Hitler and what it means to be a (real) Christian

I thought the following comment was particularly good in answering the absurd notion that Hitler was a Christian. I’ve talked about this before here. But this comment comes from a post titled, “Dinner with Hitler and Other Moral Issues.” The comment is a dialogue between “agnophilo” and the blog host, “rentafriend2000.”

Here are the salient points of Rentafriend’s response from the thread:

“You [agnophilo]: “On what planet does hitler constantly proclaiming his christian beliefs not in any way support the idea that he was christian? What in the world possibly could by that standard? Do we need to find some of his DNA and prove he had the christian gene or something?”

[Rentafriend2000]: I understand your point, and I can’t fault you for not knowing better, as the America church is barely literate enough to know better. This has been a major frustration for me for years, but I digress. Your point is a common one—you feel that being a Christian is no more than being a Cubs fan. You say, “Heck, I’ll root for this team,” and that’s all there is to it. But that is not at all what being a Christian is. That is, admittedly, all it takes to be a Lutheran, or a Methodist, or a Baptist. But choosing to attend a particular church doesn’t make one a Christian any more than going to Wrigley Field makes one a baseball player.

If you read the New testament, Jesus and the apostles make this very point. James 2:19 says “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” Jesus himself makes the distinction between his true followers and those who play the part in public in Matthew 7:21-23. Jesus himself does not distinguish between “Believe in me” and “follow me” and even “Obey me.” But he DOES separate those from “You CLAIMED to be mine,” or “you used my name.”

In short, there is nothing in the New Testament which would accept mere name dropping as equivalent to being a real follower of Christ. It’s not an arbitrary label to slap on yourself. It’s an act of the will- a dedication of one’s entire being, much like being married. This is why the church is called the “Bride of Christ.” We’re not the girlfriend. We’re a committed, covenant people- promised and wedded, paid for and united as one with our Lord. That is the only kind of Christian who actually exists. A Christian in name only is NOT a Christian at all. No we do not have new DNA, but we have a new heart and a new spirit. The fruits of the spirit Paul lists in Galatians 5:22 are a DNA test for Christians. CS Lewis talks about this in Mere Christianity, and if you’ve not read that I HIGHLY recommend it. It delivers what the title promises.”

“….So even if Hitler truly considered himself to be a Christian, all you have to do is go to the teaching of Jesus to see that nothing could be further from the truth. To claim he was a Christian is merely absurd and indefensible. Jesus called the Jews his brothers, not a poison. Jesus taught to love your enemies, not to murder them. Jesus taught to turn the other cheek, not to use violence to conquer the world. When even the church organizations have done otherwise, they have NOT acted as Christians, and in many cases proved that they were NOT Christians. This is what Martin Luther said of many of the later Crusaders. He said, “They call themselves a Christian army when there is not but five real Christians among them.” This distinction is not one I made up or one of the modern church. It comes from Jesus and the apostles.” [END QUOTE]

Again, you can read the whole thing here. Rentafriend’s point is valid. It doesn’t matter what Hitler said if his actions contradicted Jesus’ teachings.

Quote-mining a sociopath proclaiming to be a Christian isn’t a valid argument against Christianity. And there’s no such thing as a cultural Christian either, according to Jesus (and Paul and the rest). In order to follow Christ you must engage in a transformational relationship with the Living Word, letting Him reveal the “true thoughts and secret motives” of your heart and progressively transforming them.

For we have the living Word of God, which is full of energy, and it pierces more sharply than a two-edged sword. It will even penetrate to the very core of our being where soul and spirit, bone and marrow meet! It interprets and reveals the true thoughts and secret motives of our hearts. (Heb.4:12 TPT, emphasis added)

This painfully obvious truth may have escaped our notice in the confused post-modern West, but it’s a contradiction in terms to call Jesus “Lord” and not do what He says (Luke 6:46). And this has nothing to do with perfectly following Jesus but everything to do with progressively maturing in Christlikeness as you continue yielding your will to the transformational process (see Matt.5:48; Rom.12:1-2; Gal.4:19).

Finally, here’s a deep truth to ponder: you cannot rightly say you’re following Jesus if you’re not actually following Him. That’s religious self-deception (James 1:21-25), a duplicitous pretense that Jesus Himself rejects. As G.K. Chesterton rightly observed:

“Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”

Advertisements

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 38 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
This entry was posted in Christian apologetics, Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

99 Responses to Hitler and what it means to be a (real) Christian

  1. jim- says:

    It’s also easy to quote mine Chesterton, who, by the way, converted to Catholicism. One of those off the list you omitted above for obvious reasons.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Are you saying you can’t be a Catholic and follow Jesus? That would be strange.

      • jim- says:

        How could anyone with much sense join such a corrupt and miserable, manipulative,murderous history, the antithesis of “jesus”, but be smart enough to navigate through all the deception, lies, murderous popes and inquisition to find the real Jesus and follow him. You can’t be neck deep in cow dung and smell like a rose at the same time.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Sorry, you are creating a straw man here. The Catholic church has a very long history. It’s very easy to tear apart a political-religious system that’s 2,000 years old. And I am not excusing the wrong things they did. These are not secret. But within every Christian denomination there are true believer and those who are not. You cannot condemn the whole church for what has happened in their very long history (unless you want to renounce your US citizenship and not join most countries in the world for the same reason, too). You are also conflating political issues with what Christianity actually is about.

        • jim- says:

          I don’t have a choice but to live somewhere so your analogy is lacking apples to apples. But your reasoning is flawed. I might just as well find jesus as a nazi then if the organization doesn’t matter. And don’t pretend Catholicism isn’t a political entity.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I don’t have a choice but to live somewhere so your analogy is lacking apples to apples.

          Not true. You have a choice where to live. I’m sure you can find some part of the world not poisoned by religion. Go live there, be consistent. It’s a perfect analogy. If your principles dictate that you cannot be part of a group that has done evil things in history, then you should immediately renounce your citizenship to the US and not be any part of Europe either. That would at least make your convictions consistent.

          I might just as well find jesus as a nazi then if the organization doesn’t matter. And don’t pretend Catholicism isn’t a political entity.

          Sorry, this argument is incoherent. And I said that the Catholic institution was political so I don’t know what you’re point is.

        • jim- says:

          I do have a place in the Panama jungle mel. I have a quiet spot not poisoned by religion. It’s surrounded by Catholicism, but nobody is really catholic here anyway except by fertility. And they are Catholic because of religious invaders that stole all their gold and changed their language and culture.. by divine command of course. It is the product of religion, and it has stabilized a bit because anybody with the genetic predisposition to resist was killed off.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I do have a place in the Panama jungle mel. I have a quiet spot not poisoned by religion. It’s surrounded by Catholicism, but nobody is really catholic here anyway except by fertility.

