Blind Eyes and Deaf Ears
Two things stood out to me this past month that I found interesting and I sensed were prophetically tied together. One was an old movie I watched on Turner Classic Movies called, Judgment at Nuremberg, which loosely follows an actual trial that took place in Nuremberg. The plot centers, around a military tribunal which had been convened in Nuremberg, Germany in which four German judges and prosecutors were accused of crimes against humanity for their involvement in atrocities committed under the Nazi regime. At the heart of the movie was the question as to how the German people or any person or group of people could turn blind eyes and deaf ears to the crimes of the Nazi regime. If a person or a group of people, passively, actively, or in a combination of both, embraced and enforced laws that led to the furtherance of the Nazi regime why then was not each one guilty and in some measure responsible for the crimes of that regime.
At the end of the movie all the defendants were sentenced to life in prison however one of the German Judges, Herr Janning, asked the prosecuting judge to stop by his cell before he returned home to the United States. He told the American Judge that he found his decision to be a just decision, but asks him to believe that he and the other judges never desired the mass murder of innocents. “We never knew,” he insists, “that it would come to that.” The American Judge replies, “Herr Janning, it came to that the first time you sentenced a man to death you knew to be innocent.”
These four judges represented a small percentage of the political, military, judicial and economic leaders who were tried and sentenced in Nuremberg for their involvement in the Nazi regime. Some argued that what they did had nothing to do with their personal beliefs but rather, ‘business is business’. Probably one of the most recognized quotes came from Martin Niemöller, a Protestant pastor and critic of Nazi rule who spent the last seven years of the war in a concentration camp for his remarks. “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.
It reminded me of the old quote concerning the frog and the boiling pot of water, by Stephenie Meyer, “If you throw a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will hop right out. But if you put that frog in a pot of tepid water and slowly warm it, the frog doesn’t figure out what is going on until it’s too late. Boiled frog! It’s just a matter of working by slow degrees.
The second thing I found interesting was when Lois and I were looking for something to watch on the TACF, Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship’s web site. Off to the side of the site, were other religious programs you could watch, even though they had nothing to do with the TACF site we saw one that drew our attention and since it was not lengthy, we decided to watch it. What grabbed our attention was the fact that it was a prophetic word concerning the future of the United States and we wondered if it contained anything about the election in November. It turned out to be not a very positive word, in fact it had nothing to do with the election but it did show the US being overpowered by Russia before President Obama’s present term expires and in such a way as to literally shut down and destroy our way of life. Not the best thing to watch before you go to sleep!
Our problem with the prophecy was the fact it was centered around the author’s seemingly sole emphasis of persevering one’s own life and personal property rather than what we could do to further the gospel and save as many as possible. Later, I found myself making an argument against anything like that happening to our country because of all the good we do in the world. I thought of the movie we had seen and Nazi Germany and how over six million Jews had been killed in Europe while close to 60 million people were killed during the entire war. Certainly we are not in that league I was thinking. Out of the blue a thought popped into my mind. “Almost 59 million babies have been murdered through abortion in the United States since 1973, how clean are your countries hands.” If the question that lay behind the Nuremberg trials was how did sane men and women change into the monsters that aided in the killing of so many people? Then we must look at ourselves and ask how could we possibly think we would be incapable of doing the same. That my friends, I found to be a very sobering thought!
Self-preservation is a strong motivation in justifying a wrong action.
The question that we need to ask ourselves concerning the actions of a nation is who should be judged; the individuals who gave the orders, the people who carried them out, or the people who voted the officials in who supported and allowed the atrocities to occur? A society is judged concerning its guilt, innocence and responsibility. Though we may not have made the laws or carried them out we will reap what we sow. Our guilt, innocence or degree of responsibility will be revealed before God and we will receive justice for what we did or did not do.
Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses is life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.” Matthew 16:24-27 NIV
I realize that we may or may not be able to overturn Roe vs. Wade or fix the myriad of other problems that face this country but that it is not the question here. It is more than our self-denial and sacrifice because you can do both and still be out of the will of God. What God is asking from us is obedience. If we do not give ourselves over to be in alignment with the will of our Father we will find ourselves fulfilling the desires of our own selfish interest and in doing so we will deceive ourselves even to the point of using the Scriptures to justify what we do. Self-preservation is a strong motivation in justifying a wrong action.
We do not want to be like the citizens of Germany who turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to what was happening in their country and put our own preservation and presumed prosperity above all else. We want to be one’s who pray and listen for Godly answers to the problems facing our country and have the fortitude and conviction to do what is right even if it is not comfortable or expedient to do so. We want to stand before God in His splendor and Glory on that day and be rewarded for knowing and obeying His voice and commands and for saying “yes” to Him in every opportunity He gives to make a difference in this world.
Father we pray that you will put it upon our hearts to pray for our country and guide us in what we should do as citizens and ambassadors of a ’greater kingdom’ to be apart of moving this country into alignment with your heart and mind. We pray for a radical outpouring of the Holy Spirit to transform, restore and reform our country once again Lord!
Rex & Lois