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Thread: Confusion about the Holocaust...

  1. #1
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    Confusion about the Holocaust...

    I was thinking about all the terrible things done to Jews in history and I started pondering the Holocaust. I wish it had never happened, as I'm sure any person who believes it happened does. I still can't believe people actually deny its occurrence.
    As you all know, the Holocaust was a horrific event (worse than horrific, but it can't really be expressed with words) in which 6 million Jews were slaughtered at the hands of the Nazis for...just being Jews =(
    But I'm a little confused. Why would God let 6 million Jews die when they were unsaved? I'm not saying God is bad; not in infinity years. But they had pretty much no way of coming to Jesus in a concentration camp. Why would God let that happen?
    "God created mankind and men created the gods. This is how it is in the world—
    the men create gods and they worship their creations. It would have been more
    appropriate for the gods to worship mankind!"
    --Gospel of Philip 92 (Author Unknown)


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    This is the same sort of question as 'why does a 20 year old (unsaved) die in an auto accident and another 20 year old (unsaved) gets to live past 65 while coming to salvation at age 51.
    God is God, His ways are far above ours and every time we try to second guess Him we run into trouble. The 'why' questions often have a funny way of starting off as curiosity but ending up demanding from God or accusing God of wrong doing.
    ♪ Each day may Christ become clearer, His Cross dearer, Our Hope nearer. ♫

  3. #3
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    good question, but i dunno...you can ask Him
    when you finally see Him though...

    i do know though that God did/does limit...
    "have you considered My servant Job...?
    ...Only spare his life."

    "up to here and NO further."


    i had a question like that several weeks ago,
    and God reminded me of this particular story.

    i was angry too and but when i went to Him,
    he softened my heart and reminded me, "I am
    still on the throne."

  4. #4
    At one level it is true that this is a "Why didn't God prevent the 20-year old from dieing in a car crash" question - to which Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart, comes to mind. But at another level, given God's prophetic relationship with Israel, this is different.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreekAsianPanda View Post
    I was thinking about all the terrible things done to Jews in history and I started pondering the Holocaust. I wish it had never happened, as I'm sure any person who believes it happened does. I still can't believe people actually deny its occurrence.
    As you all know, the Holocaust was a horrific event (worse than horrific, but it can't really be expressed with words) in which 6 million Jews were slaughtered at the hands of the Nazis for...just being Jews =(
    But I'm a little confused. Why would God let 6 million Jews die when they were unsaved? I'm not saying God is bad; not in infinity years. But they had pretty much no way of coming to Jesus in a concentration camp. Why would God let that happen?
    A good question seeing as fundamentally it was "Christian nations" who perpetrated the Holocaust - Austrians Germans and Italians who did it, the rest of Europe (including the English - we could have increased the Kindertransports, we could have bombed the railway tracks to Auschwitz in 1943) who let it happen. Americans also knew what was happening from March 1941, long before Pearl Harbor, 25 May 1943. American could even before Pearl harbour have urged Churchill to send an OSS team in to assist the Polish underground. Though the RAF didn't really have air superiority over Germany ... needed to fly bombers from England to Poland and back... until 1944.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwitz_bombing_debate

    But that's the detail. Really Auschwitz was rooted deeply in European culture going back to Clifford's Tower (York 1190) and before.

    But God didn't totally "let it happen" - he included plenty of verses in the NT to teach Christians to regard Jews with respect, as God's people. The question would be why God's hand didn't intervene at all points in "Christian" western history, when "Christian" nations like Germany, or every other European nation before them, all our ancestors, weren't killing Jews.

    God would basically have had to be intervening every generation.

    And yet there have been times when God has "punished" Israel - the Roman siege of Jerusalem AD70, the details of which were prophesied in Leviticus by Moses for example. The difference being Auschwitz wasn't prophesied in Leviticus, what we Christian European nations did goes way way beyond the worst that God ever arranged for his people.

  5. #5
    GreekAsianPanda said:

    I was thinking about all the terrible things done to Jews in history and I started pondering the Holocaust...Why would God let that happen?

    Kylism says:

    The same question I asked God when my wife and I had a miscarriage and lost our 4 month old baby in the womb.

    For me the answer to me is two parts:
    (a) the fall which entered sin into the world
    (b) before the fall God set mankind to be caretakers of the earth and wanted us to let God manager our lives in love

    The separation from God's wisdom, our choice. So things happen that are not in God's will and things that are not his design or plan. Yet God is all powerful and true to his word of letting us me managers of the planet and we chose to manager our own lives. He is also true to people who choose him and he gives them promises (no more floods to destroy all mankind for example, Messiah will come [note: from our perspective has come]).

    So when a cold happens or a miscarriage or 6 million deaths. It is the same. Just as Cain killed Abel and God did not want that; so he did not want us sick or death around.

    My answer is we are in the fall, just as Jesus on earth lived in this condition, yet being born of God he had no sin and thus could show us and claim us at the cross.

