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Die appel van Sy oog. (Deel 2)

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  • Die appel van Sy oog. (Deel 2)

    Peer Pressure

    We mustn’t underestimate the power of peer pressure.

    The tendency to be‘governed by the group,’ to follow the crowd, and to give in to the fear of manis in us all to one degree or another.

    Christopher Browning’s book Ordinary Men highlightedinterviews of European men who systematically slaughtered whole villages ofJewish men, women, and children during the Holocaust.

    These murderers were neither deranged nor on avendetta. They were not paid killers. They weren’t evenmilitary men.

    They were just ordinary men you'd find on any street –regular family men from whom you'd buy your groceries at the local store,or who you'd call to fix your plumbing.

    But these men were enlisted to kill Jews. They wereexplicitly told no one would be penalized for not participating.

    From the beginning, they were given the option to decline. Few did.

    When the interviewer asked the men why they killedinnocent Jewish people, they explained that is was due to “peer pressure.”

    Most of the men simply lacked the courage and strength tostep apart from the crowd and take a stand for righteousness.

    Everyone else was doing it, and they didn’t want to beregarded as different. They rationalized their actions with “if everyone elseis doing it, it must be okay.” After all, these were only Jews!

    This combination of peer pressure and the bigotrytowards the Jewish People proved lethal.

    Cesare Vincenzo Orsenigo, who was ApostolicNuncio to Germany from
    1930 to 1945, during the rise of Nazi Germany and World War II, was the
    direct diplomatic link between Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII. Orsenigo
    routinely refusedto intervene on behalf of the Jews.

    Holiness means Set Apart

    “The King will reply, ‘Truly Itell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sistersof mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

    During the Holocaust, most of the Church fell intoline with the Nazis and kept silent, all the while continuing to hold theirchurch services in a pretense of holiness.

    Imagine weekly Bible studies, prayer services, Sundaymorning and evening church services, weddings and other celebrations takingplace in these German churches.

    They were joyful as they celebrated Christmas and Easter,and they did it 13 years (1933–1945) , while their country was operatingconcentration and labor camps!

    They carried on with their programs, lifting theirhands in worship while denying and/or ignoring the plight of Messiah’sbrethren, the Jewish People.

    And many of the Nazis who ran the death camps attendedSunday services!

    TheHiding Place is the story of a Dutch Christian
    family who helped Jews escape the Holocaust.
    Corrie ten Boom and her family were arrested in
    1944 due to an informant. Corrie's father died 10
    days later at Scheveningen prison. A sister,
    brother and nephew were released, but Corrie
    and her sister Betsie were sent to Ravensbruck
    concentration camp, where only Corrie survived.

    There were, however, afew brave souls with the courage to risk their lives in order to help Yeshua’s(Jesus’) brethren in their time of desperate trouble.

    They believed Yeshua meant it when He said,“He who tries to save his life will lose it, and hewho loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39)

    The Ten Boom family, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and others likethem, gave their lives to be ‘set apart’ from the group.

    Set apart is actually themeaning of the Hebrew word for holy (kadosh).

    Irena Sendler, a Catholic social worker whowas also
    a member of the Polish resistance, smuggled 2,500
    Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto with the
    help of the resistance. She provided them with false
    identity documents and with housing outside the Ghetto.
    For this, the Nazis tortured her and sentenced her to
    death. Nevertheless, she did survive the war.

    These righteousGentiles, and others like them, dared to stand with the Jewish people in the Holocaust and to resist the evil forces that weretrying to destroy them.

    Their names are honored at Yad Vashem (Holocaust MemorialMuseum in Jerusalem).

    Yeshua honors them aswell.

    “Come, you blessed of My Father,inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for Iwas hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was astranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and youvisited Me, I was in prison and you came to
    Me.” (Matthew 25: 34-36)

    Will we have the courage, in the coming time ofJacob’s trouble, to be holy (kadosh)—setapart as followers of God rather than followers of the crowd?

    Could Another HolocaustHappen?

    “How awful that day will be! No other will be like it. It will be a time of
    trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it.” (Jeremiah 30:7)

    The principalities and powers of wickedness thatpossessed the Nazis live on today in many people and organizations, as well asin elements of Islam.

    The desire to extinguish the Jewish People and destroy theplans of God still exists.

    In the Book of Esther, Haman plotted to destroy the Jews inthe Persian Empire.

    In the last century Hitler almost succeeded in wiping outthe Jewish people.

    Today, there is a real, modern-day ‘Haman’ on the scenetoday in the modern-day state of Persia (Iran) calling for the completedestruction of the Jewish people and Israel.

    Christians around theworld must not deceive themselves as we stand on the brink of the time ofJacob’s trouble. Christians need to understand God’s heart and plan forIsrael and the Jewish people in these end times.

    Israeliflags fly at half-mast on Yom HaShoah.

    On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, as theJewish People mourn for those who perished in the Holocaust, let’s standtogether and pray for the salvation of the Jewish people, and for arevelation in the Church about the necessity of taking a stand for Israel andbeing a holy people who are set apart.