          Good for you. And that’s about the only way you’re going to get away from the problem is to get away from human beings and governments. But wherever you go, there you are. And it still doesn’t address the issue of what following Christ actually means.

  2. tildeb says:

    How handy for you. Any time Christian beliefs are acted upon that produce outcomes that can be legitimately criticized, you can immediately disregard by claiming it’s not reflective of true Christianity. It’s a never-ending Get Out of Jail card for Christians that can be played over and over and over again so that the Christian beliefs that produce real suffering for real people in real life when used as a justification for actions are never, ever held accountable. It’s an ironclad defense.

    But here’s the thing: the use of this defense is quite revealing. This approach you want to use to defend Christianity from criticism reveals why religious belief as a justification for any action can not be moral; rather, it’s a moral capitulation because it can never be held responsible. Actions without moral responsibility are morally irresponsible. Thank you for showing us why Christian morality is in fact morally irresponsible.

    Maybe not so handy after all, eh?

    • Mel Wild says:

      LOL! No, it’s actually reading the Bible and finding out what Jesus said. It’s what being a follower of Jesus is, by definition, not because someone says they are one. It’s not a social club. It’s a way of life.

      What is handy is anti-Christians like you fallaciously appealing to Hitler’s pretensions in order to build up their straw man. Not to mention, the absurdity of your argument that what Jesus taught is immoral. Yes, we can say there are professed Christians who have been immoral, even true followers because they are not perfect, but they are immoral precisely because they are acting contrary to Jesus’ teachings.

      • tildeb says:

        I’m sure your family is relieved you place them lower in regard and concern than you do your savior because you follow the teachings of Jesus, which makes being a true Christian more important to you than being a true husband, father, son, brother. You wish to borrow this moral hierarchy and place yourself in it as your justification rather than own the one you act on that makes these blood relationships secondary in your esteem. That makes you morally irresponsible as a husband, father, son, brother because you use your religious belief to defend your actions and so transfer responsibility for them to your religion. You must follow Jesus’ teaching first, you see, and be concerned about your family’s welfare second in consideration, a welfare you say must first account for Jesus’ teachings that you must follow to be a true Christian.

        You can’t have it both ways, Mel. You are abdicating moral responsibility and giving it to Jesus.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You are mistaken and obviously don’t know what it means to follow Christ. You are alluding to some weird legalistic perversion. Following Jesus would make me a far better husband, father, son, or brother because I would be learning to walk in other-centered, self-giving love. I just don’t idolize them.

        • tildeb says:

          Yes, nothing says love like telling your family you must live in poverty to be a true Christian..

        • Mel Wild says:

          Living in poverty is not a Christian virtue. We’re not to love money or be greedy. It’s a condition of the heart. You can both love money and be greedy while living in poverty.

      • jim- says:

        “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple.

        • tildeb says:

          Now comes the ‘correct’ interpretation of this by apologists to maintain the fiction that there is a boundary between those who ‘misinterpret’ what Jesus supposedly said (and then act on this belief to pernicious effect) and what the true meaning must be… just so happening that the true Christian is the ‘correct’ interpreter! That’s why I say this defense is ironclad… to protect religious belief from legitimate criticism and exempted from moral responsibility from those who act using their religious beliefs as justification. Either one is not and never was a <i.true Christian but morally responsible or one is a true Christian and is morally irresponsible. Apologists can’t have it both ways if they wish to be honest… a conviction I have found to be ranked very low if at all on the apologetic scale of virtues.

          Indisputably, Hitler was a Christian. The real area of dispute is figuring out just how bad a Christian he was and not that he was not a Christian at all. Mel is pretending the link was never there to begin with, which is another form of historical revisionism in the name of Jesus (so, of course, Mel cannot possibly be held personally accountable for this intentional deceit to change history to accord with his pious beliefs).

        • jim- says:

          We’re not talking about just a few faux pas in Christian history. It is rife through and through where the religion is used to justify, divide, and rewrite the heathens history as well as their own moral high-road justification. It is the result of Christianity, and like you said, exempting itself from moral responsibility IS the problem. Deferring personal responsibility by having faith that someone is going to fix things in the future for them is the other side of this problem

        • tildeb says:

          Yes, and that assumption that things will get fixed at some future date by someone (or something else) plays out to HUGE pernicious effect. There’s a reason why there is a robust and close correlation between all kinds of denialism (AGW climate change and evolution are prime examples) and the level of religious belief (as well as a very uncomfortable link to racism). But God forbid religious folk take ownership of and responsibility for the effects of their denialism on ALL of us.

        • jim- says:

          The evidence that religion has against it is more convicting than any problem I can recall. But somehow, mere belief has become sacred and reality has become the goat.

        • Mel Wild says:

          We’re not talking about just a few faux pas in Christian history. It is rife through and through where the religion is used to justify, divide, and rewrite the heathens history as well as their own moral high-road justification.

          And I agree with you. Christianity was used to justify all kinds of evil in history. But that doesn’t mean that represents Christ’s teaching. I would counter it proves they weren’t following Christ at all. It was political and for other reasons that only show the failure of human nature.

          It is the result of Christianity, and like you said, exempting itself from moral responsibility IS the problem.

          Sorry, that straw man won’t stand. There is no teaching of Jesus that tells us to exempt ourselves from moral responsibility. That’s absurd. Those things done in the name of Christianity are NOT the result of people following Christ’s teachings, it cannot be. You will not find Jesus advocating this kind of behavior! It’s just nutty to try to conflate bad behavior of “Christians”(sic) to Jesus. The only honest thing we can conclude is that these evil things were the result of religious institutions using their power to manipulate and control people and do evil things thinking they were serving God. Jesus would’ve condemned these things outright! And these pretenders will have to face Jesus and account for their actions. There is no ‘Christian’ virtue of abdicating our responsibility as human beings in the world. That is simply a fallacious argument.

        • jim- says:

          It is the doctrine of repentance Mel that whatever you do, whatever you “sin” is all deferred to another entity for responsibility. And eventually Jesus will fix everything so to hell with the planet as well. There is no accountability when a third party can absolve your wrongs just because you ask. I really like the principle in theory, but in reality deferring everything to Jesus to mop up is not creating a culture of responsible society in the now. Confessing your sins and walking away without feeling accountability is immoral.

        • Mel Wild says:

          It is the doctrine of repentance Mel that whatever you do, whatever you “sin” is all deferred to another entity for responsibility.

          That is not a Christian doctrine. We are all held accountable for what we do and will have to answer for it. It’s a human problem that we all fail one another, so there is grace and forgiveness but that is no excuse to being irresponsible or not doing what is morally right. Repentance is not being sorry you did something; it’s reforming your thinking so you won’t ever want to do it again. Jesus would agree with you, simply confessing and feeling no accountability would be wrong.

