I just finished the book A Spy for God: The Ordeal of Kurt Gerstein, by Pierre Joffroy. It's about a
German Christian who joined the SS to be a spy for God. He wanted to witness and expose the
atrocities of the Third Reich. He became entangled in the criminality of his position in the SS in which he did his best to behave according to his conscience towards God by sending out information of the atrocities through the resistance. His reports were so atrocious that the Allies didn't believe him. Once they sent a reply, “Tell Gerstein to only send the truth.”
After the war, Gerstein turned himself in to the French authorities. They kept him under arrest. He wrote of his experience as an SS officer (in French and in German) and of all his actions to avert the hideous gassing of the Jews, but no one believed him. The French set him up for criminal trial. When he realized this, he took his own life. He wrote to the judges that he was innocent of all the crimes charged against him, and asked that his body should not be mutilated. Gerstein gave up too soon. Baron von Otter, secretary of the Swedish Legation, sought to help justify him that same day. We need to remember, whatever the trial, to hold on and not give up. God will help us somehow.
This book is very interesting. I had always wondered what the Christians of Germany were doing
when the Nazis gained power. I didn't realize before I read this book that the Nazis were a socialist party. The churches in Germany were very keen on reaching out to youth to mentor and bring them to Christ. They had youth camps all over Germany. The Nazis ended the Christian endeavor by requiring all the churches to divert the youth camps into Hitler's youth endeavors. Some of the churches ended their camps because it was against their consciences to do so. Kurt Gerstein continued his youth camps secretly for Christ. His family encouraged him to join the Nazi party, which he did, but found himself with an anti-Nazi attitude. He spoke out about all that was wrong, was kicked out of the Nazi party, and spent several months in a concentration camp for being an enemy of the state. The Gestapo was constantly searching his home and spying on him. One of his relatives was euthanized because she was in an institution for a slight retardation. That's when he realized that his government was euthanizing masses of people they deemed as useless. This caused him to join the SS in order to hinder it in some way.
This book made me think that society hasn't changed too much. There is not too much noise over wicked laws coming into effect. And there are very few men who are willing to expose and rebuke evil. First Timothy 5 tells us to rebuke those who sin and not be a partaker of any man's sin. Christians ought to live their lives unto the Kingdom of God. God delivered us from sin that we might be saints. As saints, God will use us to judge the world. As the tide turns against righteousness, so will it turn against God's people. There were many German Christians during World War 2 who were sent to the concentration camps in Germany because they cried out against the crimes of their government. There were many who were shot because they refused to obey wicked orders. They wouldn't stain or mar their consciences just because duty or patriotism called for it. Their allegiance was to Jesus Christ. They were sold out to Him wholesale.
We in our day should do the same. We must be like the church in Smyrna. The Lord's message to this church is, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried, and ye shall have tribulation ten days: Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” May the Lord find each of us faithful.