What actually caused the Holocaust?

Posted: February 14, 2020 in Christian
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I grew up in a church that taught that the Jews lost their position as the “Children of God” when they arranged and clamored for the death and crucifixion of our Lord. At the time that idea seemed plausible and correct. However, after leaving the faith as a teen and rediscovering the Lord many decades later I began to read the scriptures with a new, fresh perspective. It was after rediscovering the word of God I began to realize that Christ’s crucifixion was in the the works and was part of the plan of salvation from the beginning instead of some knee jerk reaction by the Jewish religious leadership in Jerusalem.

There are several old testament references or illusions to the crucifixion. The first one that comes to mind is Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac as an offering on Mount Moriah and there is speculation that the spot the Lord led Abraham to was the same spot that Christ was crucified 800 years later. Also remember reading about the Lord sending fiery serpents amongst the grumbling mass of Jews in the Median wilderness and then giving them a cure, in the form of a brass serpent on a staff raised on high for all to see, and those who looked upon it would be saved? In the book of Psalms,  Psalm 22 implies the Christ was given over to the Gentiles and to whole psalm seems to have been written from the perspective of Christ on the cross.

There are many more references and illusions to the crucifixion from the old testament written centuries before Jesus became man to live among us and they allow us to understand that the capture, trial and crucifixion of our Lord was planned from the beginning and that the Jewish leadership were nothing more than instruments the Lord used to fulfill the prophecy and the plan of salvation.

Now, it is a little more complicated than that, but you get the gist (the above synopsis is sort of the cliff notes version of events).

The Lord from the beginning knew the Jews couldn’t keep the commandments and the law He provided and He also knew that even though they had, from the book of Daniel, the prophecy that foretold the exact day the Christ would present himself as the Messiah to the city of Jerusalem that they were not diligent enough to remember the little details…sort of the “can’t see the forest for the trees” syndrome. The new testament explains to us that the Lord blinded Israel for not paying attention to the prophecy of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem as their king. It also explains that they are blinded for certain period of time, and not forever.

What does all this have to do with the holocaust?

Many writings from early church fathers and historians reveal that the early church understood those passages meant the Jews were being punished for certain length of time only and held that view, but beginning in the second century we start to see an antisemitic viewpoint emerge amongst the church leadership. The writings of Justin Martyr show that he was basically so intent on converting the Jews to Christianity that he developed and pushed the propaganda that the Jewish race is sunk because of their actions against Christ when he was crucified. He also tended to twist Paul’s writing to prove that he was also antisemitic, thus solidifying his position. Later church fathers such as Augustine picking up and ran with this antisemitic viewpoint. From this point forward we see a basic Church doctrine of antisemitism.

Even though the Catholic Church (which represented the entirety of the Christian religion at the time) had a basic antisemitic attitude toward the Jews, until the eleventh century the records show that there were understandings and working relationships between the Jewish and Catholic leadership. Remember the crusades? The crusades, which began in the eleventh century, were the turning point that increased antisemitic attitudes and behaviors amongst the Catholic church and it’s leaders, as the crusaders attacked Jews and burned their synagogues around Jerusalem and the middle east, as well as the Muslims and their mosques seemingly without distinction between them which destroyed any relationship the Jews and Christians had prior to these holy war campaigns.

A new Christian movement erupted on the scene in the sixteenth century that was labeled as the Protestant Reformation. This protest against the direction the Church was heading was spearheaded by a Jesuit named Martin Luther who believed the Catholic Church had become too hierarchical and that there was too much of a disparity between the clergy and masses, as well as straying too far from the teachings of the bible. The Protestant movement had a superb opportunity to reverse the centuries old antisemitic direction that was started by Justin and Augustine centuries before, but they did not. Instead the antisemitic, replacement theology concept was carried over from the Catholic Church and unfortunately is one the prevailing teachings among the protestant denominations today.

By the time the twentieth century rolled around the Jews were looked upon and despised as a hateful, reproachful race of people that did not deserve the same consideration as the Caucasians in Europe. The term antisemitism was popularized in the late eighteen hundreds by a German journalist, as rampant hatred toward the Jews as the killers of Christ was evidenced all across the European continent as well as in Russia and the Balkans and this viewpoint helped set the stage for the coming holocaust.

Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany in the early nineteen thirties amid a deep economic depression in Germany. He was raised in the Catholic church and was exposed (as most Christians were) to the idea that the Jews were a bunch of Christ killing thugs. This attitude coupled with fact that the Jewish community and culture afforded the believing Jews a good grasp on economics as well as frugality. Therefore the Jews were known for their ability to save and make money, and often they were seen in the banking industry across Europe. Throw all of this together and it became a recipe for disaster. Hitler noticed that overall the Jews weren’t suffering as badly as others in Germany (because of their dedication to the teachings of the Lord in the Torah) and decided to convince the eager populous that the cause of the poverty and the monetary woes of the German people following the loss of the first world war and the strangling debt load placed upon Germany by the victors was the fault of the Jews. Of course, Hitler was merely using the Jews as scapegoats to direct the anger of the starving German somewhere, and what better direction to point it than a hated, vilified people. To tell the people the real reason for the crumbled economy was that fact that Germany had leaped into a costly world war and was held largely responsible for the costs of that war would not have sat too well with this proud people. His ploy worked and the Jews became even more vilified and were targets of all kinds of retribution, including the decision to rid Europe of the Jewish race once and for all…thus the holocaust began, and before it was over over 6 million Jews were slaughtered across Europe because of their race.

Were the Jews responsible for Christ’s crucifixion? Only as instruments used to carry out the physical act. The bible tells us that Christ died on the cross for a distinct purpose. Simply put, if He hadn’t died, He couldn’t have been resurrected. The death, burial and the resurrection was the reason He died, for the scriptures teaches that without the shedding of innocent blood there can be no forgiveness of sin. So, any person that has ever, or will ever sin is the reason Christ was crucified, not the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem two thousand years ago.

However, human nature inserted itself into the Church and the desire to place blame with incomplete facts from the scriptures is what ultimately caused the attempted mass genocide of the Jewish race called the holocaust…and their whole premise about the Jews was wrong from the beginning, for the scripture does tell us that after the “Church age” is over and we have been caught up (or raptured), the Lord will deal with the Jews once again as the “Children of God”. The book of Amos is about that…the book of Joel tells the same thing and we find Peter and Paul explaining to us the same idea about the blindness of Israel.

Jim Bussell

02-14-2020

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