Tag Archive | Germany

The Sound of Socialism

austriaanschlussRecently at our church, our young people performed the great musical The Sound of Music. It is the classic story of the von Trapp family’s escape from Nazism in Austria after Germany usurped Austria into the German empire in 1938 — an event known as the Anschluss.

One of the by-products of doing this timeless musical was the opportunity to teach our children a little bit of history about World War II and the Nazi regime…

A history many in our nation have obviously forgotten.

Nuremberg 1The National Socialist German Worker’s Party (ie: the Nazi Party) rose to power following Germany’s defeat in World War I. The Nazis played upon the discontent of the people in attacking big business and capitalism, and used class-warfare as a tool to further its popularity by establishing a culture of entitlement and ideological superiority. Racism was also a key element in the spread of this toxic ideology, and resulted in the Holocaust… the death of six million Jews.

Socialist… Sound familiar?

For the first time in our nation’s history, we not only have candidates who are promoting socialist beliefs, but have an openly socialist candidate running for the highest office in the land.

Have we become so short-sighted that we won’t heed the hard-fought lessons we have learned in the last 80 years? Has our education system become such a cesspool of ideologues and history revisionists that our children are being brainwashed into believing that socialism is the answer to all of the problems that ail us as a nation? Oh sure… socialism has its appeal — after all, who doesn’t like FREE STUFF???

The problem is that nothing — N O T H I N G —  is free. Even “free” stuff is costing someone, somewhere.

Take education for example. One of the mantras we are hearing is for “free education/free college”. Well, if college becomes free, one would have to assume that all of those things it takes to keep the doors open — lights, heat, electricity, etc. — are all going to be free as well.

And how about those salaries? If we are going to offer free college, would it not be reasonable to assume that all of the college faculties will be doing their jobs gratis? That means janitors, security, administration, and yes… professors. So, all of these (mostly highly) trained and educated people are going to put in their 40+ hours per week with no paycheck to show for it? Sure, there are those states where some college is being offered for “free” (TN being one that offers 2 years of community college for “free”). However, “free” is still not free… it ultimately comes at the expense of the taxpayer.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.
~ Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

The Bible has a lot to say about work and a good work ethic. From Genesis to the writings of the apostles, hard work is considered admirable and Godly. Looks at what Solomon had to say in Proverbs…

All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.
~ Proverbs 14:23-24

 Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.
He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son,
but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.
~ Proverbs 10:4-5

The Apostle Paul was pretty direct in his instructions to the Thessalonians…

 While we were with you, we gave you the order: “Whoever doesn’t want to work shouldn’t be allowed to eat.” We hear that some people in your group refuse to work. They are doing nothing except being busy in the lives of others. Our instruction to them is to stop bothering others, to start working and earn their own food. It is by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ that we are urging them to do this.
~ 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12

Yet in spite of these warnings, I hear candidates running on a platform that constantly blames the ills of the poor on the rich, and stirs up not just class warfare, but ties it to racial division as well. The idea that penalizing someone who has worked hard in order to subsidize the lazy completely takes away from the incentive to work hard and do well. Why would I want to work hard to be a success if someone is just going to take away my hard-earned income and give it to someone who has not worked for it? It is absurd to believe that when you rob from the rich it is going to somehow benefit the poor in the long term.

Hitler and Amin Al-Husseini

Berlin, 1941: Adolph Hitler meeting with Mohammed Amin Al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem

The further we run as a society from the teachings and statutes of the Bible, the further and faster we run toward our own destruction. Although seeming to tolerate Christianity initially, the Nazis moved rapidly to quell the voice of the Christian church, while at the same time forming an unholy alliance with Islam. Martin Bormann, Hitler’s personal secretary, once admitted, “National Socialism and Christianity are irreconcilable“. We are seeing the dark specters of this type of ideology taking hold in our nation, with Christians being put on trial for their beliefs and convictions, while Islam is given a pass and a warm embrace by those in the corridors of power.

In the end, however, it’s quite simple: One cannot forsake the teachings and statutes of the One who established human civilization without severe consequences.

“God has been very good to us. One of the reasons God has been
good to us is that we have done him honor. ~ Justice Antonin Scalia

Although we are a nation founded upon Christian principles, secularists in our society have been trying desperately to take America to the point that we are decidedly “post-Christian”. With the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia last weekend, the political stakes for the soul of our nation have been raised to a perilous level. The wrong person being appointed to the Court would send us into an abyss of unconstitutional decisions and legislation from which we might never recover. For as Justice Scalia observed…

“That’s the argument of flexibility and it goes something like this: ‘The Constitution is over 200 years old and societies change. It has to change with society, like a living organism, or it will become brittle and break.’
But you would have to be an idiot to believe that.
The Constitution is not a living organism, it is a legal document. It says something and doesn’t say other things… As long as judges tinker with the Constitution to ‘do what the people want,’ instead of what the document actually commands, politicians who pick and confirm new federal judges will naturally want only those who agree with them politically.”

