiness and delusion. As it says in Isaiah, “Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing.”
Finally, people wonder how a civilized country like Germany could collapse into such a maelstrom of blood and horror. Could it be that Germany’s civilization has been vastly overrated? Could it be that some brilliant composers, poets, and scientists have little or nothing to say when the foundations begin to shake and the storm winds begin to blow, and the forces of evil that secularism foolishly denies emerge to make a complete mockery of 19th-century boasts of progress, civilization, and culture? And, there is the obvious truism that scientific advances give good men the power to do more good, and evil men the power to do more evil. We keep hearing about the Christians who followed Hitler, what about the scientists who followed Hitler? Isn’t talking about the one and not the other nothing but the most contemptible blindness, ignorance and hypocrisy?
Why is it that so many people will write about National Socialism and Christianity without having any real understanding of what Christianity is? When a reputable historian says that a Nazi party rally could be compared to a Christian evangelistic rally – when it could just as well be compared to a football game or a rock concert – what does this reveal but the most obstinate and lamentable blindness?
Well, we have to expect this, as the carnal mind is enmity against God. Light is come into the world and the world rejects it, hates it, turns from it, and seeks every opportunity to disparage it, discredit it, mock it. They will ignore obvious causes of social evils that are directly and immediately related to the issue they purport to be analyzing, and then look suspiciously at Christianity. This is a great spiritual darkness that only God’s grace can overcome. Hopefully we can be instruments of that grace, if our hearts are right and if we are genuinely serving Christ.