First blogged in a FACEBOOK NOTE on Friday, April 15, 2011 at 1:03pm
Somewhere around the mid-1990's I spent a year studying why the Church failed to be a contending force against the rise and implementation of Nazi Germany. I read a broad array of resource materials, letting the main question I had lead me from book to book and subject to subject.
My question was, if Hitler was a forerunner type of Anti-christ, what mistakes did the Church make that rendered us so impotent to stand against that evil? The one screaming fact of Nazi Germany is that Christian resistance was so rare and so minimal as to be effectively non-existent. How could it be that so many people of faith were sucked into a state of being useless in challenging and impacting the moral condition of their nation.
Of course, the answer everyone gives to the failure to stand up against the rise of Hitler's Nazis is fear. That is not what I found to be true from studying the dynamics at play during that period. The Christians were not as fearful as they were deceived, and they were deceived by a strategy that was executed on every level of German society from theology to the judicial system. It was the way of thinking that caused so many good German Christians not to discern good from evil, and I hate to say it, but we American Christians have some real issues in the same areas that caused the German church to stumble and fail in their hour of testing.
I think many of us have researched Nazi Germany hoping to discover the keys that tripped our spiritual failure there "so it will never happen again." That is generally a good thing, but it can also be a deception if we think it is enough to keep us from our own national spiritual failure.
The number one spiritual lesson that was impressed upon me by the end of this year of study is that we can sift through every shred of documentation of that era and we can take steps to guard ourselves from making those mistakes, but that is not enough. The enemy of our souls is no fool. While we are busy preparing ourselves to avoid the mistakes of Nazi era Christians, the adversary is devising schemes to catch us on the blind side.
The next "Hitler" will rise in a guise that we are not prepared for. His appeal to the masses will be just different enough that all of our study of Nazi Germany did not prepare us to immediately recognize the danger of evil lurking under cover of this leader's stated vision and policy. While it is true that "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," as Francis Frangipane wrote in 1989 in his landmark book on spiritual warfare, The Three Battlegrounds, our adversary is "an ancient and extremely treacherous foe."
We do well to take the lessons of Nazi Germany to heart, but we cannot let it end there because the danger will rise from another direction we are not prepared to look in.
Genesis says of the serpent that he is the most cunning of all the beasts God created. We don't want to over-estimate our enemy, nor do we want to under-estimate him either. The truth is, we need to look at the past for patterns, but not expect specific details to remain unchanged.
Hitler rose to power tapping into a strong hunger the German people had for a restoration of order, prosperity and national pride. They were down and they wanted someone to lead the way back up, where they could hold their heads in pride again. They had a strong sense of having been betrayed, the proverbial "knife in the back" was the populist rallying cry that drew Germans to Hitler's vision for putting Germany back on top.
There was a strong victim mentality operating in the German people and Hitler jacked up that sense of German victimization, giving them a scapegoat for the people to hate and blowing the smoke of Aryan superiority to restore their sense of pride.
Now, here is the thing: both the Right and the Left can take those basic essential elements and make a case against each other being the Hitler-esque party on the American political scene. What is required is spiritual discernment to know which is, in fact, working in those patterns and simply accusing the other of what they themselves are doing.
As someone who has followed the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for two decades or more, one trend has stood out and that is how frequently Palestinian rhetoric against Israel steals talking points from the Israelis. That's a classic scheme of our spiritual enemy and something to always be on the alert for: Those whose defense is to accuse others of what they themselves are doing.
Even "the Naqba" (Day of Catastrophe), is an attempt to paint the fleeing of Palestinians from the Land in 1948 - after Israel declared itself a state and its neighbors declared an invasion - as the moral equivalent of the Holocaust Jews had just come out of. This is how the enemy works - accusing its victim of the very evil it is attempting to perpetrate on its victim.
We can see this in operation in all the Western nations where radical, political Islam is softening up the natural resistance to radical, political Islam by psychologically beating up Westerners with accusations they are violating the Muslims' religious freedoms.
They have pegged us pretty well, knowing that even Christians who hate terrorism and want to fight it, will back far away from any suggestion of constricting Muslim's religious liberties. Because of our past with Black slavery, the ultimate accusation against any American is that they are racists. But in terns of exploiting Christian sensitivities, any accusation that America is infringing upon religious freedom of Muslim results in too much knee-jerk siding of Christians with the supposed Muslim victims.
That exploitation of Christian sensitives holds true in the communities that are in uproar over major mosques and religious schools being built in them from funding outside of the country and for communities that do not have the Muslim demographic to support such vast building facilities.
