Hitler and the German (Lutheran) Church
Lutzer, Erwin W., Hitler's Cross (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), 216 pages.
COULD IT HAPPEN IN AMERICA?
In the 19th century rationalizing German "scholars" assumed the Bible was merely a human work and judged it according to their opinions. This "intellectual" process of historical criticism infected the whole German church from the top down, such that by the end of the century few pastors and leaders were left in the church who were actually sound Bible-believing Christians. Evolutionism and socialism swept unimpeded through society. Eventually these teachings made their way to America, where they present the same dangers today.
By the time Hitler was elected to power in 1933, the vast majority of the State Church was apostate. Thousands of pastors and priests swore blind allegiance to him. But a few did not.
After Hitler's election, a small band of faithful Lutheran pastors perceived his wickedly anti-Christian nature. This was a time when most Germans were in absolute adoration of Hitler. Apparently these Lutherans had read Mein Kampf and understood it literally. On the other hand, most of Hitlers admirers and many foreigners statesmen apparently read Hitlers' words the same way they "interpret" the Bible - illiterately.
As the 30's rolled on, swastikas (the "broken," or twisted cross")and other pagan Nazi symbols and rituals filled the false churches of Germany. God's Word was wilfully ignored and trampled in the rush to serve Hitler.
The resisting Lutherans formed the Confessing Church. Einstein later praised it as the only organized resistance raised against Hitler. Even before Hitler began his "Final Solution" against the Jews, he first found it necessary to destroy the Remnant. Eight hundred pastors were arrested, many subequently dying in the death camps. More were rounded up in 1938 for refusing to take a personal oath of allegiance to Hitler, until the organized Christian church in Germany ceased to exist.
By the time the notorious "Crystal Night" attack was launched against the Jews throughout Germany, there was virtually no Christian voice left in Germany to speak out. A Catholic bishop in Berlin who held a prayer vigil for the Jews was arrested and died in the camps. Thousands of "Christian" leaders had sworn their allegiance to the openly satanic State, formalizing their rebellion against God and His Word.
Could it happen today? In a country where many if not most "Christian" pastors and teachers bend the Bible to fit their humanistic ideas rather than submitting themselves to the perfect Word of God, why not? If conditions are ripe, it will take more than wishful thinking to stop an American Hitler. But this is a democracy? So was Germany when it elected Hitler. Democracy is no protection. History shows that only the Bible and men and women willing to die as Christians can maintain true liberty.
"All in all, [eminent historian Paul] Johnson says, if we survey the world today, we see that wherever Christianity has been forced to retreat, oppression and violence have rushed to fill in the vacuum." (Colson, Charles, A Dance With Deception (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1993), p. 284.)
"Being a lover of freedom, when the [Nazi] revolution came I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but no, the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities were silenced in a few short weeks.
Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing the truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration for it because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual and moral freedom. I am forced to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly." (Isaac Einstein, in Cochrane, Arthur C., The Church's Confession Under Hitler (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1962), p. 40.)
Hitler: Animal Rights Activist?
"[Hitler] was a cauldron of contradictions. During his days in Vienna he saved dried bread to feed squirrels and birds and just months after coming to power signed three pieces of legislation to protect animals; yet he worked himself into a frenzy of delight over the pictures of great capitals in Europe in flames." (Lutzer, p. 16)
"In passing, we should note that [Hitler] banned prayer in schools, changed Christian holidays into pagan festivals, and eventually forced the church leadership to accept his outrageous demands. His political machine swallowed the church whole because the church had lost its biblical mission. Thus the state not only interfered with religious practices but controlled them." (Lutzer, p. 19)
Can you say A-C-L-U?
"It has been said that after God died in the nineteenth century, man died in the twentieth. For when God is dead, man becomes an untamed wild beast." (Lutzer, p. 28)
Where have we heard this before?
""It's the economy, stupid!" was the slogan of one nominee [Clinton] for American president in 1992. Though the claim was poor statesmanship it was excellent politics. In Nazi Germany, as in every era, it was the economy that was the key to the political fortunes of a particular party or dictator. Even Antichrist will count on the premise that most of us act as if our body is worth more than our soul." (Lutzer, p. 35)
"Echart was one of the seven founders of the Nazi party and a dedicated satanist, a man immersed in black magic and the Thule group of occultists. Echart had been looking for a pupil, someone whom he could introduce to the spiritual forces, someone to catapult Germany to the dizzying heights of world conquest. In a series of seances, he claims that he had a "satanic annunciation" that he was destined to prepare the vessel for the Antichrist, the man who would inspire the world and lead the Aryan race to world conquest. When he met Hitler he said, "Here is the one for whom I was but the prophet and forerunner."
