In Milton Mayer’s book They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45, he summed up the conduct of nations by saying “[n]ations are made not of oak and rock but of men, and, as the men are, so will the nations be.”[1]  Nazism in Germany became “a mass movement and not the tyranny of a diabolical few over helpless millions.”[2]  William Shirer, considering how a great country could lose its soul and conscience, remarked in “This is Berlin:” Radio Broadcasts from Nazi Germany “how thin and brittle the veneer of civilization can be.”[3]  What happened to these so-called Christian nations?  What were the foundations of their Christian faith?  Were they built on solid rock or shifting sand?  Were they built on the Word of God or the religions created by man?

These prophets prophesy falsehood in My Name! I did not send them nor command them nor speak to them. A false vision, divination, emptiness, and the deception of their heart are they prophesying to you. Jeremiah 14:14.

         What happened to the post-Holocaust Christian commitment in the 1950s to protect Jews when others seek their destruction?  The destruction of European Jewry awoke the collective Christian conscience shortly after the war.  However, after the miracle of the Six-Day War in 1967, the world was incensed that the Jews refused to be slaughtered again, the sacrificial lamb refused to lie down.  Since the creation of the State of Israel has overturned many Jewish stereotypes from the past 2,000 years, the “Jewish question” is now disguised as anti-Israel and anti-Zionism.  Even after Auschwitz and the murder of 6 million Jews, Christian anti-Semitism with the mainline churches still exists with its replacement theology.

In Genesis 25:23, Jacob and Esau become two separate nations of conflicting ideologies, a nation of faith and a nation of power.  Esau comes to represent Edom, which is identified with Rome and ultimately with the formal Christian establishment itself, which hates Judaism.  The Christian world was silent in 1939, when Hitler announced and began his plans for the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe, when the British issued its White Paper forbidding land sales to Jews and closing Jewish immigration in the British Mandate Palestine and when the U.S. government sent the S.S. St. Louis with Jews fleeing Nazi Germany of which half of the 937 refugees were women and children back to the death camps of Europe.

Today, Christian leaders of the Presbyterian, Methodist and Lutheran churches campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctioning of Israel and betray the Jewish people’s right to defend themselves against the threats of Palestinian terrorists who seek Jewish extermination.  Protestant-founded universities deny Jewish professionals from participating in university sponsored educational seminars, while fawning over Muslim terrorists.  The Nazis also began with boycotts of Jewish businesses and professionals and lending support to Muslim terrorists such as the Grand Mufti el-Husseini, Hitler’s disciple who incited murder against the Jews in the British Mandate Palestine and throughout the Muslim world.

The mainline Christian churches lost their moral authority long ago by their apathy and indifference to Jewish suffering and their moral decline is reflected in their dwindling members.  For these churches, the Holy Bible is read through the prism of church dogma and cannons.

Although a true Christian cannot be anti-Semitic, consciously or subconsciously anti-Semitism is deeply rooted in Christian church dogma and cannons.  However, is there something to understand hidden behind the dogma and cannons.  There are significant spiritual movements within Christianity today that draw closer to the Bible and recognize that the true Christian roots are Jewish.  The Synagogue has been called the “mother of the Christian church,” a place of prayer and of gathering to study the Holy Scriptures.[4]  Jesus never ceased teaching in the Synagogue.  The destruction of the Second Temple was a religious message to both Jews and Gentiles of a covenantal change to an internalized relationship with a more hidden God.

After God’s redeeming event of the Exodus, the Jewish people are the carriers of the message of redemption to the world by their very existence.  After the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and the Roman wars, Judaism moved from the Biblical era of God’s active intervention in history to the rabbinical era of God’s concealed involvement and the Covent of Abraham became an internalized and voluntary covenant.

The Holocaust and the rebirth of the State of Israel marked contradictory yet intensely connected events of destruction and redemption.  The term “Holocaust” means “burnt offering” or “sacrifice to God.”  The Holocaust opened up full human responsibility for the outcome of the covenant of redemption.

He will call upon Me and I will answer him, I am with him in distress; I will release him and I will bring him honor. With long life will I satisfy him, and I will show him My salvation. Psalms 91:15-16.

          I am with him in distress means that where Israel suffers, God is present suffering with God’s people.  Where was God at Auschwitz? God was there starving, beaten, gassed and burned alive, sharing the agony.

          The State of Israel is the message to the world of redemption with God’s eternal presence with the Jewish people as His witnesses in history.  The building of a Jewish society in Israel testifies to the existence of God.  We forget that God is known to the world through the Jewish people.  A Jew by affirming Jewish identity affirms God’s existence and Judaism means bearing witness to God.  Since God is hidden, Jewish people have to show the presence of God by testifying to the world of God’s existence.  Supporting the State of Israel and the return of Jewish religious life is a religious act.

This message of redemption carries forth into the Christian teaching of salvation for the world.  We are living now through a new revelational event as prophesied in Jeremiah, in which God shall be considered the God of the Return rather than as the God of the Exodus.

Therefore, behold, days are coming – the word of the Lord – when people will no longer swear, ‘As the Lord lives, Who brought the Children of Israel up from the land of Egypt,” but rather, “As the Lord lives, Who brought up and brought back the offspring of the House of Israel from the land of the North and from all the lands wherein He had dispersed them”; and they will dwell in their [own] land. Jeremiah 23:7-8.

 Copyright (c) 2013 by Martin M. van Brauman




[1] Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45, (1st ed. 1955), p.  x.

[2] Ibid., p. viii.

[3] William L. Shirer, “This is Berlin:” Radio Broadcasts from Nazi Germany, (1st ed. 1999), p.10.

[4] Jules Isaac, The Teaching of Contempt: Christian Roots of Anti-Semitism, (1st ed. 2nd printing 1964), p. 82.

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