A New Deal: Heaven on Earth Welfare

Martin Niemoeller stood before Hitler; he said he had no concern but the welfare of the church and German people.  Hitler replied, “You confine yourself to the Church.  I’ll take care of the German people!”  Niemoeller told Hitler, “Herr, you said, ‘I will take care of the German people.  But we too, as Christians, have a responsibility towards the German people.  That responsibility was entrusted to us by God, and neither you nor anyone in this world has the power to take it from us.” 

Hitler took Niemoeller into custody.  He refused leave ministry when told he could go free if he would do so.  Hitler would not pardon the stubborn pastor.  Defiantly, the Fuehrer declared, “It is Niemoeller or I”.  Sadly, the church did stand with Niemoeller.  The church failed to act and 6 million Jews, gypsies, handicapped persons, and enemies were murdered.  Some in the German church did not bow to Hitler, but many were silently complicit.  The church didn’t take care of the German people.

Jeremiah’s words avow the welfare of the city is the responsibility of the church.  God’s people were exiled by Nebuchadnezzar; moved to a foreign land whose customs assaulted their sense of decency.  Jeremiah wrote to them: Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you…for in its welfare you will find your welfare.  They wanted to return to home; rebuild what they had lost.  Jeremiah, through his tears, foretold their fate.  I am not calling you to return to Israel, they were to settle, marry and have children; establish a home among your captors.  The people of Israel wanted to escape Babylon, not build it.  We hear the frustration: “How long must we live in this foreign land?  That is the wrong question.  The right one: “How shall we live in this land?”  The answer is: give yourselves to those where you live; work on their behalf.  This is what God requires.

Published in: on August 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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