After Echart's death, Karl Haushofer became Hitler's spiritual mentor, taking him through the deepest levels of occult transformation until he became a thoroughly demonized being. Hitler was even transformed sexually; he became a sadomasochist, practicing various forms of sexual perversion. He was stimulated sexually by violence, brutality, and blood." (Lutzer, p. 61)
"I'm going to become a religious figure. Soon I'll be the great chief of the Tartars. Already Arabs and Moroccans are mingling my name with their prayers." (Adolf Hitler, cited in Waite, Robert, Adolf Hitler: The Psychopathic God (NY: Basic Books, 1977) p. 261) (Lutzer, pp. 62-63.)
"We can't help but wonder whether the church was warning people about this satanic occultism that swept Germany. The lie that Christianity can be combined with the esoteric mysticism of other religions is easily believed by those who are ignorant of the biblical warnings about such compromise. The apparent silence of the church about such rebellion is a warning to us who live in an age when these same ideas flourish in our country, albeit in a different form." (Lutzer, p. 65)
"Many who despise Hitler today, many who pride themselves in condemning Nazism, are actually embracing the same doctrines that made Nazism the powerful force it was in the world. Astute readers will realize that what is popularly called the New Age movement is ancient occultism, or we could call it the spiritual doctrines of Nazism with a friendly American face." (Lutzer, p. 68)
"The church made peace with an enemy with which it should have been at war. Called to warn and protect, it tolerated, then saluted, then submitted." (Lutzer, p. 77)
"I do not look upon Jews as animals, they are further removed from animals than we are... Therefore it is not a crime to exterminate them, since they do not belong to humanity at all." (Lutzer, p. 79) [Comment: This is what happens when humanists, whether Hitler or the U.S. Supreme Court, get to make up their own definitions of who is and isn't human.]
"The Third Reich cannot be understood apart from the doctrine of race, the belief that only through a pure bloodline can humanity achieve its rightful godhood. Hitler cynically blended the racism of composer Richard Wagner and the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin with the blood myths of Eastern occultism." (Lutzer, pp. 79-80)
"Hitler also accepted Charles Darwin's theory of "the survival of the fittest" and asserted that man had every right to be "as cruel as nature." Detailed lectures were given in schools and to SS troops to prove the inferiority of the Jews. Aryan skulls were compared with those of Jewish ancestry to prove on a scientific basis that the latter were hopelessly inferior. Only the "fittest" had the right to survive." (Lutzer, p. 80) [Comment: This is the absolutely logical conclusion for anyone who believes in evolution. I see it arising again today in the "experts" who excuse every kind of evil, such as lying, theft and adultery, as "useful" evolutionary adaptations. Will excusing murder (and not just of the unborn) be far behind?]
Were the Nazis persecutors of homosexuals or supporters of such sexual
"Extensive research by Kevin E. Abrams has revealed that whereas homosexuals were put into death camps, they were never targeted for extermination as a class and were treated far better than most other concentration camp victims. Two years after Hitler's victory [the 1933 election[, the term "unnatural" was purged from the definition of homosexuality in the German Criminal Code. Even gay historian Jonathan Katz reports that, though police repeatedly apprehended homosexual actors and artists engaged in sodomy, they were not to be arrested.
It would have been strange indeed if the Nazis had singled out homosexuals for special persecution since the movement itself was rampant with various kinds of sexual perversion. Historian Samuel Igra states that Hitler's initial Brownshirts began as an exclusive homosexual and bisexual organization. Hitler's personal secretary, Rudolf Hess, was a bisexual known in homosexual circles as "Fraulein Anna." Homosexuality was rampant in Hitler's inner circle as well as in the SS, as boys rounded were rounded up from the Hitler Youth to participate in sexual orgies. Of course Hitler railed against homosexuals, just as he did occultists, though he himself was a dedicated satanist." (Lutzer, pp. 82,84) (See also Abrams, K.E. "The Lambda Report," August 1994, p. 8.)
"Just as a pearl can be grown through the mediul of artificial stimulation, so the German mind must guide the Aryan peoples to racial supremacy and world domination.... Whoever claimed that Jesus was a Jew was either stupid or telling a lie.... Jesus was not a Jew. He was an Aryan." (Occultist Houston Chamberlain, nephew of prime minister Neville Chamberlain of Britain and soothsayer to Kaiser Wilhelm II, cited in Lutzer, p. 89.) [It will forever be us "stupid" Christians , apparently, who can read the simple words of the Bible in a literate fashion. The deliberate illiteracy of the "enlightened" forever amazes me.]
