Deception in the Church
Israel & Middle East
Jesus the Messiah
One World System
One World Religion
Science & Evolution
We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching
the Bible and understanding our time in
the light of Bible prophecy
Where was God in the Holocaust?
During the 1970s I used to go and talk to people involved in left wing
political groups about our faith. I made friends with some Jewish socialists
who invited us along to a meeting of Young Mapam, a socialist Zionist group.
The speaker was a man called Hyam Maccoby who gave a talk on Jesus as a
Jewish revolutionary leader against the Romans. I pitched into the
discussion afterwards and some members of the group then invited me along to
a meeting where they were going to read their own poems and writings and
other pieces of literature which meant something to them.
One of the readings was from a book by Elie Wiesel called Night about his
experiences in Auschwitz. After the reading our friend from the group asked
us, Where was God when the 6 million were killed? Our answer did not
really satisfy me or my Jewish friend and I went away to read Night for
myself and really think through the issues involved.
My first reaction after reading Night was, How can I who was born when
these events were already history, who have no trace of Jewish blood in my
veins, presume to write about an experience so terrible, so far removed from
my own experience of life, and so painful to my Jewish friends? The answer
which came to me was clear: If you have no answer to the questions raised
by this book, how can you claim that God has the answer to questions about
the meaning of life being raised by people who think about these issues
today? What message of hope and comfort can you bring to suffering humanity
if you cannot answer the despair of those who endured these horrors?
The most eloquent statement of this despair is to be found in Night in
which Birkenau, the reception centre for Auschwitz, is viewed through the
eyes of the author as a child:
Flames were leaping from a ditch, gigantic flames. They were burning
something. A lorry drew up at the pit and delivered its load little
children. Babies! Yes, I saw it saw it with my own eyes…those little
children in the flames. (Is it surprising that I could not sleep after that?
Sleep had fled from my eyes).
Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp which has turned my
life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never
shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned
into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those
flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal
silence which deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live. Never
shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my
dreams to dust. Never shall I forget those things even if I am condemned to
live as long as God Himself. Never.
So where was God? When such appalling evils take place, is it still possible
to believe in the concept of a just God, of a God who loves and cares about
humanity? Facing this question is more than just an academic exercise. Cruel
dictatorships, concentration camps, torture and utter wickedness still hold
sway in many parts of the earth and the Bible warns that in the last days
evil men will grow worse and worse and that the whole world will ultimately
come under the power of the Antichrist of whom Hitler was a major
Who was responsible?
The first question which must be asked is Who was responsible for creating
the death camps and the Nazi terror God or man? In Night Elie Wiesel
describes the child watching the pious Jews as they held services for Jewish
holidays. This causes him to rage against God for allowing the death camps
to exist. (As a point of information I should say that Elie Wiesel is a
practising Orthodox Jew today, so the view expressed represents the reaction
of the child in the camp to the horrors he was witnessing, not the one which
he holds now).
Thousands of voices repeated the benediction; thousands of men prostrated
themselves like trees before a tempest.
Blessed be the name of the Eternal!
Why, but why should I bless Him? In every fibre I rebelled. Because He had
thousands of children burned in His pits? Because He kept the crematoria
working night and day, on Sundays and feast days? Because He in His great
might had created Auschwitz, Birkenau, Buna and so many factories of death?
This is a very understandable reaction to the enormous suffering of the
camps. God is supposed to be in control of the universe; one finds oneself
the victim of unbelievable wickedness and cruelty. God appears to be doing
nothing about it; therefore God is responsible for the evil.
However God did not create Auschwitz or any factories of death. Men did, men
who were motivated by Nazism, an ideology which expressed in its ideas and
practice a rebellion against God and a hatred for humanity on a hitherto
unknown scale in human history. God did not create Auschwitz; He created man
perfect, to live in peace and harmony with God and his neighbour. However
since the fall of man (Genesis 3) sin has reigned over the human race and
the hostile power of Satan has influenced mankind to rebel against God and
disobey His commandments. Humanity has come a long way from Cain taking Abel
into the field to murder him to concentration camps and the frightful
weapons of destruction of our time. Nevertheless the principle remains the
same and the problem remains the same the sin in the heart of man. As the
The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately corrupt.
For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication,
theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy,
slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and they
defile a man. Gospel of Mark 7.21-2
All men, both Jews and Gentiles are under the power of sin, as it is
written: None is righteous, no, not one; no one seeks for God. All have
turned aside, together they have gone wrong; no one does good, not even one.