We need a transformation in our country. What is happening societally and politically right now should be driving us to our knees in prayer. The consequences of going further down the rabbit-hole of unGodliness, secularization, and socialism should drive every person who loves this country, and what it stands for, to the ballot box. We have come so far from the horrors of the socialism and subsequent fascism of Nazi Germany, as well as the fear of “The Evil Empire” of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) and the Cold War. I lived through it. I remember the rhetoric and threats. I remember climbing under our school desks during air-raid drills. I remember the nuclear saber-rattling. I remember the images that the words “nuclear holocaust” invoked.

I want more for my children and grandchildren.

You should too.

The Truth Will Set You Free… part 1

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” ~ Joseph Goebbels

Joseph Goebbels was the Minister of Enlightenment and Propaganda under Adolph Hitler. As head of the Nazi propaganda machine, Goebbels understood that words carry weight, and that if you keep a narrative in front of the public long enough — regardless of how flawed or seemingly absurd — eventually people will become desensitized to it, and believe the lie.

“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” ~ Joseph Goebbels

Nuremberg 1Still reeling from the economic hardship that was a result of German’s defeat in World War I, when the stock market crashed in 1929, Germany was one of the hardest-hit nations in the world. Hitler, who had already come to be known as a not terribly significant figure on the public stage, began to emerge as a more serious political contender. In March of 1932, he lost the national election. However, less than a year later, he was made Chancellor of Germany as the result of having a Nazi majority in the Reichstag (German parliament). About two weeks later, the Reichstag building burned, and the arson was blamed on the Communist Party. Through fear and manipulation, a month later, Hitler was given dictatorial power. Over the next two years, Hitler began to lay the groundwork of eliminating his enemies, and going after the Jewish population of Germany. At the Nuremberg rally in 1934, the movie Triumph of the Will was produced, showing a glorious and revived Germany — patriotic and unified. At the same rally a year later, Hitler addressed “the Jewish problem”, and anti-Semitic laws began to be enacted.

Yet, in spite of this, in the summer of 1936, the world showed up in Berlin for the Olympic games, and were enchanted by the glory and graciousness of the people of Germany.

“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.” ~ Joseph Goebbels

So how could the rest of world be so duped by one nation? How could the world community be so fooled by the Nazis? How is it that, in January of 1939, Adolph Hitler was named Time Magazine’s Man-of-the-Year for 1938?

Propaganda.

Having won multiple film awards throughout Europe, by 1935, Triumph of the Will was required viewing in German schools. Through groups like the “Hitler Youth” and “Hitler Maidens“, young children and teenagers were being indoctrinated into an ideology that put loyalty to the Führer above all. No opposition would be tolerated.

“Intellectual activity is a danger to the building of character.” ~ Joseph Goebbels

We know from history the end result: World War II, the Holocaust, millions of lives lost, the eventual collapse and defeat of Germany.

However, what you may not know is that at no point did the Nazis ever capture more than 37% of the popular vote.

Nuremberg 2So why did the German people turn the leadership of their nation over to a madman like Adolph Hitler? In a documentary film shown in the UK Holocaust Centre, then-student Margret Breuer made this observation as to why people voted for Hitler…

“… Because he promised so much! If you are out of work and don’t know how to live, and then someone comes who wants to change everything that is going wrong — and people felt like things were going badly. Otherwise, they wouldn’t even have listened to him.”

The lie is big on promises. The lie feeds on physical, emotional, and economic starvation. Where there are “sheep” suffering, there is usually at least one “wolf” in the crowd, ready to prey on the weak and unsuspecting. Once Hitler had a few who would listen, the lie began. Once he had a group of followers who bought into the lie, he had a platform from which to proclaim his message, and gain influence and power. Once he had a seat of power, he could manipulate the media. Once Hitler had control of the media, the lie was blasted from the rooftops, and from every bullhorn, loudspeaker, and radio in Germany.

“So where are you going with this, Pastor?” you might ask.

Last week, I blogged about the spirit of Jezebel. I talked about the fact that, although Jezebel has been dead and gone for centuries, the demonic influence that bears her name is alive and well. Likewise, I believe that the spirit of deception that was operating in Nazi Germany is alive and well, and evident in our country and world today…

  • Why are we seeing a resurgence in open and overt anti-Semitism in the world today?
  • Why is it that American Millennials believe that 40% of the U.S. population is LGBT?
  • Why is it that a conservative’s character can be unjustly assassinated in the media, while a liberal who is caught dead-to-rights knee-deep in scandal is given a pass by the same media?
  • How can it be that a celebrity can be hailed as a hero for “coming out”, while true heroes who have sacrificed life and limb are passed over for recognition?
  • Why does our government trivialize the threat of radical Islam in our own country while we watch Christians being slaughtered en masse around the world by barbarians such as ISIS?

As I said at the beginning, this is part 1 of a 2-part blog. At this time next week, we’re going to dive into some tough questions, and find the answers that will help you and I cut through the propaganda, and walk in truth and freedom.

Don’t miss it! See you next week.