"Hitler was fascinated by Hinduism and other expressions of occultism. The Hindu idea of a master Aryan race [from which the Caste system derived] taking control of those who are inferior had already been forming in his mind.... [C]hamberlain confirmed Hitler's notions and energized him with the vision of a master race of the Germanic people. Hitler was consumed with the challenge of world domination. He had already accepted the Hindu notion that one's fate is determined by blood, but he now believed that one could shorten the process of developing a master race by exterminating those who were inferior." (Lutzer, p. 91) [Caveat: Hinduism is an extremely diverse "religion," so this should not necessarily be held against anyone of that humanistic faith.]
"...Heinrich Himmler, the head of the dreaded SS...communicated regularly with personalities of the past and claimed that he himself was the reincarnation of the tenth-century German king Heinrich I.... Himmler said he did not act without reference to the Hindu writings." (Lutzer, p. 91-92)
"The Nazis proved that ordinary people, if controlled with rigid discipline and the power of mass psychology, can be induced to carry out the most brutal and destructive crime the human mind can devise. Researchers have concluded that Hitler's SS troops were no different psychologically from the rest of humanity." (Lutzer, p. 93)
"Himmler also believed in the theory of reincarnation and claimed that his troops were actually doing the occupants of the concentration camps a favor by exterminating them.... The SS were simply helping these vermin get on with their own Karma and evolutionary transformation." (Lutzer, p. 94)
"The brainwashing the troops received helps explain how the SS troops could perform monstrous acts of cruelty and yet return home for Christmas and attend church and still think of themselves as good Christians[sic, vomit, sic, SIC, SICK!]. They were not murderers, they were men who were building a race of supermen and helping the inferior people get on with their evolutionary journey." [Bible-based lives these ain't. Yet how many American "Christians" are any less clueless or contemptuous of Biblical teaching where it contradicts them?]
"Though we are critical of Hitler for removing the Jews from the category of personhood, we who live in America should not forget that we have our own word games; a slick legal maneuver of our Supreme Court arbitrarily asserts that a certain category of persons can be denied the rights of personhood." (Lutzer, p. 96.) [Yesterday 41 Senators acted as accomplices to Clinton in his criminal and unconstitutional denial of human rights to infanticide victims under so-called "partial birth abortion." In one room of a hospital they are saving 5-6 month old "preemies," in another room they are sucking the brains out of older children. Welcome to the Society Lunatic.]
"Do you really believe the masses will be Christian again? Nonsense! Never again. That tale is finished. No one will listen to it again. Be we can hasten matters. The parsons will dig their own graves. They will betray their God to us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable jobs and incomes." - Adolf Hitler (Lutzer, p. 104.)
"The church, for the most part, had abandoned historic Christian faith and had opted for theological liberalism; that is, they read the Bible trying to separate the true from the false [based on their human opinions!], denying the uniqueness of Christ. Without a clear message of repentance and faith in Christ alone as the Son of God, the churches substituted the proud banner of a Christianized nationalism for the meekness and humility of Christ." (Lutzer, p. 108)
"Christians of all kinds were deceived by Hitler, at least initially. The liberals, however, who were "tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine" found themselves particularly vulnerable to the vortex of the Nazi whirlwind. Even when Hitler's agenda finally became clear, they were not willing to suffer for a gospel that they had long since abandoned. They were more interested i the miracles of a revived Germany than in the miracles on the pages of the New Testament. Salvation in this world was more important than salvation in an unseen life to come." (Lutzer, 110)
Comment: Swedish pastor arrested and sentenced to four weeks in prison for preaching a sermon on Sodom and Gomorrah; declared "verbal violence" against homosexuals! (Lutzer, 112)
"[Hitler's] plan, as it would later be unveiled, called for the obliteration of the church. In the end, he wanted to transform the church so thoroughly that every vestige of Christianity would be smashed. There was not enough room in the church for both the Cross and the swastika. As he himself mused, "One god must dominate the other." Given the weakness of the church, his goal appeared to be within reach, though it would not be as easy as he though." (Lutzer, 112-113)
"One is either a Christian or a German. You can't be both." -Adolf Hitler (Lutzer, 113-114)
Now I know where the American "mainstream" media learned its
"As a prelude to an attempted takeover of the church, Hitler removed some of his opposition by falsely accusing churchmen of treason, theft, or sexual malpractices. Goebbels, the propaganda minister, insisted that those trials be published in detail in newspapers, thus parading lurid details about known ministers, priests, and nuns. Priests who warned parents against letting their children become part of the Hitler Youth were subject to blackmail. Thus Hitler silenced the mouths of those who would dare oppose him. Catholic priests, nuns, and church leaders were arrested on trumped-up charges, and religious publications were suppressed." (Lutzer, 114)
"In 1935 prayers ceased to be obligatory in schools; religious
instruction was not yet exactly prohibited, but it was limited to those who had
been licensed by the state. Thus the dogmas of Nazism were substituted for the
doctrines of the Bible.... Carols and Nativity displays were banned from the
schools in 1938, and even the name Christmas was changed to "Yuletide."
