Monthly Archives: May 2015

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History Lesson

Category : Blog

George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Joseph Goebbels said, “A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.”

Flag_of_German_Reich_(1935–1945).svg

I’ve been watching some history on Netflix: “Adolf Hitler and the Nazis”. It is sometimes unfathomable to me how someone like Adolf Hitler could rise to power. After watching the series though I think I understand. Here are some of the things that led to his taking over Germany:

1. Dissatisfaction with current leadership.

2. Country was angry over a previous war.

3. The country was in financial trouble.

4. The U.S. Stock Market Crash of 1929 led to a global economic crisis and Hitler seized upon everyone’s fears to provide a “solution”.

5. Hitler proposed a socialistic agenda as that solution. (via the National Socialist Party– “Nazis”)

6. He promised sweeping economic reforms where everyone, regardless of economic status would be on equal footing… no more unfair class differentials. Everything would finally be “fair”.

7. He promised to eliminate poverty and hunger and restore Germany’s respect to the world.

8. His blame for the woes of society centered around one or two religious groups (Jews and Christians) Out of the 11 million killed in concentration camps during the Holocaust, 3 million were Jews, 3 million were Christians. One of Hitler’s first orders of duties when he took over was to silence and/or imprison all Pastors and Priests who could exercise any influence that would contradict his agenda. They were among the first imprisoned in Dachau. Most did not survive, either being murdered or dying of starvation and disease. (Source: www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org)

9. He spread his propaganda through a sympathetic media. In many cases the media out and out lied. Any who disagreed with his views were painted as extremists and out of touch with the reality of the average person. They were bullied into silence out of fear of being labeled, exiled, imprisoned, or shot.

10. He seized power through completely legal (although he manipulated and lied his way to get there) methods and convinced a large portion of the German public that if they would simply vote for him, his government would solve all their economic, social, and health issues. The public in Germany, believing the government would solve their problems, abdicated their freedoms in favor of governmental provision, which ultimately never came.

After watching the series, I am left with two quotes from this heinous, evil man and with the hope that we as Americans will wake up:

“How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.”– Adolf Hitler

“The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.” — Adolf Hitler

Martin Niemöller

German Pastor Martin Niemoller, who was imprisoned in 1938 said:

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.

If there was ever a time for us to speak up in America, it’s NOW.

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin, “Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor”, November 11, 1755

 


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Self Governance

Founding-Fathers

Our Founding Fathers talked about “Self Governance” often. If you haven’t read this, you should. Our freedoms are based on this principle. It refers to our ability to govern ourselves, respect each other, respect the law and authority, and yes, respect God too. One of the fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5 is “self control.” Unfortunately it’s also the most often overlooked.

Every single person is born with a predilection for some sort of aberrant behavior. The Bible calls it a “sinful nature.” It seems today that we as a society have elevated what we “feel is right” and what we “want to be right” above what the Bible says. It’s not surprising since our society has become increasingly hostile towards the Bible and Christianity. I don’t believe one sin is worse than another; however, I do see those in the community of Christians choosing to excuse and ignore their own pet sins in the name of what they “feel” must be right. And those feelings are based on nothing more than what society is dictating to them. Self governance has not only become lost in the world, but it has now becoming lost in the church. Leaders are scared into silence by fear of being “labeled” and “attacked” and we as a society continue its downward spiral into moral decay. The church is ceasing to be the church and is now going to the world and begging them, “Tell us what you want us to be so you will like us.” Actions that just 20 years ago would have been criticized as patently wrong are now justified based on an individual’s feelings.

Our Founding Fathers’ idea of freedom was based on our ability to govern ourselves. Without it, the rest of the system eventually falls. Why? Because when we operate by what we “feel” is right and there is no longer a standard of right and wrong, anything truly goes. Society operates selfishly according to what it wants and not for the greater good of everyone. Instead of people governing their own actions, they become dependent on someone else or the government to govern it for them. Instead of right and wrong being the standard, what is acceptable is reduced to what one can get away with.

On a different but related subject, in a capitalistic society (each person can provide for themselves according to their own work and ingenuity and enterprise) increasingly turning towards socialism (where a portion of society works to provide for those who either cannot or will not provide for themselves), the motivation to succeed is penalized and therefore society ceases to move forward. When people refuse to govern their own actions and lives in favor of what they want (i.e. “I don’t want to work. I’d rather stay home and live off the government”) then the choice becomes much easier to sacrifice freedoms in favor of having someone else provide for them. We slip into a state of dependence on others to provide for us because we no longer will do it for ourselves. Why socialism is still touted by a few is beyond me, because in the history of the world there has yet to be one society that has embraced this philosophy that has flourished. In fact, all who have embraced it have collapsed. I am watching, with incredible grief, the America I love slip into a state of disarray and decadence. And with this moral slide, we are giving away our freedoms… Freedoms that cannot be returned.

How do we correct this course (IF it can still be corrected)? It starts with the individual. It starts with you and me. If we will individually turn to God and repent, then there is still hope. Through surrendering to Him, He can empower each of us to govern ourselves. If we will become the church we’re supposed to be, there is hope. If we will stand in the face of intimidation, bullying, compromise, and are willing for others to “hate us for His sake” then there is hope.

Perhaps that is why our Founding Fathers spoke so prominently of “Providence” and our “Creator” from Whom all our rights are derived. Our freedom is directly tied to our self governance which is directly tied to our Creator.

“If MY people, who are called by my Name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14

National-Revival-Prayer