Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Amazing Scrapbook

On January 14th of 2007, a package was sent to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. It contained 116 personal photographs from a scrapbook that formerly belonged to a man named Karl Hoecker. He was a First Lieutenant to Richard Baer, who was the commandant of the infamous Auschwitz Nazi death camp.

The scrapbook showed, among other things, commandants of Concentration Camps relaxing in their spare time. They were obviously winding down after a hard day at the office. They killed Jews during the day, and partied to get rid of any stress, at night.

Sara J. Bloomfield, the director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, on seeing the photos, said,

"I think the big question about the holocaust is 'why?' Why do people kill? Why were so many people able to do this, in the heart of such a civilized nation? And it shows the killers as humans. This is a question that I think doesn’t have answers..."

That's the dilemma in which each end up, if we ignore the biblical revelation of the nature of human beings, and instead embrace that man is basically good. It will also be compounded by a Genesis-less world view.

The Bible says that we live in a fallen world. This world was created perfect by God, in the beginning. Then, because of the Adamic Fall, we have disease, suffering and death. When Adam sinned, he polluted his offspring with an "evil" nature--something the Bible calls "sin."

Taking God's perspective immediately makes life make sense. When I read stories of the holocaust and see horrific pictures that make me weep, I don't have the dilemma of wondering how human beings could do such a thing. What I see simply confirms what I have read--that sin dwells in every human heart.

It is sin that not only makes us capable of evil; its very presence makes us evil. Evil isn’t just something I do. According to the Bible, it is something I am. I am sin-full by nature. Sin is much a part of me as is my blood. This thought is extremely offensive to us—especially if we are convinced of the opposite, that man is basically good. We want to think that man is good, not evil, because we want to think that we are good, not evil. But if we stay with that belief, we will be pushed into an intellectual corner, from which we have no escape.

However, when I look at life with the biblical perception, and ask how 200,000 people could be murdered in the U.S. during the 1990's, I don’t have to say that each of those murderers was a good person who somehow strayed from his goodness. Instead, I affirm what the Scriptures say about the reality of sin in the human heart. When a husband beats his wife, a man shoots his children, the Mexican Cartel beheads innocent people, a spouse betrays marital trust and commits adultery; all this does is verify the presence of sin.

When an atheist denies that God exists and uses His name to cuss, or when evil men deny the existence of evil, or when a man has an explosive temper he can’t control, or someone is consumed by bitterness, or when filthy or blasphemous language pours from a man's lips, or when I feel the power of lust or selfishness in my own heart, it confirms the truth of Scripture. When pornography is a billion dollar industry, when priests are pedophiles, when filthy and violent entertainment is loved by millions, I know why. When kids are bullied or when people are racially prejudice, I think "sin" not "skin."

When there is hypocrisy and double standards in politics or in the Church or kids kill kids at school, or when doctors kill children in the womb to make money, or slick televangelists use Christianity to line their pockets, or when men use religion to kill others--when they fly planes into buildings, torture people in the name of God (as in the Roman Catholic Inquisition), or as Hitler did in the name of God with the Jews, I say "Sin dwells in the human heart."

When love is all we need, but there seems to be so little of it; when peace isn’t given a chance and instead continual wars take the lives of millions, there is a reason. When a man puts four bullets into the back of John Lennon, and does it because he wants to be famous, and does it professing to be a Christian, there’s no mystery. There's no need to psychoanalyze him and try and find what this man has in common with other psychopaths. He's a normal human being. He's like the Nazis, the rapists, the pedophiles, the thieves and liars. He's like the man next door. His evil actions simply confirm that God's testimony about man is true and right.

Pic. On the cover of the album, delivered in 2007 to the U.S. Holocaust Museum, was a studio portrait of Commandant Richard Baer and his assistant Karl Hocker.