Amazing. Scary. Challenging. A wake-up call to America. That's my simple description of this book. When a Nation Forgets God by Erwin Lutzer is based on 7 lessons we must learn from Nazi Germany.
Throughout the book, Lutzer is very clear to point out that America is not Nazi Germany. He is not saying that we will become like the Nazi's. But one thing is clear, the people of Nazi Germany in the 1930's were not much different that America today. They were people who loved their families, worked hard, and loved their country. But then hard times hit. The economy crashed. Life then became about survival, and something changed. People became desperate.
Into this environment, Adolf Hitler began his rise. Amazingly, he did not just blast his way into office. He won the support of the German people by tapping into their anger. And then through his appointment of judges and the changing of laws to support his cause, Hitler committed some of the most atrocious acts in history.
Amazingly, Hitler won over the the church, to the point where they actually felt like what he was doing was right. One story from this book that really challenged and scared me was about a little church that was located beside a railroad track. Every Sunday morning, a train with boxcars loaded with Jews would pass by this little church. The screams of the men, women, and children coming from those boxcars would ring loudly in the ears of the "Christians" sitting in the pews. But after a few Sundays, they learned the exact time the train would pass through. So at that particular time, they would sing hymns to the top of their voices. As the screams would grow louder, they would sing louder to drown out the sound.
As an American pastor, I easily put myself in the place of the German pastors that Mr. Lutzer talked about in this book, and I came away wondering - Do I really have what it takes? Would I take a stand like so few of the German pastors did? Or would I bow at the altar of fear like most of them did?
It's easy to say how awful they were, and that we would never to that. But the author systematically points out the path that Hitler used to get "good" people to buy into his horrible agenda. It started with taking God out of everything. He changed the name of Christmas to Winter Solstice. Easter became a celebration of Spring. He then changed the laws to fit his agenda. He used education to condition the children. He changed terms such as the "extermination of Jews" to "cleansing the land. Euthanizing the sick and elderly was called "the best of modern therapy." I could go on and on, but I'll let you read the book.
I believe that this is a book that every Christian should read. It's amazing, scary, challenging, and a wake-up call for America. To look at the Church in America, we can already see many of them accepting some of the things that the German church did. Thank you Moody Publishing for allowing me to review this very challenging book. I encourage you, please, read this book.