Monday, April 23, 2007

Did God Cause the Holocaust?

Anyone who believes in the God of Abraham, has only two choices when contemplating the Holocaust: (1) God was powerless to stop evil men from perpetrating the Holocaust and therefore allowed this unspeakable calamity to occur; or (2) He made it happen. Nobody with faith can adopt the first explanation. It violates every principle of an all-powerful God. Though it presents the fundamental question of how so many people could be made to endure such tragic suffering, we are left with alternative number two. As hard as it is to comprehend, God must have made the Holocaust happen. The rest of this article can be found here:

Pastor Lawyer, What do you think about this article?


The short answer is: Yep, God caused the holocaust. What's the problem? God can do what he wants with pots.

The issue of the Holocaust is huge, but suffice it to say that God told Israel that if they followed after other gods, he would curse them with destruction (cf. Deut. 28:15, 20-29; Jer. 6:19-25, 30; Hos. 5:3-7 and a ton of others). When they rejected the Messiah, God finally rejected Israel.

But the Bible is clear that he didn't reject all of them, nor did he reject them eternally. He has been saving Jews since the beginning, Paul is one of them and he mentions this in Romans 11. God's plan was to use the Jews to remind the Gentile believers that if he cut Israel off the tree, he could also cut the Gentiles off the tree. I believe he keeps Jews around, among other things, to keep the Christians humble and to be a constant reminder that what is happening to them because of their unbelief, can easily happen to us if we stop believing (which we are rapidly in the process of doing).

So, I believe the holocaust was a terrible thing and we should do whatever we can to see that nothing like this happens again in the earth, but the Jews could also have avoided it if they would repent and turn to God and embrace his Messiah. At the same time, God says that those who do such things will not escape judgment for what they have done. So, the German nation has been judged and is disappearing from the face of the earth. Islam is taking their nation and I have no doubt this is a judgment against Germany for 2 things: for killing the Jews and for abandoning the Christian faith. These are very difficult to separate, but I see this happening anyway.

So, God holds men responsible for what they do. If they sin, they are judged for that sin. If they repent, God forgives the sin. If the nation sins, the nation is brought down--usually by other nations (Isa 10:5-6; 45:1-6). Then, when that nation sins, she is in turn brought down (Isa. 10:19). God is not mocked. People will submit to him or die.

On the other hand, God is a loving merciful God who does what is best for his people, who repent and turn to him for life and peace. Even in the midst of all the passages of woah and doom in the Bible, God is continually begging his people to turn to him in humility, looking for mercy and grace. This is whey Jesus came. He came to take away the anger of God, to be our propitiation, to pave the way to the throne room of God so that we could enter in, cleansed from our sin and the filth we carried around with us.

The other question about God causing the holocaust is just as clear. In all the passages I've given reference to God was clearly acting in judgment on the people for their spiritual ery. He said in Deuteronomy, if you fail to observe these things, God will send up on you all these cursings (cf. 28). Then in Isa, Jer, and all the other prophets, God is sending the enemies of God to destroy sinful Israel. In the passage referred to above (Isa 10:19) on of the reasons God goes after Assyria is because they didn't understand that (1) he had sent them (v. 5), (2) that he had been their strength, (3) and that God was actually the one who did all their works of destruction on the land (vs. 12). God brought about the judgment on Israel the people (Egypt, Cyrus, Assyria, etc.) were only tools of God.

In another place God says, Does evil come upon a city and has not the Lord done it? (Amos 3:6). In another, "you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good (Gen. 50:20). This pattern is repeated over and over again in the Bible in and in real life. God is in everything. He is not a bystander wringing his hands, wondering what to do and why don't these pesky people just get along. God is God, Lord of all the earth and heaven and time and eternity. Nothing just happens. Everything is in God's hand.

It is not an indictment against God (who would dare do that?) to say that he caused the holocaust, or the 10 million people Stalin killed in Russia. Its similar to our setting up our army men when we were little boys and blasting them with dirt clods. We can do that because we are gods to them. They belong to us. We can do with them what we want. Who are we to judge God for what he wants to do with his creation? Look at what Paul said about this in Romans 9:

Romans 9:14-24 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. 19 You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory- 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

The whole point is that God does what God wants for his reasons, and because we aren't God we don't always understand why he does what he does. But we also know that God is love. God does what he does for his glory. God never does anything out of vindictiveness or sinfulness. We cannot ascribe sin to God. He is God. When we sit in judgment on God we are leaning toward serious trouble.

I hope this helps,

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