Their feet are swift to shed blood, in their paths are ruin and misery, and
the way of peace they know not. Romans 3.9-12, 15-17
20th Century history testifies absolutely to this analysis of the human
condition. It is significant that such an extreme manifestation of the evil
in the human heart took place in a century which began with many people
putting their trust in the innate goodness of man, the perfectibility of
human nature and the coming of a Golden Age of peace, prosperity and
tolerance through advances in science, education and politics. What is more
it took place in a country whose contribution to European culture was
enormous and which had produced many of the leading 19th Century humanist
and atheist thinkers who rejected Christian values and placed their trust in
our ability to save ourselves through our own efforts. If anything the Nazi
holocaust should make us lose faith in this kind of optimistic humanism
rather than the God of the Bible. This is the implication of the forward to
Night in which French writer, Francois Mauriac writes about trainloads of
Jewish children he saw being taken away from Paris during the Nazi occupation:
The dream which western man conceived in the 18th Century, whose dawn he
thought he saw in 1789 (the French Revolution), and which until August 2nd
1914 (the outbreak of the first world war), had grown stronger with the
progress of enlightenment and the discoveries of science this dream
finally vanished from me before those trainloads of little children.
The Nazis and God
Those who blame God for the Nazi Holocaust should note that the roots of the
Nazi ideology lay in a definite rejection indeed a bitter hatred of not just
Judaism, but the God of the Bible and authentic Christianity. In this
connection it is interesting to note the following thoughts written by
Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher who first proclaimed that God
That the strong races of Northern Europe have not repudiated the Christian
God certainly reflects no credit on their talent for religion.
(Speaking of the Christian concept of God) The God of the great majority,
the democrat among gods (NB Nietzsche loathed democracy), has nonetheless
not become a proud pagan god; he has remained the god of the nook, the god
of all dark corners and places, of all the unhealthy quarters throughout the world.
What is good? All that heightens the feeling of power, the will to power,
power itself in man. What is bad? All that proceeds from weakness. What is
happiness? The feeling that power increases, that resistance is overcome.
Not contentment, but more power; not peace at all, but war; not virtue, but
proficiency. The weak and ill-constituted shall perish; the first principle
of our philanthropy. And one shall help them to do so. What is more harmful
than any vice? Active sympathy for the weak and ill-constituted-Christianity.
Christianity is called the religion of pity. Pity stands in the antithesis
to the tonic emotions which enhance the energy of the feeling of life: it
has a depressive effect. Pity on the whole thwarts the law of evolution,
which is the law of selection. It preserves what is ripe for destruction: it
defends lifes disinherited and condemned. From The Antichrist Penguin
Version page 2, 7, 17, 19.
This philosophy of 19th century German atheism clearly has a spiritual link
to Nazi ideology. One wonders what Nietzsche would have thought of the
strong, powerful, pitiless ones, the SS, selecting the fittest specimens
as they ran past them naked the strong to be worked to death in
concentration camps, the weak and ill-constituted to be taken away to the
gas chambers. What does the modern world need, hard, pitiless anti-Christian
men and women, or those who will follow the one Nietzsche despises so much?
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Blessed
are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are the merciful for
they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be
called the sons of God. Matthew 5.
There was no doubt what kind of people Hitler wanted. He said Antiquity was
better than modern times because it did not know Christianity and syphilis.
His main reasons for rejecting Christianity were as follows:
the sound of church bells and crawl to the cross of a foreign God.
their faith in life.
enemy. Mercy is an un-German concept.
inferior, the ill, the crippled, the criminal and the weak were protected.
Information from Louis L. Snyder’s Hitler and Nazism.
The Nazis may have marched into battle with Gott mit uns (God with us) as
their motto, but their god was a pagan antichrist god, and they followed a
false messiah, Adolf Hitler, and bowed down before idols of power, physical
force and the dream of world domination by the Teutonic Master Race. Is it
surprising that the fruit of this demonic ideology was the nightmare of
destruction and slaughter which followed in their wake?
They may also have professed some sort of Christianity, but their aim was to
replace authentic Christianity with a programme for a new German Christianity:
Throw out the Old Testament it is a Jewish book. Also throw out parts of
the New Testament. Christ must be regarded not as Jewish, but as a kind of
Nordic martyr put to death by the Jews, a kind of warrior who by his death
saved the world from Jewish domination. (From Louis Snyder Hitler and Nazism)
One wonders how much some churches had to change to adopt this kind of
So where was God?
A Jewish novel, The Last of the Just by Andre Schwartz-Bart traces Jewish
suffering through many generations and concludes in the time of the
Holocaust. There is a very moving scene when a crowd of worshipping Jews
leaves a synagogue and is confronted by Nazi troops in the courtyard:
Ernie had a staggering intuition that God was hovering above the
synagogue courtyard, vigilant and ready to intervene. Ernie felt that God
was there, so close that with a little boldness he might have touched him.
Stop! Don’t touch my people! he murmured as if the divine voice had found
expression in his own frail throat.