        • jim- says:

          Grace and forgiveness and repentance are three sides of the same coin. Mere verbiage, same result. By grace you are saved is a loophole of excuse. I just believe! Does nothing towards accountability when by grace you are saved.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Grace and forgiveness and repentance are three sides of the same coin. Mere verbiage, same result. By grace you are saved is a loophole of excuse. I just believe! Does nothing towards accountability when by grace you are saved.

          That, again, is a fallacious argument. You are just taking the worst interpretations of these terms and constructing a straw man around them. God has made a way for us to enter into a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. We are forgiven because we all have failed one another and God and no one is justified in His sight. But grace is NOT an excuse to sin. Grace is the empowerment not to sin.

          11 God’s marvelous grace has manifested in person, bringing salvation for everyone. 12 This same grace teaches us how to live each day as we turn our backs on ungodliness and indulgent lifestyles, and it equips us to live self-controlled, upright, godly lives in this present age. (Titus 2:11-12 TPT)

          22–23 But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:
          joy that overflows,
          peace that subdues,
          patience that endures,
          kindness in action,
          a life full of virtue,
          faith that prevails,
          gentleness of heart, and
          strength of spirit.” (Gal. 5:22-23 TPT)

        • jim- says:

          It’s not fallacious. It’s just the outcome on a grand scale. I’m all for forgive and forget and hold no malice. But, counting on it from grace by faith, doing nothing in reality to fix anything is not accountability.

        • Mel Wild says:

          It’s fallacious because you are equating moral failings to Jesus’ teaching, and you cannot find that in His teaching. These people would be doing these in direct contradiction to what Jesus (or Paul or the others) taught.

          But believe whatever you want. I’m certainly not going to convince you. You’re mind’s already make up. I have a busy day.

        • jim- says:

          You actually agreed with me on the this a couple months back. Deferring responsibility and hoping someone else is coming down to fix it is a problem. Somehow I may not have been clear, but have a good day Mel.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You actually agreed with me on the this a couple months back. Deferring responsibility and hoping someone else is coming down to fix it is a problem.

          I did and do agree with you on that point. Deferring or abdicating our responsibility is wrong. But the point here is that this is not what Jesus taught. We are supposed to be responsible for our actions. That’s the whole point of the Sermon on the Mount. It’s just that we are freed from the condemnation of death because of our past mistakes. It’s never mean to be an excuse to stay unchanged. In fact, that’s the very opposite of following Jesus.

        • jim- says:

          Who wouldn’t sign up for that free pass? It’s probably the number one flaw for societies

        • Mel Wild says:

          Who wouldn’t sign up for that free pass? It’s probably the number one flaw for societies

          Making yourself god and hiding from the truth is also a human flaw. And who would want to leave a God who is called love for an ontology that’s devoid of meaning and purpose?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Indisputably, Hitler was a Christian.

          Thanks for your opinion, but it means absolutely nothing. Your assertion is patently false and your argument is fallacious. Jesus defines what it means to follow Him, not leaders in religious institutions, and certainly not what people say they are.

          21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matt.7:23 NIV)

          21-23 “Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’ (Matt.7:21-23 MSG)

          40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (Matt.25:40)

          Carry on with your straw man if you want. But no one with a brain and some rudimentary understanding of what Jesus taught will ever believe you.

        • Mel Wild says:

          LOL! And I suppose we’re supposed to cut off our hands and pluck out our eyes if they cause us to sin. Really? Are serious here? Some of the worst atrocities in history were done under the pretext you are using here! A wooden literal reading here is an absurdly wrong reading. That’s just simple exegesis 101. The word “hate,” in this context, simply means to not esteem people higher than God. It’s dealing (as the other principles are) with idolatry. These people had to leave their former way of living to follow Christ, which caused division within families who wanted to stay in their idolatry (literally in the pagan world).

          The modern translations bring out the meaning much better.

          “When you follow me as my disciple, you must put aside your father, your mother, your wife, your sisters, your brothers—yes, you will even seem as though you hate your own life. This is the price you’ll pay to be considered one of my followers.” (Luke14:25 NLT)

          “One day when large groups of people were walking along with him, Jesus turned and told them, “Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one’s own self!—can’t be my disciple. (Luke 4:26 MSG)

          Again, it’s a contradiction to say Jesus is “Lord” and make other things more important than Him. This is what Jesus is dealing with here.

      • john zande says:

        What is handy is anti-Christians like you fallaciously appealing to Hitler’s pretensions in order to build up their straw man.

        Much like your evangelical leaders today, like Jerry Falwell Jr, Hitler not only thought himself a very, very good Christian, but church leaders thought so, too… and that’s what is most important.

        It becomes quite awkward for you when we see praise heaped on Hitler by leading church figures, including

        Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber
        Cardinal Adolf Bertram
        Cardinal Theodor Innitzer
        Bishop Hans Meiser of the Bavarian Evangelical-Lutheran Church
        Bishop Rackl of Eichstätt
        Kirchenrat Julius Leutheuser
        The Catholic Hierarchy of Austria

        and Father Senn who said:

        [Adolf Hitler is] the tool of God

        • Mel Wild says:

          Thanks for making my point.

          And Christians like Dietrich Bonhoeffer were killed by the Nazis for actually standing up for Christian values.

        • john zande says:

          Making your point? LOL!

          Mel, you want to dismiss Hitler’s Christianity by claiming he was deceptive. Well, I’m afraid to say, by the fact that the church praised him is proof he was considered a very, very, very good Christian.

          Kirchenrat Julius Leutheuser, addressing German Christians in Saalfeld, August 30, 1933:

          The word “German” is God’s Word! Whosoever understands this is released from all theological conflicts. This is German: return home to Germany and leave behind egoism and your feelings of abandonment. …Christ has come to us through the person of Adolf Hitler. …Hitler has taken root in us; through his strength, through his honesty, his faith and his idealism we have found our way to paradise.

          Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber, meeting of Bavarian bishops on his meeting with Adolf Hitler, December 13, 1936:

          “The Führer commands the diplomatic and social forms better than a born sovereign. …Without a doubt the chancellor lives in faith in God. He recognizes Christianity as the foundation of Western culture. …Not as clear is his conception of the Catholic Church as a God-established institution.” As a result of this report, the conference votes to “once again affirm our loyal and positive attitude, demanded by the fourth commandment, toward today’s form of government and the Führer.” They assure the Führer they will provide him “all available moral resources his world-historical struggle aimed at repelling Bolshevism.”

