By Charles Gardner —
Just as many were once more committing themselves to never let the Holocaust happen again, the senseless slaughter of seven worshipers at an East Jerusalem synagogue had us reeling once more with shock.
It was only last week that I was writing about the ongoing terror inflicted on Jews by Palestinians which had already left a trail of trauma for thousands of survivors and their families.
So, on the very day concerned people around the world were marking International Holocaust Memorial Day, yet more suffering is heaped on God’s chosen. But not a murmur of concern from some quarters of the Church!
Perhaps they see it as merely a tit-for-tat response in view of the Palestinians killed in Jenin only days earlier when Israeli soldiers were acting on information of an imminent major attack. How these things are interpreted often amounts to blatant propaganda.
The problem is that much of the church, certainly here in the UK, is still hugely influenced by the world rather than the other way around as the Apostle Paul exhorts us to do in Romans 12:2, which reads: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
As Australian author and historian Kelvin Crombie suggests in a new booklet, Seven Phases of the Holocaust¹, a united church in Germany could have prevented the Shoah. But, instead, they allowed themselves to be infected by poisonous propaganda, leading to the murder of six million Jews.
With most Germans attending church, Hitler knew they were a potential obstacle to his plans, so he set the brainwashing ball rolling.
“The Church collective was there to do the party’s bidding, to further the Nazi worldview…” Crombie writes. Some stood by their Christian convictions, to be sure, and paid the ultimate price. But where was the united, God-fearing, voice of the church as a whole? As Crombie puts it, the Nazis filled the vacuum of sound moral leadership in Germany.
If similar dictators – perhaps Islamic fundamentalists – invaded Britain tomorrow, threatening every Jew in the land, would Christians stand up to be counted? Or would they buckle under pressure, or simply not care? I dread to think.
Judging by the way the institutional church is colluding with attempts to dismantle civilized society at every turn by the so-called progressive liberal left, it’s hard to imagine they would lift a finger.
For we have allowed this immoral poison to pollute our minds. Holocaust survivor Victor Frankel wrote: “I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers…were ultimately prepared not in some ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic² scientists and philosophers.”
Lack of moral leadership in the church has a direct influence on government and all our other major institutions. If the government is in turmoil, and it is, the house of God is clearly to blame (1 Peter 4:17). But the light of Jesus’ disciples can still lead us out of the darkness (Matthew 5:16), if we take up the challenge.
The BBC screened an excellent documentary last week revealing that the Holocaust was actually triggered by the ease with which civilians joined in the killing spree of Jews as German soldiers invaded Russia and its vassal states. The Nazis alone could not have committed many of these atrocities, it was claimed, without the collaboration of ordinary nationals from Lithuania and elsewhere who shamefully turned on their Jewish neighbors and betrayed them.
It is with a heavy heart that I write this on the 90th anniversary of Hitler coming to power in Germany – January 30th 1933.
Many of the country’s Jews did not believe Hitler really intended to carry out his plans to get rid of them. Many had assimilated with the German culture – some even joining the church and getting baptized – and thought they were safe.
In the same way today, the ayatollahs of Iran frequently mouth antisemitic threats of their intention to wipe Israel off the map (and they are not far from having the nuclear capability for doing that). But few world leaders believe them.
Hamas, Hezbollah and other Palestinian terrorists are similarly committed, and keep demonstrating their intentions with the kind of ugly carnage we witnessed at the weekend.
Education alone will not root out antisemitism – as even highly educated people were infected by the Nazi propaganda machine.
What is needed is a revival of moral teaching based on the Bible and ultimately fulfilled by the Jewish Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins.
1 An abridged version, published by Heritage Resources Pty Ltd, Western Australia
2 A general rejection of customary beliefs in morality and religion