    Revelations and Psalms and many other books in the Bible share the true nature that will be and the hope in the future; so we press on in trust; as Job did too.

    Kylism

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreekAsianPanda View Post
    I was thinking about all the terrible things done to Jews in history and I started pondering the Holocaust. I wish it had never happened, as I'm sure any person who believes it happened does. I still can't believe people actually deny its occurrence.
    As you all know, the Holocaust was a horrific event (worse than horrific, but it can't really be expressed with words) in which 6 million Jews were slaughtered at the hands of the Nazis for...just being Jews =(
    But I'm a little confused. Why would God let 6 million Jews die when they were unsaved? I'm not saying God is bad; not in infinity years. But they had pretty much no way of coming to Jesus in a concentration camp. Why would God let that happen?
    For one thing, you don't know if they came to Jesus or not. You don't know who Jesus revealed himself to and you are forgetting that God reveals himself through his creation also. Abraham went to Heaven and he didn't know Jesus.
    God's plan is so much bigger than our small minds can wrap around.
    And it's HIS plan. We know that his plan is Good. And we know that all these things work together for the Good of those that believe.
    Many Holocaust survivors have come to know Christ. Corrie Ten Boom, for example.
    GAP, This is why trust is essential. And the Burden. We MUST preach the word. It is imperative that we deliver the good news so the people that hear it can be saved.
    Evil exists in this world, and always will. Our weapon is the Word of God.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven3 View Post


    A good question seeing as fundamentally it was "Christian nations" who perpetrated the Holocaust -........ what we Christian European nations did goes way way beyond the worst that God ever arranged for his people.

    I would only be a little more precise and say 'Christian nations which have left their roots'. Seeing by the '40's liberalism and naturalism had made huge inroads in the Church leaving it pretty much a shell without substance.
    ♪ Each day may Christ become clearer, His Cross dearer, Our Hope nearer. ♫

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by crossnote View Post
    I would only be a little more precise and say 'Christian nations which have left their roots'. Seeing by the '40's liberalism and naturalism had made huge inroads in the Church leaving it pretty much a shell without substance.
    Agree 100%.

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote extensively about the de-Christianization (if you will) of Europe, which he directly attributes to leading to the Third Reich and its atrocities.

    Then he was hanged by the Nazis for daring to speak against them.

  9. #9
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    SOOOO many good points here...
    All I can do is add my own thoughts, which will reiterate some of what was already said.


    We really have no way of knowing who came to accept Christ & who didn't. But we can't just assume they had "no way of coming to Christ" in a concentration camp. (Look how many modern day prisoners come to know the Lord while incarcerated....)

    Thinking about it, we could just as easily say that while those Jews were in the camps, MOST of them came to accept Jesus.... We just don't know at this point. (Someday we will.... )

    The reason "bad things happen" isn't because God simply allows it.... but at the same time, it IS because he allows it.
    (I know that sounds confusing & contradictory at face value... but let me explain further....)

    We ALL have free will. Period.
    It becomes a choice to all of us on an individual level.
    So, what choice do we make? THAT is entirely up to us.

    When God gave us "free will"... he allowed for the potential of sin & evil.... He didn't just "create it".... But yet, he knew all along that it would enter into the world..... YET..... He didn't leave us stuck in a situation with no way out.
    Instead; He gave us a way to get out of the curse... he offered us a FREE GIFT of salvation. All we have to do is ask, and we shall receive.

    So, it's very possible that many of those Jews in the 1940's were indeed given the opportunity to accept Christ as their promised Messiah.... And maybe they "figured it out"....

    BUT..... Honestly, I don't know the absolute solid answer.

    All I can say is, we can rest assured that our God, is a JUST God. And our rewards & punishments will be no more, or less than, what each of us deserve on an individual level.

    I'm personally thankful that I can make the choice for myself. Because I have the same opportunity that every other living human being on this planet has ever had.

    To sum it up- It's not that God just lets things happen, it that he allows us to make the choice, & make a difference...... or not.
    Hebrews 11:1 Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
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    There was a time when I used to think Macro-evolution might be a possibility..... but then I GREW UP!
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianAttorney View Post
    Agree 100%.

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote extensively about the de-Christianization (if you will) of Europe, which he directly attributes to leading to the Third Reich and its atrocities.

    Then he was hanged by the Nazis for daring to speak against them.
    Given the way things were going in the 1930s one can hardly blame Bonhoeffer for trying to find positive messages in German protestant history, nevertheless the fact is that Luther's attitudes were deeply embedded in German culture and Lutheran theology.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Jews_and_Their_Lies
    Luther advocated an eight-point plan to get rid of the Jews either by religious conversion or by expulsion:

    1. "First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. ..."
    2. "Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. ..."
    3. "Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. ..."
    4. "Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. ..."
    5. "Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. ..."
    6. "Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them. ... Such money should now be used in ... the following [way]... Whenever a Jew is sincerely converted, he should be handed [a certain amount]..."
    7. "Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow... For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants."
    8. "If we wish to wash our hands of the Jews' blasphemy and not share in their guilt, we have to part company with them. They must be driven from our country" and "we must drive them out like mad dogs." [33]
    Of course that's not so long since Spain did exactly that - 1492, so Luther is thinking of expulsion not extermination. But still, uck.