          Catholic Hierarchy of Austria, March 18, 1938:

          We are also convinced that the activity of the National Socialist movement has averted the danger of an all-destroying atheistic Bolshevism. For the future, the bishops confer their heartiest blessing on this activity, and they will instruct the faithful to this effect. …it is for us a national duty, as Germans, to vote for the German Reich, and we also expect all believing Christians to demonstrate that they know what they owe to their nation.

          Bishop Hans Meiser of the Bavarian Evangelical-Lutheran Church, May 18, 1938:

          Pastors in the Bavarian regional church are required as public officials to perform the following oath: ‘I swear to God the Almighty and All-knowing: I will be loyal and obedient to the Führer of the Reich and Volk, Adolf Hitler, I will obey the laws, and I will conscientiously fulfill all my official duties, so help me God.’ This law is effective immediately.

        • Mel Wild says:

          LOL! You just couldn’t resist, could you Zandy! The quote-master himself! You obviously didn’t get the point of this post, otherwise you wouldn’t do such a stupid thing and prove my point.

        • john zande says:

          I know Mel, it’s awkward.

        • Mel Wild says:

          How ironic. You should try reading the post. It’s a bit embarrassing.

        • john zande says:

          Sure it is… To have church leaders praising him for being a good Christian.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Sure it is… To have church leaders praising him for being a good Christian.

          No. You are just parroting a fallacious argument. Saying you’re a Christian means nothing.

          21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matt.7:23)

        • john zande says:

          Father Senn, a Catholic priest, writing in a Catholic publication, May 15, 1934:

          [Adolf Hitler is] the tool of God

        • john zande says:

          I’m curious; is Jerry Falwell Jr a Christian?

        • john zande says:

          I like this line: Christ has come to us through the person of Adolf Hitler

        • Mel Wild says:

          Thanks for your fallacious argument. You are only proving the point of the post. I suppose we’ll get more quotes. LOL!

        • john zande says:

          Christ has come to us through the person of Adolf Hitler. …Hitler has taken root in us; through his strength, through his honesty, his faith and his idealism we have found our way to paradise.

        • g.w says:

          Mel, “Don’t argue with fools for they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” Prov. 26:4 (paraphrased)

        • Mel Wild says:

          Thanks, g.w. Good advice. I do need to be careful not to be dragged down to their own level.

          But it also goes on to say, “Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.” (Prov.26:5)

          I’m exposing their their argument (“wise in their own eyes”) for what it is, fallacious nonsense. 🙂

        • john zande says:

          Mel, is Jerry Falwell Jr. a Christian?

  3. I enjoyed this, Mel. For me being a Christian is much like falling in love. In the modern world we insist on trying to believe people can fall “in” and “out” of love just like that, but in truth it just doesn’t work that way at all. Nobody ever forgets their first love, not really. Or perhaps it’s more like being born. There’s really no such thing as just saying, Well, one day I just chose to be “unborn.”

    I see no valid evidence of Hitler being an actual Christian or of Christianity having caused Hitler’s atrocities. But that point is actually irrelevant because Hitler was also a great painter who loved art and yet we don’t go about blaming art for Hitler’s atrocities. If anything you could say that Hitler’s atrocities were enabled because of a regionally complicit church, a church failing to stand in Christ, parts of that having to do with placing politics and power before Christian values. So Hitler’s atrocities were actually enabled due to a lack of Christianity in some quarters.

    • Mel Wild says:

      If anything you could say that Hitler’s atrocities were enabled because of a regionally complicit church, a church failing to stand in Christ, parts of that having to do with placing politics and power before Christian values. So Hitler’s atrocities were actually enabled due to a lack of Christianity in some quarters.

      You have a good point there. Most of Europe was duped by Hitler, not just the Catholic Church. Add in Europe’s deep anti-Semitism at the time and fear and voila! But it was the real German Christians like Bonhoeffer who smelled a rat and were killed by the Nazis for it. One thing we know for sure, what Hitler did was in direct opposition to Jesus’ teachings. It doesn’t matter who praised him in the Vatican. He was not following Christ by any stretch of the imagination. If he was a Christian then the devil is a Christian. It’s an absolutely absurd argument to call him a Christian.

  4. Nan says:

    LOL!

    … there is nothing in the New Testament which would accept mere name dropping as equivalent to being a real follower of Christ. It’s not an arbitrary label to slap on yourself.

    How true. How very true. And yet … people do it everyday. And who is to say whether it is an “arbitrary label” or not? Only your “Master” knows for sure. And this includes Hitler.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Sorry, not sure what your point is.

      • Nan says:

        You (or anyone else) cannot positively know Hitler’s spiritual standing. Yes, “Christian” could be an “arbitrary label” that was given to him by others … or it could be that he was “a real follower of Christ.”

        My point is … only “God” knows for sure.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Okay, sure, we can’t know his heart but that’s a totally meaningless point here. What’s relevant is that we CAN certainly judge his actions, whether or not they were representative of the Christian faith. Using fear, intimidation, and incinerating Jews is definitely not following Christ! It’s absolutely evil, according to what Christ taught. Therefore, we can definitively say that he was not following Christ.

          Jesus Himself said that just calling yourself a Christian is no proof that you are one. And there’s no positive evidence that Hitler was following Christ. In fact, all of his actions proved to be the very opposite of what Christ taught. So the argument that we can associate Hitler with true Christianity is absurd nonsense. It doesn’t matter what he said or what other religious leaders who were duped by his deception said about him. This argument is bogus.

        • Nan says:

          Words of Hitler (from CBN.com): “In this hour I would ask of the Lord God only this: that He would give His blessing to our work, and that He may ever give us the courage to do the right. I am convinced that men who are created by God should live in accordance with the will of the Almighty. No man can fashion world history unless upon his purpose and his powers there rests the blessings of this Providence.”

          Yes, outward appearances often tell a different story than self-proclamations. But have you considered that perhaps in his heart he actually did consider himself to be “righteous” for getting rid of those “nasty” Jews? After all, he wrote: “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord..”

          Yes … by all moral standards, he certainly didn’t “follow Christ.” But like I said, only “God” knows for sure.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Nice quote-mining (you obviously didn’t watch the video that went with it). And, in his heart, he might’ve been sincere? Are you kidding me! Are you really that gullible? Do you believe everything politicians tell you? LOL! Hitler was a lying snake! It’s not that hard to figure out. We know now by his actions that he said these things as part of a deceitful strategy to gain power in a Germany that was still very religious at the time.

          Notice that all the quotes like these are from the 1930’s while he was hoodwinking the Vatican and just about all of Europe. They were gullible fools for believing him (many didn’t, like Bonhoeffer) but he was no Christian, no more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If he sincerely believed his own propaganda then he would have to have been a raving lunatic, but he knew exactly what he was doing. And, of course, you’ll notice that no one praised him once his true colors were revealed. No, he was a very charismatic charlatan and an effective and deceptive liar who was probably the most evil person to have ever lived, definitely of those in the 20th century.