It is not an issue whether Muslims should be allowed the freedom to worship, but it is about whether we are going to indiscriminately allow radical political Islamic indoctrination centers to be erected in our communities.
The city council level governments are not lifting a finger to know what form of Islam they are welcoming into their communities and this is critical. We have to wake up to the fact that radical mosques and schools are being planted throughout America with one goal: to raise up a generation to conquer and dominate American society. If that sounds conspiratorial to you, then you just have not opened your eyes enough to see what is happening under our noses.
It is not just the establishment of terrorist cells that is important, but the mainstreaming of radical, political Islam within American society. We are conditioned to be fearful of anything that appears to be restrictions on religious liberties in the United States, but in dealing with the agenda of political Islam, we have to understand that the radical forms of Islam use the religion to subjugate people to oppressive political rule. The end game is not the religion, but the political rule. We have to become discerning enough to know where to draw the line between American national (public!) security issues and true religious freedoms.
This is why the controversy over wearing the burqa and niqba is seen among some Christians as going too far in restriction of Muslim religious liberties. These do not appreciate that those sects that have put women under wraps so fully as the burqa and the niqba are the most radical and dangerous sects of all Islam.
Plain and simple this is the ultimate manifestation of the political Islamist vision - the power of religion to subjugate people under political rule.
These Christians do not understand that if this "religious liberty" is allowed the foothold in our society, it will never quit increasing its hold until it has enslaved the whole society.
These sects don't believe their women belong under wraps, they believe ALL women should be forced to adopt their level of pious modesty. They don't believe in religious freedoms, they believe those who do not voluntarily submit to Islamic rule, they will one day be forced to submit when they have exploited and overtaken our weak-willed, liberal democracies.
The problem is that Westerners cannot imagine being forced into such a place.
Neither could the French, but now they see their permissiveness with these issues in the past several decades has only encouraged the aggressiveness of political Islam to attempt to dominate and conquer their Western societies. Germany and the U.K. have come to similar understandings, but Americans are way behind that learning curve. Those riots in Europe in past years? What we have been hearing on our nightly news is the part Muslims were playing in the 'days of rage' played out on European streets.
Every time I hear someone say, "That couldn't happen here!" I shudder. They have no idea how far down that road we have already traveled.
Even during the Bush administration, the general public was not really prioritizing terrorism and the terrorist network in operation in the United States, as highly as it should. It was not then, and it is not now, "just the economy, stupid."
The public could not prioritize terrorism correctly because generally we have no idea just how threatened we already are in our own homeland, our own states, and our own cities. This is a problem that has been downplayed at every level from government to news reporting and is a problem that has been multiplied under the Obama administration.
How could it not with terrorist defender Eric Holder at the Justice helm and crackpots like James Clapper as director of national intelligence? (Could they have picked a more clueless man to head that outfit?).
Most analysts are now explaining the unexplainable backing of Islamists by the Obama administration/Left as a temporary alliance of those with the same agenda to break down what stands in order to build a new society. The Left has just enough foolhardy hubris not to realize they are crossing the river with a scorpion on their back. The Left is doing all the swimming for the political Islamists, but in the end the Islamist scorpion is going to deliver a fatal sting.
That is IF Christians, as in Nazi Germany, are not discerning and do nothing to stop this unholy alliance. We must take up the prophecy of Daniel 11:32 - "And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits."
The apostle John said something very important, "Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time."
Instead of fixating on "The" antichrist, we need to understand our battle is ongoing with "many antichrists." Instead of speculating if this one or that one is "The One" we need to just take up our charge as Yeshua said to "occupy" until His return. That word occupy means not giving over our authority to an aggressive, hostile force. We are not to let our nation slip into the abyss of political Islam! We have to rise up and fight and not to be lulled to sleep by the cunning of their ability to manipulative Western sensibilities.
For one thing, the word occupy is "pragmateuomai" where we get the word pragmatic. To be pragmatic is "Dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations." To occupy the spiritual territory, we have to look at our world realistically and sensibly.
How can we occupy our nations for the values, ethics and morals of the kingdom of God, when we cannot even look over the landscape and discern where evil is at work in our midst? When we cannot tell the difference between people pursuing their freedom of religion and those who are using religion to pursue an agenda to political domination? Are we Christians as undiscerning as the unbelieving idealists on the Left?