Crucifixes were eliminated from classrooms, and Easter was turned into a
holiday that heralded the arrival of spring.
You will recognize the same changes taking place in America today, thanks to our social libertarians, who are bent on scrubbing the state of even the remnants of Christianity." (Lutzer, 115)
"Not unlike some of our own liberated social planners, Hitler preached that children belonged to the Reich." (Lutzer, 115)
Private schools eliminated in 1938. (Lutzer, 115)
"Those [teachers] who did not fall into life with the Nazi agenda (read "politically correct") were reprimanded, expelled, or executed." (Lutzer, 116)
"The National Church demands the immediate cessation of the publishing and dissemination of the Bible in Germany." -Article 13 of Alfred Rosenberg's (a friend of Hitler) National Reich Church Program. (Lutzer, 118) (Note that the other articles weren't any better!)
(Young Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer opposed Hitler from the start, was cut off while preaching a sermon on the air in 1933.) (Lutzer, 121-122)
First Lutheran leader elected after Hitler took over was not his favorite, was forced to resign by Nazi intimidation. (Lutzer, 122-123)
Pastors' Emergency League formed on September 21, 1933 by Bonhoeffer and WWI U-boat commander-turned-pastor Martin Niemoller to resist Hitler's intrusion into the Church. (p. 125)
P.E.L. gained six thousand signatures from clergy repudiating the Aryan Clause (which required no Jewish ancestry for new pastors to be accepted in the church) and claiming allegiance to Scripture. (p. 126)
At first Bonhoeffer, from London where he fled for a time, advocated pacificism even while warning against Germany's march toward war. Eventually he joined General Rommel's plot to assasinate Hitler. (p. 128)
"the exaggerated display of the crucified Jesus is intolerable in the German Church." -Nazified "Christian" leaders in Germany, 1933 (p. 129)
"Our provincial [German] church will also have to see to it that all obviously distorted and superstitious reports [miracles] should be expunged from the New Testament, and that the whole scapegoat and inferiority-type theology of the Rabbi Paul [St. Paul] should be renounced in principle, for it has perpetuated a falsification of the Gospel." -Dr. Krause at a massive rally in Berlin to the "German Christians." (p. 129)
"The meeting ignited a storm of controversy. Even some "German Christians" were offended. Krause had to resign his position, and many leaders began to back away from the radical Nazification of the church." -Referring to prior two quotes. (p. 129)
On January 25, 1934, Hitler brought Niemoller to a meeting to try to repair the damage. After a fruitless meeting, that evening eight Gestapo agents ransacked Niemoller's rectory. A few days later a bomb was set off in his hall. Most "Christian leaders" also ostracized Niemoller for his strong words to Hitler. Two thousand pastors resigned from the Emergency Union. (p. 131)
In May 1934 Bonhoeffer and Niemoller led the formation of the Confessing Church.
Dear Pastor Clueless, what part of John 3:16 don't you understand?
"We stand enthusastically behind your struggle against the Jewish death watch beetles.... So too against those friends of Jewry which are found even in the ranks of the Protestant pastorate. We will fight along side of you and we will not give up until the struggle against all Jewry and against the murderers of Our Savior [you, as a sinner, murdered him, oh Clueless One!] has been brought to a victorious end, in the Spirit of Christ [Not!] and of Martin Luther [Not!]." (German pastor in a letter to the editor of a German paper, p. 137)
June 1937, Confessing Church leader Pastor Niemoller arrested (imprisoned until the end of the war when he was released from the Dachau concentration camp) for violation of the Law for the Prevention of Treacherous Attacks on State and Party (because of his sermons).
"The August 6, 1938 Chicago Tribune carried the headline "Bible Twisted to Nazi Creed." The article tells how the Sermon on the Mount and the gospel of John had been rewritten by former Reich Bishop Ludwig Muller. The words sin and grace were deleted from the texts, and the Golden Rule was rewritten to apply only to relationships between Nazi comrades. All references to Old Testament [Jewish] prophets, from Moses to Abraham, were also deleted." (p. 146)
The Confessing Church was destroyed in 1938 when Hitler demanded every pastor swear an oath of personal fealty to him. The Church failed to stand together, instead meekly leaving the question of whether the oath should be made a matter of personal conscience for each pastor. Thus the few remaining Christian pastors were quickly rounded up without resistance to join the eight hundred already incarcerated for "crimes" against the German state.
(More to come...)