          Jesus said we can know a tree from the fruit it produces. Good trees simply don’t produce bad fruit. Hitler’s fruit was extremely evil. And his doctrines were the very opposite of Christian doctrines. He considered the Jews a sub-race of people. You can’t say this and actually believe the Bible. That alone makes him antichrist, not a Christian! He simply played on people’s religious sentiments like a fiddle to deceive and then murdered 6 million people to show where his heart really was! I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but this is probably the dumbest argument of all that anti-Christians try to pull that’s just plain imbecilic. You simply cannot associate Hitler with Christian values any more than you can associate the devil with them just because he quoted the Bible to Jesus.

          And it’s just not a matter of someone’s outward actions not quite lining up with their profession of faith (like most Christians); it’s someone intentionally and deceitfully doing the very opposite—the most evil thing imaginable. No, he was no Christian no matter how you look at it.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Btw, here’s the video where you got this quote. You should quote all the other things Hitler said. LOL!
          http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/churchhistory/godandhitler/

        • Nan says:

          I rarely watch videos as I have a hearing problem and find it difficult to “keep up.”

          However, having said that … I did NOT “quote mine.” I just googled Hitler to see what was out there and came across the two quotes I offered.

          Quite frankly, Mel, in my mind, your reaction is overboard. All you had to say is something like … “I disagree with your analysis. Suggest you do more research as I think you’re missing some important information about Hitler.” Instead, you castigate me (and I’m not the only person you do this to) for disagreeing with you.

          I don’t expect everyone to agree with me when I write a post for my blog. But I do try to remain respectful to those who disagree. Maybe you should try doing the same.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I was remaining respectful, Nan. But to say Hitler might’ve been sincere in his faith is just utterly ridiculous, showing an ignorance of history or just being disingenuous. There’s no nicer way to say it. We’re not talking about some wayward Christian who messed up here. We are talking about one of the most maniacally evil murderers who ever lived. And if I overreact it’s because I get tired of anti-Christian atheists and secularists quoting Hitler and trying to associate him with what Christianity really is. That argument is idiotic. What he might’ve said in his political propaganda means absolutely nothing. He was a proven liar.

          We can agree to disagree on a lot of things and leave it there, but there’s absolutely no credible reason to call Hitler a Christian. It totally makes being a Christian meaningless. So, don’t expect to make ridiculous assertions like this here and not be challenged, especially when these kinds of comments are designed to malign having faith in Christ. There is no confusion here. Hitler was the very opposite of what it means to be Christian. And I won’t apologize or back off from making that point. He was evil incarnate.

        • Nan says:

          “So, don’t expect to make ridiculous assertions like this here and not be challenged, especially when these kinds of comments are designed to malign having faith in Christ.”

          Did I say anywhere in my comments that he was a Christian?? And where did I “malign” having faith in Christ? I simply offered some quotes attributed to Hitler that I found on the web that offered another perspective from yours. It’s totally your prerogative to view Hitler (or anyone) any way you choose.

          BTW, unless you password protect your blog, you’re indicating you are open to comments from anyone — including those who disagree, criticize, and/or challenge what you have written. Even the “anti-Christian atheists and secularists” that tire you. 🙂

        • Mel Wild says:

          I simply offered some quotes attributed to Hitler that I found on the web that offered another perspective from yours.

          Yes, you were offering Hitler’s perspective! And, sorry, you weren’t just quoting him. Here’s what you said at first:

          You (or anyone else) cannot positively know Hitler’s spiritual standing. Yes, “Christian” could be an “arbitrary label” that was given to him by others … or it could be that he was “a real follower of Christ.”
          My point is … only “God” knows for sure.

          No, we CAN know for sure. He wasn’t following Christ! While we may not know his true “spiritual standing” we DO know the fruit of his actions. To say Hitler might’ve been a “real follower of Jesus” is absolutely absurd and false. You can’t say you’re following someone and when you’re doing the very opposite thing. This is the point of Matt.7:21-23. Jesus does not accept this charade. To say we can’t know is to make His statement meaningless.

          BTW, unless you password protect your blog, you’re indicating you are open to comments from anyone — including those who disagree, criticize, and/or challenge what you have written.

          LOL! Yes, my blog is open to all. But what tires me is not that anti-Christians or secularists disagree or even criticize me. That’s fine. And I will and do acknowledge valid points. We can agree to disagree on many things. But this is not one of them. Again, I’m not trying to be disrespectful of people but this is the only way I can say this. In this particular case with Hitler, it is an absolutely imbecilic argument that has no legs to stand on and that no honest person who understands history or Christian theology would ever make. Only the most gullible fool would say Hitler was following Jesus after we know what we know now. These are not just disagreements or differences in perspectives, they are invalid arguments. It’s like saying a circle could be a square, and who really knows. It’s absurd.

          These kinds of absurdities should be refuted and exposed for what they are, utter nonsense, because they confuse and demean what it means to follow Christ. And I will refute them without apology. But if people want to look like fools and keep saying these things on my blog, that’s fine, too. I will just keep them here for all to see. And, again, I’m not applying what I’m saying here to all arguments, but I am to this one, and I won’t accept such nonsense as a credible alternative view because it isn’t. It makes a mockery of following Christ.

        • Nan says:

          Whatever …

          If everything you’ve written related to Hitler has made you feel better, then I’m happy for you.

        • Mel Wild says:

          LOL! No, I’m just refuting nonsense. I don’t feel either way about it.

        • Nan says:

          LOL! You could have fooled me.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Then you don’t know nonsense when you see it. And thinking that you could even suggest that Hitler was sincere about his faith is naïve and foolish.

        • Nan says:

          I was responding to your comment about not feeling either way about it.

          Have a good night.

        • Mel Wild says:

          It doesn’t make me feel better or worse. You will believe whatever you want anyway. I’m just telling it like it is. Good night.

        • tildeb says:

          Who is a true Christian? As far as I can tell, only Jesus, and even he according to all reports wasn’t all that true using Mel’s definition. So that raises a level of irony here (for which Mel is obviously oblivious) in that the father of Mel’s Protestantism (true for all its current forms) comes from Luther, a man whose anti-Jewish sentiments seem to have been nearly fulfilled by Hitler’s commitment to act on them. So according to Mel, Luther was definitely no true Christian, either, which rather begs the question, doesn’t it?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I don’t think you’re getting the point, Tildeb. It’s no secret that most of Europe, including Luther (late in his life) were anti-Semitic. But Luther didn’t try to exterminate them, killing over 6 million Jews. Luther said a lot of ugly things but he never suggested that they should be exterminated. Luther was not the most evil man in his century. Luther did not want to change the German churches into a church that worshiped him like Hitler did, who in 1942 proposed “The National Reich Church,” with his 30-point plan that included taking out the crosses and banning Bibles and replacing them with swastikas and Mein Kampf, forbidding pastors or priests from speaking in church and installing his own henchmen, the National Reich orators. As I said in the post, we’re not talking about a Christian being perfect to be a true Christian, or someone like Luther just being a product of his times. We’re talking about not calling probably the most evil monster that ever lived a follower of Jesus just because he invoked Jesus in his campaign propaganda.