In the novel there is a momentary deliverance on that occasion, however the
terrible cycle of death and destruction brought about by the Nazis continued
with the massacre of six million Jews and the deaths of millions of Gentiles
on the battle fronts and in the concentration camps. Was God silent and
indifferent while all this was going on?
God was neither silent nor indifferent, but He was watching and weeping over
the wickedness of humanity and the suffering of the people, especially the
Jewish people. However because he has given us free will, the consequences
of the wrong choice made by the German people was played out in the events
which followed. The final defeat of the Nazis showed Gods ultimate judgment
on that wicked political system.
While God was not silent or indifferent unfortunately much of the church
was. There were brave souls, like the Ten Boom family in Holland, who
sacrificed themselves to rescue Jews from the Nazis. But for the most part
the church failed to speak out and not surprisingly many Jewish people saw
Christians as the enemy. In The Last of the Just the lead characters,
Ernie and Golda, get married the night before they are to be taken away to a
concentration camp. Their conversation turns to Jesus:
'Oh Ernie, Golda said, you know them. Tell me why do the Christians hate
us the way they do? They seem so nice when I can look at them without my star.
Ernie put his arm round her shoulder solemnly. It’s very mysterious, he
murmured in Yiddish. They don’t exactly know why themselves. I’ve been in
their churches and I’ve read their gospel. Do you know who the Christ was? A
simple Jew like your father. A kind of Hasid.
Golda smiled gently. You’re kidding me.
No, no believe me, and Ill bet they’d have got along fine, the two of
them, because he was really a good Jew, you know sort of like the Baal Shem
Tov, a merciful man and gentle. The Christians say they love him, but I
think they hate him without knowing it. So they take the cross by one end
and make a sword out of it and strike us with it! You understand Golda, he
cried out suddenly strangely excited, they take the cross and they turn it
around, they turn it around, my God…
Jesus was much more than a simple Jew but the fact that he was a Jew is
one which is totally obvious from the New Testament. Those who call
themselves Christians and yet hate the Jews need to repent of anti-Semitism,
and determine to stand by Jewish people when they suffer persecution,
recognising that the root of anti-Semitism is human hostility to God. Rabbi
David Panitz has pointed out in this connection that the need for atonement
through admission of the facts of history is an established Hebraic and
Christian doctrine. Until you admit you have been wrong, you cannot begin a
reconstruction of your life. The professing Christian church has an
enormous burden of guilt in relation to the Jewish people. Although the
roots of Nazi philosophy were anti-Christian, the seeds of anti-Semitism
reaped by the Nazis were sown by the churches in their denunciations of the Jews.
However the tendency in the Jewish community is to use the Holocaust and the
failures of Christendom as a defence against investigating the possibility
that Jesus could be the Messiah. While acknowledging the failures of the
church in relation to the Jewish people, the real Jesus is entirely
different from the cruel caricature who takes the cross to beat the Jewish
people with. In the rest of this book I would like to share the relevance of
Jesus to the Jewish people and some answers to objections to his claim to be Messiah.
It is vital that we give serious thought to this question. Although Hitler’s
regime was defeated and in recent years we have seen the fall of another
totalitarian system in Europe, Communism, the world situation is not
encouraging for those who hope that freedom and democracy will ultimately
triumph. Indeed there are many signs that the end time scenario prophesied
in the Bible is almost upon us. At that time we are warned of a time of
world dictatorship and great tribulation, so severe that if God did not cut
short those days no human being would survive. In the midst of our troubled
times the Lord will not forsake His people even though many may be called to
suffer persecution, even martyrdom, for the faith, as many have done under
Soviet and Chinese communist regimes and continue to do so in many parts of
the world, especially where Islamic fundamentalism rules.
God is not offering those who believe in Jesus an escape from persecution.
In fact Jesus Himself said, If they persecuted me they will persecute you.
(John 15.20). He is however offering an escape from the despair and that
feeling of being abandoned by God and without hope in the world, expressed
in the quotation from Night at the beginning of this chapter. His promise
to all believers is, I will never leave or forsake you. (Hebrews 13.5) He
assures all who trust Him that they will receive eternal life in the new
heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3.13) He is
reaching out to His people to comfort them in their suffering, to pour out
His love upon them and to heal the wounds of the past. The dominant phrase
in my first quotation from Night is Never shall I forget. Yet Jesus can
heal even such terrible memories and create out of such darkness His new day
of eternal peace and love. Today God is saying to His people;
Come my people, enter your chambers and shut the doors behind you; hide
yourselves for a little while until the wrath is past. Isaiah 26.20-21
And the way into these chambers of Gods protection and mercy? It is through
the One who said, I am the door; if anyone enters by me, he will be saved.
Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah of Israel.