    We can question God for "letting" the holocaust happen, and there is a theological issue there, one faced by rabbis as much as Christians, the OT certainly doesn't shirk God's responsibility in both natural and manmade disasters, but fundamentally God didn't do this, it was the work of nominally Christian nations.


    “My dear Brethren! We all not only understand but are fully sympathetic to the recent motivations out of which the völkisch movement has emerged. Notwithstanding the evil sound that the term has frequently acquired, I have always considered myself an anti-Semite. One cannot ignore that Jewry has played a leading role in all the destructive manifestations of modern civilization.”

    Bishop Otto Dibelius, Germany’s most prominent Protestant clergyman, in a confidential Easter message to his colleagues, April 1933 (from Ellis, Marc H. Hitler and the Holocaust, Christian Anti-Semitism", Baylor University Center for American and Jewish Studies, Spring 2004, ppt)


    It's all very well to cite verses such as :

    Amos 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

    But generally verses like Amos 3:6 are related to specific building blocks in God's prophecy in the Ancient Near East. God can arrive at the same end by more than one means, so I'm sure that given the choice God would far rather have had Europe's Jews (all 6 million, not the 10% that survived the holocaust) peacefully offered the choice of land in Palestine as a way of fulfilling Christ's "until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled" prophecy.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven3 View Post
    “My dear Brethren! We all not only understand but are fully sympathetic to the recent motivations out of which the völkisch movement has emerged. Notwithstanding the evil sound that the term has frequently acquired, I have always considered myself an anti-Semite. One cannot ignore that Jewry has played a leading role in all the destructive manifestations of modern civilization.”

    Bishop Otto Dibelius
    Yes, that is the same Otto Dibelius who was one of the six presidents of the World Council of Churches from 1954-1961



    Does it matter to know this? What's it got to do with us?

    Well apart from the question of the thread - and making God answer for something we did (western Christian nations did), some would argue that the roots of Luther's theology regarding "Israel after the flesh" are still deeply embedded in everything from commentaries to lexicons. There's clearly a tension, even on this forum, looking at the number of threads...

  12. #12
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    The first question is:

    Is it about God LETTING it happen or the actions and inactions of a vast number of humans BOTH CAUSING it to happen AND LETTING it happen?

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    This is a good question. When we discuss the Old Testament people, we know they had faith in God and knew a Messiah was coming. Therefore they believed from afar and God accepted them. So we can never proclaim the Jews of that time as unsaved. Refer to Hebrew 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

    And the Jewish nation is God's first love. Why would God want to leave them unsaved. This would mean we will be questioning God of all those babies that were born and died before they reached the age of maturity, the children the innocent victims who die even before having a chance to hear the Gospel.

    We can never understand God best to question His Mighty saving Hands. He definitely is a God that is just and merciful. We can never understand God's ways, and His thoughts. He is beyond our understanding thus we may never have certain answers to why some incidents happen as He allows it to happen.

    But I am sure when we're there in heaven we shall all know the answers with a new heavenly body with a renewed Mind that God gives us then. Till then, I do not know the answer. Perhaps many things which we thought impossible here would be possible and understandable in heaven. We shall wait for that glorious day.

    ...Ivory

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ivorylamp View Post
    This is a good question. When we discuss the Old Testament people, we know they had faith in God and knew a Messiah was coming. Therefore they believed from afar and God accepted them. So we can never proclaim the Jews of that time as unsaved. Refer to Hebrew 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

    And the Jewish nation is God's first love. Why would God want to leave them unsaved. This would mean we will be questioning God of all those babies that were born and died before they reached the age of maturity, the children the innocent victims who die even before having a chance to hear the Gospel.

    We can never understand God best to question His Mighty saving Hands. He definitely is a God that is just and merciful. We can never understand God's ways, and His thoughts. He is beyond our understanding thus we may never have certain answers to why some incidents happen as He allows it to happen.

    But I am sure when we're there in heaven we shall all know the answers with a new heavenly body with a renewed Mind that God gives us then. Till then, I do not know the answer. Perhaps many things which we thought impossible here would be possible and understandable in heaven. We shall wait for that glorious day.
    Nice post. Mirrors my thinking -- I can never understand the mind of God. Of course, I shouldn't stop trying to know Him better!

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    First I think God isn't obligated to save anyone. We all deserve hell and it's by His everlasting grace that He even allows us a way to be saved. He simply saves who He will because He is merciful and love. Second, all evil in the world is a direct result of man's fall. It's completely our fault. And thirdly I guarantee you in ways you don't even know God used the holocaust for greater good. It's hard for us to comprehend but in ways we cannot even see God uses everything, no matter how evil, for good.

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