          “The destruction of Christianity was explicitly recognized as a purpose of the National Socialist Movement.”
          – Baldur Von Schirach, Head of Hitler Youth

          “I’m absolutely clear in my own mind, and I think I can speak for the Fuhrer as well. That both the Catholic and Protestant churches must vanish from the life of our people.”- Dr. Alfred Rosenberg, Nuremberg Congress, 1938 (Hitler was present to affirm his words)

        • Mel Wild says:

          Here’s a contrast for you. Luther translated the Bible into the German language for the first time so that the people could read it for themselves. Hitler banned the Bible in Germany in 1942. Yeah, he was an upstanding Christian guy. LOL!

        • tildeb says:

          You’re coming at this backwards, Mel, and that’s the point you keep missing. It was during Hitler’s rise to power that he presented himself as a true Christian and no one had any reason to doubt his sincerity. For all intents and purposes and at that time, the guy was a ‘good’ Christian. You’re looking backwards in the same way you do regarding those who have left the faith using the the Not a True Scotsman fallacy and claiming they were never a true Christian. That’s the falsehood you are maintaining. And that’s why I raise Luther who also spouted equivalent antisemitism, who set the example for Hitler of what being a good Protestant sounds like. So my point is that you couldn’t tell the difference during this time that Hitler was not a true Christian (because of what later followed) any more than you can dismiss the true Christians who later left the faith. To do so is obviously using the Not a True Scotsman fallacy… which is why it IS a fallacy in reasoning.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You’re coming at this backwards, Mel, and that’s the point you keep missing. It was during Hitler’s rise to power that he presented himself as a true Christian and no one had any reason to doubt his sincerity.

          And you’re being very naïve (or disingenuous). It’s really reaching here to try to make the claim that the “good Christian Hitler” just fell away from the faith. That has no legs to stand on. He presented himself as a “good Christian”(sic) before he had any power because that was the only way he could gain power. He was the epitome of a lying, baby-kissing politician. And nationally broken and gullible 1930’s Germany bought into his lies hook, line, and sinker because he was a master manipulator (his Brown Shirt henchmen also helped strong-armed him into power through fear and intimidation). No one really knew how deceptive Hitler really was until afterward. He talked a good game, but now we know better.

          Just one example, Hitler employed the same deceptive tactics with the Stalin that he employed with the Catholic Church. He hated Stalin and the Russian people but signed a peace agreement so that Stalin wouldn’t attack him from the East while he was taking over Europe in the West. But then, when he thought he had the advantage, he invaded Russia. He showed his true colors. This is the same tactic with his agreement with the Pope to ensure religious freedom in exchange for politically supporting him in the early 30s. This was quickly reversed in the early 40s by banning Bibles and declaring his own religion which would ban priests from even speaking in churches. He was a very convincing and deceptive liar that would do anything to gain the advantage.

          So, no, it’s not a fallacious argument at all. We know now what his real intent was. The only thing we can conclude is that Hitler only worshiped himself. He put real Christians in prison and had them killed (like Bonhoeffer). We see the real Hitler by the late 30s. He hated Christians because they posed a threat to his power.

          The fallacy is in trying to associate Hitler’s deeds with Christianity. It’s exactly the same logic white supremacists use but it’s an evil lie.

        • tildeb says:

          I think there are elements of Hitler’s outlook that really do connect with pernicious religious beliefs like antisemitism and distrusting other tribes. But these are not uncommon and are not caused by Christianity even though they might be deeply associated it. What I am pointing out is that Hitler was Christian (and not atheist nor motivated by any ‘atheist’ dogma) in exactly the same way you are: by self identifying as such… for reasons that may or may not match up or measure up to the other. That measuring up is not the point. The point is you can’t cast aside a person’s proclaimed self identity yesterday on the basis of future actions. That’s what you’re trying to do with both Hitler and any ex-Christian, that neither was a true Christian to begin with. That point remains no matter how much you wish to denigrate and use later actions to deny the truth of a former self-identity.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I think there are elements of Hitler’s outlook that really do connect with pernicious religious beliefs like antisemitism and distrusting other tribes. But these are not uncommon and are not caused by Christianity even though they might be deeply associated it.

          I agree with you that Hitler appealed to the very ugly side of Christian religion in history (as opposed to Christ’s teachings), like the deep antisemitism in Europe. No argument there. But distrust of other tribes is a human problem going back to the beginning of civilization. You can’t quite lay that on Christianity. And people have been invoking God for centuries as a pretext to do evil things. So, it’s guilt by association, like you say. That’s true, but it’s not my argument.

          What I am pointing out is that Hitler was Christian (and not atheist nor motivated by any ‘atheist’ dogma) in exactly the same way you are: by self identifying as such… for reasons that may or may not match up or measure up to the other.

          First, he would only be a Christian(sic) if you defined it like a club membership which, unfortunately, is a common misunderstanding in our culture. But, according to Jesus’ clear teaching, he was no Christian at all. There is no such thing in the Bible. And there technically is no atheist dogma so I’m not claiming that. Hitler probably hated atheists, too. Who knows since he lied about everything. But this is not just a matter of someone self-identifying themselves as a “Christian” and behaving badly, but a maniacal, power-hungry, hate-driven sociopath saying whatever it takes to deceive and do morally reprehensible things. We know that now from the facts of history. The only other way we could look at this is that Hitler himself was delusional and quite insane (which is probably true anyway).

          Look, we’re probably not going to agree on whether Hitler was ever a Christian or not. I can argue from the Bible and his actions that he was a deceptive liar who only used Christianity as a pretext to gain power. But suppose we hypothetically conceded that Hitler was a Christian and then fell away when power got to his head, if you will. Then we can only honestly conclude that the “good Hitler” represented Christianity, and “bad Hitler” did not represent Christianity, but someone who actually hated Christianity. It’s not an argument against Christianity itself.

          So, I agree that there is prima facia guilt by association with ugly parts of Christians behaving badly in the past. However, looking at it more deeply, it’s a straw man argument to say that Hitler represented Christian values or behavior when he did quite the opposite. He was an evil monster. And we can’t even say he was a Christian at all based on what we know now. He was just a very good liar. I think I will need to leave it there.