In Solidarity with Israel

RP & Paulette

Overlooking Jerusalem

I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you. ~ Genesis 12:3 (NIV)

Here are a few interesting statistics…

  • Of the more than 850 Nobel Prize winners since 1901, better than 20% have been Jews.
  • One-fourth of The Fields Medal (mathematics) recipients have been Jewish.
  • One-third of the conductors of the leading symphonies in the United States have been Jewish.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Broadway’s longest running musicals were written by Jews.
  • 38% of “Best Director” Oscars have gone to Jewish directors.
  • Nearly 30% of Kennedy Center Honors have gone to Jews.
  • … I could go on and on (Grammys, Pulitzer Prizes, etc.)

With names like Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, Sigmund Freud, Albert Sabin, Levi Strauss, and countless others, there is no denying that, in spite of their small percentage of the population (Jews comprise only 1/2 of 1% of the world’s population), the world has indeed been blessed beyond measure by the existence and contributions of the Jewish people. However, in spite of not just these accomplishments, but what the Bible plainly says about Israel and the Jews, I have observed with sadness the use of replacement theology among Western Christian conservatives. Replacement theology is the belief that the church replaced Israel, and that Israel no longer exists. One only has to read Romans 9, 10, 11, and Ephesians 2 to understand that this belief is totally without Biblical support.

The rise of replacement theology had its roots in the edicts of Constantine who banned the observance of Jewish holy days that were observed in the early church. Across the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and even Protestant worlds, the appalling silence during WWII and the Holocaust gives witness to their embrace of replacement theology.

Dachau 2

Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.”

~ Martin Niemöller, German Protestant Pastor

Many voices coming from the Arab Church in the Middle East embrace replacement theology… simply stated, “the Jewish people have no claim to that small parcel of land (less than 1% of the Middle East)— they should be driven out.” However, not only is this approach contrary to scripture, it flies in the face of history. When has there ever been a country of Palestine? If East Jerusalem belongs to a “Palestine”, why didn’t the Arabs claim it from Jordan from 1948 to 1967? For nineteen years there was never a claim.

A brief look at history — including scripture — reveals the following facts:

  • God gave the land to Israel forever. Their ownership is unconditional, while possession of the land carried conditions.
  • There is no Palestine in Middle Eastern history.
  • The Ottoman Empire ruled the land for centuries until they were defeated by the British early in the 20th century.
  • The Ottoman’s were Turks. Can anyone find a Palestinian claim for the land in the entire Ottoman history? Where was the outcry then for a Palestine?
  • Early in the 20th century, the Balfour Declaration partitioned the defeated Ottoman empire into lands for Jews and Arabs.

All of the modern Middle East — with the exception of Egypt, Israel, and Syria — was carved up by Winston Churchill…

Iran – Persia
Iraq – Part of Assyria
Jordan – Intended to be the Palestinian territory, it is now ruled by the Hashemites from Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia – Midian

Palestine was how the Romans referred to the land in 116 AD.

RISE OF TERROR AND ANTI-SEMITISM

In spite of overwhelming evidence, some naïve evangelicals and their liberal friends choose to ignore Palestinian support of the terror that brought down the Twin Towers. They totally reject Biblical eschatology that clearly prophesies the very scenario we are experiencing today. Think about it… while every special interest group is vociferously defended (homosexuals, environmentalists, abortionists, Muslims, etc.), where are the voices for millions of displaced Christians from the Sudan, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, the West Bank, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries (not to mention the current atrocities against Christians in North Korea)? Where are all those so-called Palestinians from? There are now more people claiming Palestinian heritage than lived in Israel before the 6-Day War.

THE TRUTH

The fact is… Islam wants Jerusalem, or Al Quds as they call it. We have watched the Muslim Brotherhood try to destroy Egypt and take down Syria because of their secular government. This same philosophy is embraced in Gaza and other places in and near Israel.

IMPOSSIBILITY

There can be a Palestine territory in Israel much like the French Territory in Canada. However, the land is too small, too close, and too infiltrated with terrorists to ever have a separate entity. The people of Israel have a right to protect themselves, and such a scenario would make viable defense that much more difficult.

Evangelicals claiming the authority of Scripture would do well to embrace the fact that the only Biblical position is support of Israel. While I do recognize that there has been injustice and unfairness on both sides, the land belongs to Israel and the Jewish people ever since God promised it to Abraham in Genesis 12. As believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we have no logical choice than to stand on the side of Israel with regard for their birthright.

POST SCRIPT

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. ~ Matthew 7:1-5

Landscape#1For all of their cries about justice, equality, and fairness, certain evangelicals and others who oppose the Jews might do well to focus their attention on America. Are they prepared to return lands to native Americans? What about the slaughter of Native Americans at places like Wounded Knee? How does one criticize the concentration camps of Germany, yet say nothing of the American “reservation system’? (It is a FACT that the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (South Dakota) has the highest poverty rate of any place in the Western Hemisphere except for Haiti.) In light of the way our government has treated the indigenous people of this nation, the voices that accuse and criticize Israel for “human rights violations” are crying out, not from a  moral high-ground, but from the quicksand of hypocrisy.

Pastor RonRP