Starting in 1878, Julius Wellhausen, a German theology professor and author of numerous books, began to proclaim that the Bible was a book of stories but not the divinely inspired Word of God. He taught countless Germans that the Bible could not be trusted, but human reason could be. This philosophy became known as Higher Criticism or German rationalization, and this liberal philosophy jumped the ocean and become popular on the east coast and then spread throughout America. So how did this false teaching impact the German culture, including the German churches, and lay the foundation for the acceptance of Adolph Hitler? Dr. David Breese writes:
The initial effect of German rationalization upon a Christian culture was on the schools, churches, and scholarship of Europeâ€¦.Even so, religion still continued in Europe. There were still large churches, burning candles, beautiful choirs, lovely stained glass windows, congregationsâ€¦all of that was still thereâ€¦.The Bible was only empty pages written by men who were now dead, rather than revelation of the living God. European Christianity was destroyed from within while still possessing the external form by which it had been known for centuriesâ€¦the leaders quoted everything but the Bible and preached everything but the gospel, and reality was goneâ€¦.It was because of religious liberalism that Europe lost its soul.
European Christianity was compromised and changed into a false religion from within as German rationalization or Higher Criticism led the people to follow a humanistic religion. Germany was Hitler's for the taking because absolute truth and the gospel of Jesus Christ had long since been betrayed, and thus the German people believed that the end justified the means. As long as the people were to regain their national pride and their financial abundance, they would go along with Hitler's message of hope and change. The masses went along, but as has happened throughout history-and as is happening today in America-God has a remnant that remains true to Him and His Word.
The remnant is a small group of Christians that stands faithful and firm in their Biblical convictions even in the face of persecution and ridicule. The remnant is often met with hostility not only by the world but by the members of the postmodern, dominant, false church which includes not only those calling themselves Christians but can include those calling themselves deacon, elder, pastor or evangelical. The remnant can also find themselves being ridiculed by their own family members. Matthew 10:36 declares, "and a man's enemies will be those of his own household."
A dominant false church is rising, largely due to pansies in the pulpit, but the remnant is to contend for the faith and oppose the false teachers that have crept in unnoticed by most. These false teachers have turned the grace of our God into lewdness, and they deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 3-4)
The remnant as revealed in Revelation 14:12 are those who remain faithful to the cause of Jesus Christ even during great apostasy. "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Romans 11:5 declares, "Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace." Because of God's grace, not because of our good works, God has seen fit to save us unto Himself.
History screams that ideas have consequences, that worldview matters. The vast majority of the German people, including German Christians, willingly traveled the road to Hitler's hell, largely because they had lost the courage of their convictions, they had sold out to paganism, pragmatism, and a new gospel that promised everything and required nothing. David Breese sums it up this way:
It is obvious that Europe, despite its vaunted intellectualism, was unable to defend itself against the arguments and subversions of Nazism, Communism, fascism, the world of the occult, and other diseased ideas. External results in the life of any nation are ultimately caused by the presence or absence of a spiritual core made of divine life and spiritual blessings.
Does this not sound like the churches, seminaries, Christian colleges and best-selling Christian authors in America? Many American Christians seem all too willing to go down a path that will surely lead to the destruction of a once great nation. Sadly, many self-professing Christians are not just following, but leading the way over the cliff.
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