  5. It may simply be wild coincidence but I followed the link from one of your comments on Branyan’s blog here to learn more about you. I hit the menu, picked a topic and the very first blog I read starts with a long quote from me! And I must say, it’s good to know that I’ve said anything worth quoting.
    Thanks for sharing the love of God with other people, Mel!

    • Mel Wild says:

      You’re welcome. Well, it was a very good point about Hitler and what it actually means to be a Christian. You’ll see from the comments here that atheists will do whatever they can to try to pin Christianity on Hitler.

      • tildeb says:

        There’s no pinning involved. There’ simply the historical record. Remember, Hitler has been used what seems like forever by faitheists determined to attribute the atrocities of his regime to atheism when the historical fact is that Hitler was self identified as a Christian, recruited huge numbers of Christians to his cause, and had the full support of most if not all the Christian organizations in Germany. You would have been a lone voice in 1936 claiming the guy wasn’t a Christian because, well, you know, what he might do later, blah, blah, blah. Sorry, Mel. That’s called revisionist history.

        I understand why you want to distance Christianity as you understand it from having Hitler as a card carrying member but you can only feel justified doing so backwards and say his later actions did not reflect the core beliefs of your faith. That’s fine. But that doesn’t change the fact that the guy was a Christian even if you say his later actions were not representative of Christianity. That’s rewriting history.

        • Hitler was NOT a Christian. That is a well documented fact, extensively covered by many historians and researchers. However, IF Hitler was a Christian, that still has no bearing on the existence of God, and is completely irrelevant in light of the peer reviewed testimony coming from millions of Christians who declare that not only is God good,He values life and life abundant.

          This line of atheist argument is about as ridiculous and juvenile as someone claiming dogs are the root of all evil since the Son of Sam had a dog and he was a serial killer.

        • tildeb says:

          Covered by whom?

          Hitler was born into a Christian family and was raised as a Christian. His family paid tithes to the Christian church. His sister was as much a Christian as he was. Now you want to…. what? Pretend he wasn’t? Get over yourself.

          I will certainly grant you that Hitler turned out to be not such a good Christian but he played the Christian card as well as, say, Oral Roberts or Joel Osteen. Whether or not YOU think he or these other fellows was a good Christian or not doesn’t matter a tinker’s damn; historically speaking the man like these others was Christian! To deny that is to deny history.

          Hitler certainly wasn’t anti-Christian in his early life or his war period (he carried a Bible) or during his incarceration or during his rise to political power. He was not anti-Christian prior to the Plebiscite that gave him powers far beyond the Constitution (ah, the joy of popularity!) nor anti-Christian when he undertook to consolidate his political authority. But he became anti-Christian when he took absolute power because he would allow nothing to thwart the closing of the circle. Religious belief that threatened this absolute power was like any other threatening detraction from his ultimate goal: something to be destroyed. But that doesn’t alter the historical fact that the man was a Christian… right up until he wasn’t. That’s the ONLY argument about when he finally crossed that line and not that there was never any line to cross as you are pretending.

        • “Religious belief that threatened this absolute power was like any other threatening detraction from his ultimate goal: something to be destroyed.”

          Read what you just wrote back to yourself slowly.

          Religious belief always threatens the absolute power of tyrants and so it must be rejected personally….. and destroyed politically.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Exactly, IB. That’s why the only way you can associate what Jesus actually taught to evil people like Hitler is that it’s always a threat to their power.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Hitler was born into a Christian family and was raised as a Christian. His family paid tithes to the Christian church. His sister was as much a Christian as he was. Now you want to…. what? Pretend he wasn’t? Get over yourself.

          Of course, that’s superficially true. Just like a lot of people today who call themselves atheists who grew up in a Christian home. But none of those things make you a Christian (a follower of Christ, biblically speaking). Christianity is not a club you can join. Jesus made that clear in Matt.7:21-23. “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord…”only those who do what He says. To those who give lip service He will say, “I never knew you.” That how Jesus defines whether someone is a Christian or not, not 20th century Christendom.

          And it makes no difference what a person says. He was obviously the consummate lying politician, who only kept up the pretense until he gained power. He was a master at manipulation and propaganda. That’s obvious. Some of the church (and a lot of Europe) were duped by him in the 30s, partly out of fear.

          But there’s no question what Hitler really was, He wasn’t just a bad example of a Christian, He was truly antichrist. There was arguably no one more evil than him in modern history. To say he was a poor example is an insult any thinking person’s intelligence. But I wouldn’t associate him with atheism either. He hated atheists, too. He used Catholicism, anti-Semitic Europe, Genetic theories of the time, German Folklore, and fear to create his own “religion” where only Hitler could be worshiped. He was a narcissistic sociopath.Hitler never changed his spots. He was evil from the start.

        • tildeb says:

          The point is that Hitler did not operate in a vacuum and the industrialized pogrom against Jews was merely an extension of a central Christian value throughout Christendom: Jew hating.

          One of the reasons religious belief is so pernicious is because it’s like a social disease that continues to transmit, protect, and institutionalize the worst characteristics of humanity by protecting the cultural environment from which these atrocities emerge. That responsibility lies at the feet of those who refuse to allow religious authority ownership of the specific problems the theology supports. The No True Scotsman fallacy is getting very old. Claiming Hitler’s later excesses is somehow divorced from these common Christian values of misogyny and bigotry from which they emerged is like claiming the Catholic Church is divorced from transmitting, protecting, and institutionalizing sexual abuse ripe within its ecclesiastical ranks, that every pedophile priest isn’t a real Catholic and never was. I think that argument is entirely self-serving and facetious.

        • Mel Wild says:

          The point is that Hitler did not operate in a vacuum and the industrialized pogrom against Jews was merely an extension of a central Christian value throughout Christendom: Jew hating.

          You are confusing “Christian” culture with Christian values. In 20th Century Christendom is not necessarily the same thing as being a Christian. One is cultural, the other is a way of life by following Jesus. And to say that a central Christian value is Jew hating is absolutely absurd. The people who were in power in Christendom hated Jews, yes, most of Europe felt the same way. But, THE POINT IS, that’s the very OPPOSITE of Jesus’ teachings. Hitler was a product of his own times, in a very evil way, but he was a Christin like he was a German. He was a very evil German, but we don’t blame the German people for Hitler. What you’re trying to do by associating Hitler with Christian values is absurd.

          One of the reasons religious belief is so pernicious is because it’s like a social disease that continues to transmit, protect, and institutionalize the worst characteristics of humanity by protecting the cultural environment from which these atrocities emerge.

          In some ways I agree with you. The institutionalized and/or state religion can be very pernicious because, like any powerful organization, it does a lot of wrong things to protect itself. And these people probably are Christians, but their behavior is more cultural and psychological, NOT because they’re following Christian values, but their own prejudices, fear, and greed. Christ taught against those very things.

