In luna martie a acestui an participam la conferinta Christ at the Checkpoint, organizata de Bethlehem Bible College. Una dintre cele mai interesante prezentar din cadrul acesti reuniuni teologice a fost aceea a lui Manfred Kohl, fost Director at World Vision Germania si in prezent Director de dezvoltare al Oversees Council, o organizatie care sustine peste o suta de seminarii teologice din tari in curs de dezvoltare.
Lucrarea lui Kohl s-a concentrat pe istoria si caracteristicile pietismului, o miscare de revigorare a luteranismului care avut o influenta decisiva asupra teologiei, a spiritualitatii si a practicii sociale a evanghelicilor.
Apoi, autorul german a analizat atitudinea iresponsabila a pietistilor germani fata de nazism si incercarea acestora de a-si linisti constiinta vinovata prin sustinerea lipsita de discernamint a miscarii sioniste.
In final, autorul se intreaba daca nu cumva asistam in prezent la un nou holocaust, acela al crestinilor palestinieni, sub focul incrucisat al ultrareligiosilor evrei, sustinuti de statul sionist Israel si al integristilor islamici.
Se pare ca si istoria evanghelicilor, nu numai acea generala, ne invata ca oamenii nu invata nimic din istorie.
Redau mai jos un fragment semnificativ din prezentarea lui Manfred Kohl.
At the beginning, virtually all Pietistic groups supported Hitler. The few warning voices, mainly from courageous members of the official Protestant Church, were not heard. By the time the Nazis began to put their holocaust philosophy into practice it was too late, and disaster was immanent. Those who continued to speak out were ignored, regarded as preachers of doom and not taken seriously. Gradually, however, they were joined by others and in May of 1934 founded the Bekenntnissynode (BK), the “confessing” church.
The Bekenntnissynode tried to gain the support of other like-minded individuals and of the Pietistic groups, to unite them against the power and the injustices of the new regime. However, the Gnadauer-Verband, the organization that kept all the Pietistic groups together, did not join the Bekenntnissynode, because the Pietists were unwilling to take a clear stand and because they felt that the confessing church was led to a large extent by liberal theologians. Even later on, when total resistance became necessary in order to save the lives of millions of innocent people, the Pietistic/Evangelical groups failed to act. One can only speculate what might have happened if the “warning voices” had been louder, stronger, and more convincing. Could they have helped to avoid the catastrophe?
Although the Pietistic and Evangelical groups eventually realized that they had been blind and guilty of indecisiveness, and although they repented in a variety of ways after the collapse of the Third Reich, the sense of guilt remained. It seems that the Pietists and Evangelicals have closed that chapter of their history prematurely, without satisfactorily dealing with it.
In our time, now decades after the defeat of Nazi Germany, the majority of the Pietistic and Evangelical groups support Israel without reservation. They rejoice that finally the Jews can reclaim what they consider to be their own land, the land of their Fathers, and that – with help from the West – they have become very prosperous. Although these groups claim that they stand with Israel because of their biblical understanding of the Abrahamic Covenant, this is not their only motivation; they are also moved by a deep sense of guilt and the need to make restitution (Wiedergutmachung) for the treatment of the Jews in Nazi Germany. Pietists and Evangelicals in Nazi Germany did not see the total picture until it was too late. Their unquestioning support of the state of Israel today shows that, again, they fail to see the whole picture.
The current situation in the Middle East is a situation similar to that prior to and during Nazi Germany. In this case two groups of people, Jews and Muslim Arabs, are guilty of developing a serious holocaust mentality, creating immanent danger of another holocaust catastrophe. Here again many Evangelicals throughout the world fail to see the total picture, and here again the warning voices of the people in the middle are – for the most part – not being heard. These very small, quiet warning voices have as their core the small groups of Christians in Palestine, who point again and again to the atrocities that are being committed daily by both sides, Jews and Muslim Arabs.
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