There is an unholy alliance between the radical Left and political Islam. I grew up in the Sixties, and I know that the radicals who desired to overthrow the government then declared that they could not win the revolution from without, but they must be patient and go within to win it. They said, 'We must join the establishment to overthrow the establishment eventually. We must become teachers, government workers - we must go into fields we can impact long term and in a generation we will be in a position to carry out the overthrow we desire.'
Clearly, this is exactly what was done. I saw that in one of the defense lawyers for one of the Holy Land Foundation heads who claimed that the FBI has been spying on her since the 1960's. Apparently the FBI had good reason, because look where she is now - fighting tooth and nail to keep the political Islamist terror network out of jail and free to operate in the United States.
We can see the same manifestation throughout the Erik Holder's Justice Department and in all the critical halls of power in the Obama administration. Glenn Beck has done a marvelous job of uncovering many of the players and the agenda in the Obama administration who are working the old Sixties revolutionary plan to overthrow the American establishment from the inside.
These liberal Leftists see political Islam as their temporary alliance and means to an end. They foolishly believe they are the stronger force, but left unchecked to achieve their goals, political Islam will surely in the end swallow the Leftist Revolution whole. Think how we have seen this play out in Egypt and many other Middle Eastern nations where the governments of lesser evil were allowed and even encouraged by the President of the United States to topple to the greater evil of radical. political Islam. What happened in Egypt quickly will take more time in the United States if we do not rise up and counter what is happening.
One of the ways we have prepared ourselves not to fall for the schemes of antichrist has actually become a detriment to actually standing strong against the real scheme of the enemy against us today.
We are so keyed up to protect OUR religious liberty that we are not distinguishing between true religious liberties and evil religious suppression.
They can call forcing women to wear a burqa a "religious freedom" all they want to, but it is no religious liberty - it is a form of religious oppression. Some Muslim women claim that they want to be fully covered head to toe, but that does not mean those women are not psychologically damaged from religious indoctrination and abuse. Have you heard of Stockholm Syndrome where kidnap victims bond with, identify with, or sympathize with his or her captor? Same dynamic here.
If you don't know that it is abuse for women to have to wear coverings where only an eye slat is permissible, then you have a serious issue with discernment! Sorry to be be so blunt but that is just the God's honest truth of the matter. In your wildest dreams, this abusive oppression of women could never be considered a religious liberty, and should never be accepted in Western civilization as legitimate or acceptable public attire.
Head covering is one thing - that could legitimately be a choice of a woman, but the niqab and burqa crosses the line of both abusive oppression, as well as crossing the line of public and national security. The obscuring of the face should not be made acceptable anywhere in Western societies.
Another way we think we are being on guard against the schemes of the antichrist is our over-distrust of modern technology and anti-terrorism measures. There are many Christians who actually opposed the bar code system when it was being initiated in the 1970's. (One good thing about being older is first hand knowledge of how things came about back in the day.) Many Christians were convinced that bar codes were "the mark of the beast."
Then there was opposition to the internet and the world wide web, national ID cards and almost every measure we have taken to try to identify terrorists before they can perform terrorist acts. We are on guard against the schemes the anti-christ might use against us, but it is without discernment whether that is the reality at this time. That is why it's called discernment, we have to judge if a generalization is applicable to the current situation.
We might as well go live in an underground bunker away from the real, modern world if we are going to automatically resist the very things that are being instituted to protect us from real, currently aggressive enemies. In an effort to be a step ahead of the enemy and "not doomed to repeat" the mistakes of the past, we have actually become tone deaf to spiritually distinguish between threats and protection.
We are to be watchful, not just to have our guard up about how Hitler and the SS operated, but to be spiritually discerning what twists and turns the enemy will apply to the rising anti-christs of our generation. If there is anything you need to take away from this commentary it is that the devil is not so stupid as to come at us in exactly the same way he did through Hitler in Germany. There are many important patterns to be aware of in what happened in Nazi Germany, but in the specifics we must be spiritually discerning and expect the unexpected.
I know that there are some who are predicting that our real danger lies in the far right backlash that will take place after we rise up and put down this current overstepping of the Liberal Left revolutionaries. That is a pattern that occurred in the Nazi rise to power, and is prudent for us to keep an eye on. But before we get there, let's face the situation we are currently in.
We must squarely come to grips with the frightening depth of the unholy alliance between the American Left and the radical political Islamists.
This is the battle of the hour and we have to wise up and fight this one squarely before we start worrying about a potential backlash from the Right leading us down the same nationalistic path Hitler led the Germans. Let's first fight the Liberal Totalitarians and Political Islam before we turn our shields toward any overly-conservative backlash.