          This is why I actually think it’s a good thing that we live in a post-Christendom world where these things can be separated from true Christian values. That’s also why a lot of Christians don’t like using the word, “Christian.”

          The No True Scotsman fallacy is getting very old.

          And trying to blame Christianity for Hitler is also getting very old. Your claim of a “No True Scotsman” fallacy is a fallacy. You are trying to associate Christian values with Christendom and Hitler. THAT is a fallacy. Hitler did the very OPPOSITE of what Christ taught! I defy you to show me one teaching of Christ that would motivate a person to act like Hitler. Jesus, a Jew, wouldn’t have taught us to hate Jews. That’s utterly ridiculous.

          If you want to continue with this tact, then we must also blame science, secularism, and Evolutionary theory for just about every atrocity that happened in the 20th century since most were not religiously motivated. And more people were murdered in the 20th century than in all of human history combined. Science gave us the atom bomb and biological weapons, genetics gave us the eugenic atrocities, so science is pernicious and evil. This is the same logic you’re using.

        • Nan says:

          I agree. Just because an individual assumes the tag of “Christian” does not mean that person is “Christ-like” — in the past or today. The atrocities of both history and modern day prove this out.

          By the same token, those who assume the label of non-believer (atheist, if you prefer) are not representative of inhumanities that have occurred over the years.

          In reality, for any of us to judge the actions of people on either side is pernicious and most certainly does nothing to further the advancement of humankind.

        • tildeb says:

          There is no ‘either side’! This is a false dichotomy, Nan, because atheism as you should well know by now is an empty set; Christianity is not. Atheism has no dogma, no claim to authority, no moral precepts. Christianity does.

          And the truly noxious idea that one cannot judge the horrendous action of people causing real harm to real people in real life without being considered even worse is beyond the pale of reason. This is the very worst kind of apologetics that empowers accommodationism for the worst excesses of humanity.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I agree with you, Nan. What a person does can be considered pernicious or morally wrong, but that’s not a reflection on Christianity or secularism.

        • tildeb says:

          No, it’s not the same logic at all. And I’m not blaming religion for Hitler. All I’m saying is that Hitler was considered as Christian as any Pope is considered Catholic. You keep importing the fallacy that Hitler was never a true Christian because he committed atrocities, in the same way Catholics use the fallacy to claim all those priests and the people throughout all the Catholic organizations that covered up and contributed to all kinds of abuse were never Catholics. That’s ridiculous. The reasoning you’re using is based entirely on this No True Scotsman fallacy.

        • Mel Wild says:

          In other words, you are committing the genetic fallacy, trying to associate Hitler, his cultural upbringing, prejudices, and evil behavior with Christian values.

        • tildeb says:

          I know it looks like the genetic fallacy but there’s a difference: Hitler’s atrocities were carried out by a willing population because the culture had already been saturated in Christian bigotry against the Jews. Religion is not somehow divorced from the effects its dogma produces as you are trying to do. They really are related against a very specific religious target for entirely religious reasons. You can pretend that Christian values have nothing whatsoever to do with this Christian influence carried out by many Christians in the name of Christianity against a foe of Christianity. But at some point you’re going to have to recognize the common thread and account for it rather than wave it away. Your religious beliefs are the fertile soil out of which such influence can be used to harm real people in real life in the name of Christianity in exactly the same way religious beliefs are the fertile soil out of which ‘terrorists’ can carry out mass murder in real life in the name of Islam. There is zero difference in the reasoning. But excusing one means you cannot condemn the other, and this the rising problem all of us face.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Anti-Semitism is not a Christian dogma. There is nothing that Hitler did that was based on Christian dogma, but for cultural-political reasons.

        • tildeb says:

          Well, Mel, you may not think anything Hitler did was derived from Christian dogma but the founder of your branch of Christianity certainly thought there was ample scripture to support strong antisemitism upon which Hitler gained support from the wider Christian population but implemented policies based on it widely supported by the local Christian population and Christian institutions. Luther himself didn’t support this antisemitic ‘value’ for cultural-political reasons! He argued it was pious to do so (just as Catholics have argued forever that it is pious to submit to the Church’s authority), which makes it part of the dogmatism you associate with when you claim your religious identity comes from this branch of Christianity. Hitler’s antisemitism was not divorced from his religious upbringing or his Christian background but very much a part of it.

          You may not like it but your version of Christianity was not the measuring stick at the time Hitler lived nor is it a reasonable measuring stick for you to declare now who was and was not Christian then.

        • Mel Wild says:

          So, Jesus taught that it was okay to be anti-Semitic? That’s really strange. Jesus is the ONLY measuring stick by which we can discern Christian values, not the opinions of men in history who had issues.

          By trying to conflate Christian values with individual or organizational behavior, good or bad, is not only a genetic fallacy but it evacuates any meaning of word, “Christian.” We don’t base our values on human failure. We base them on Christ. We cannot say that Hitler was a Christian in any meaningful way, only by cultural and political association.

        • tildeb says:

          When faitheists quote how many Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and so on there are in the world, where oh where are the ‘real’ Christians pointing out that almost none of the Christians being touted for their population size are no, according to Mel, real Christians? In fact, I just went by a rather large church today whose sign quoted Acts 16:31. It seems to me that that is the only precept one needs to be considered a Christian. Maybe not a good Christian according to you but a Christian nevertheless. In other words, Hitler could have said as much before dying and would be a full blown Christian versus those he gassed to death who never believed similarly. You trying to distance the man and his actions from real Christianity doesn’t change the historical fact that Hitler was by definition as well as a self admitting Christian!

        • Mel Wild says:

          Well, you have a point in this. I think we can rightly say that most of these people in the world are theists, but are they’re actually followers of Christ is another story. It’s hard to say because it’s a personal faith issue. But we can judge the fruit.

          And our “Christian” culture has confused the terminology more than anyone else for centuries, so no argument there.

          But, on the other hand, to say that Hitler was a Christian totally renders the term meaningless. We might as well say that all Germans are anti-Semitic murdering Nazi sociopaths because they pledge allegiance to their country. So, you won’t gain any credibility from anyone who knows anything about theology by saying that Hitler reflected Christian values in any meaningful sense of the word. They will just tune you out because they know better. That’s all I’ll say on it for now. Hitler was a perfect example of saying one thing and believing quite another.

  6. Pingback: Christendom is dead…long live Christianity! | In My Father's House

  7. Hello I am by name Adamu Daniel ‘ am really lnprest by your Write up I am presently writIng a book title Christianity $ faith I will like to work with you if Possible you can email Me Throw dannyAdams3oo@gmail.com ThanK alot

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.