Cyber Book Club Week 11–Hitler Moves to Take Over the Church

hitler church

It’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?

—ADOLF HITLER

Metaxas, Eric (2010-04-20). Bonhoeffer: A Biography (p. 165). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Hitler must be called a Nietzschean,.. For Hitler, ruthlessness was a great virtue, and mercy , a great sin. This was Christianity’s chief difficulty, that it advocated meekness. Nietzsche called Christianity “the one great curse, the one enormous and innermost perversion . . . the one immortal blemish of mankind.” He despised the Christian idea of virtue, considering it despicable and weak: “Society has never regarded virtue as anything else than as a means to strength, power and order.” And of course, Nietzsche exalted the idea of strength personified in the Superman, or Übermensch, a cruel and ruthless champion of unbridled power—“ the magnificent blond brute, avidly rampant for spoil and victory.”

Metaxas, Eric (2010-04-20). Bonhoeffer: A Biography (p. 168). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Hitler is now securely in power. His next target is the German church in order to silence the conscience of a nation. Some of his more ruthless cohorts want a speedy takeover.

“Martin Bormann and Heinrich Himmler were the most passionately anti-Christian members of Hitler’s inner circle, and they didn’t believe the churches should adapt or could. They wanted the clergy crushed and the churches abolished, and they encouraged Hitler along these lines whenever possible. They hoped to accelerate the timetable for open warfare with the church…”

Metaxas, Eric (2010-04-20). Bonhoeffer: A Biography (pp. 166-167). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to see the growing shadow of your own government begin to envelope not only secular life but church life as well. This is a great chapter, though a sobering one.

Questions for Discussion:

How safe are American churches from governmental controls?

What preserves our freedoms?

How can we work to keep these freedoms intact?

Are we prepared to resist pressure from the state to change our beliefs?

28priestssalutehitler

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