A Controversial German Blog7:47 PM
It was Christmas 1914."The war to end all wars" was raging while German and English troops huddled in muddy, freezing trenches along the Western Front. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a carol arises that sounds awfully like the sound of home. More and more join the song until at last its strains float across "No-man's land" to the troops on the other side. The words are in a foreign tongue, but the melody remains the same. Pictures of home, loved ones, roaring fires, and Christmas feasts fill the soldier's homesick imaginations. A German hops out of the trench, then another and another. Finally the English join suit jumping out of trenches, at last seeing face to face, the nameless targets on the other side of this brutal war. And for one brief moment in time, there is peace.
If there was one thing I learned in Germany, it was, "Don't talk about the war." This, of course, referred to that second war, the brutality of which the world had never seen. When the dust settled on WWII, and the Nuremberg war trials became publicized, the depths of depravity committed on German soil was seen at last. Germans are nothing if not organized and every merciless deed was dutifully documented and recorded. When the Allied troops came in, there wasn't enough time to destroy the memory or annihilate the shame.
I did my best not to mention the war while I was lived in Germany, but sometimes the overwhelming burden of guilt it had placed on the entire culture was too obvious to be denied. Perhaps I've watched too many war films, (who hasn't) and perhaps history has always fascinated me far too much, however, the story of your life starts before you're born whether you like the preface or not. Remnants of the war are everywhere, from the occasional leftover swastika built into the side of an old building to the broken-hearted old people who lived to see their beloved nation destroyed, split in two.Though East and West are reunited, the battle for the heart of Germany is not yet finished.
Many people have asked me what it is I love about Germans so much. Out of all the peoples on the earth, why would your heart go out to these more than any other? Aside from the fact that some of my closest friends on the earth are Germans, it is because I believe in God's heart for Germany. I believe He wants to see history redeemed and that He's in the process of doing that even at this moment. I'm now going to do something I haven't often done in this blog. I'm going to tell you my vision, and understanding of the heart of God for a country. I hope in all this you hear one thing clearer than anything else. God loves Germany. God misses His people. God's heart in all this is to bring every last German into His kingdom. However, He also hates sin. And this is where it's going to get controversial, perhaps even uncomfortable.
The first time I truly understood God's heart for Germany was, oddly enough, in Thailand. I was on an outreach in Bangkok. As I stood on a university campus, I looked up and saw a massive sign. I believe it was advertising white face paint or bleach of some kind. If you've been to Asia, you may have noticed that many Asian women have very poor body image and believe that the Western white skin is considered the perfect feminine ideal. As I stared in disbelief at that sign, my heart broke. As clear as day I heard the voice of God telling me to repent on behalf of my country, specifically Hollywood. He showed me that as a Californian and an LA resident, I carry the spiritual authority to repent of the wrongs perpetuated by my people. Because of us, the world not only hates itself, it also glorifies immorality, lust, pornography, and violence amongst other things. As my team stood and prayed with me, I cried out to God on behalf of my nation and the nation of Thailand. Suddenly one of the members of my team looked up in surprise and asked,
"What was that?"
It felt if the ground had tremored, there was so much power in the cry of repentance.
WWII isn't over. And yet, I believe the current German generation carries the spiritual authority to cleanse their nation. Hitler and the rest of his thugs opened the gates of hell in every concentration camp and city. They attempted to eradicate God's children, His chosen people. This was no ordinary genocide. This was spitting in the face of the Almighty God.
And yet, He longs for His people. God loves Germans. He loves the people who in one moment of time strayed so far from Him. I believe He is calling out to them:
"Rend your heart and not your garments." (Joel 2:13)
"He knows the plans He has for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and come and heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Look at the Jews themselves. How many times in Jewish history did they run from God and commit unbelievably horrible acts? Twice He allowed their nation to be taken from them and for them to be exiled. It was their children and grand children and even great grand children that cried out to God and repented until He restored what once was theirs. Most Germans of this generation say that they did not commit those crimes and therefore should not bear the shame and the guilt of them. Unfortunately we are often left to clean up messes that weren't of our own making. This is such a big deal it can no longer be swept under the carpet.I believe God wants to bring restoration of the German people to Him starting from this generation. I believe God wants to make a new covenant calling those who were not His people His people. I believe God's got plans for this nation and who are we to stand in the way of His ways?
If you are not German, I beg you to cry out for Germany. If you are German, I beg you to cry out to God on behalf of your nation. Perhaps this is to be one the greatest redemption stories ever told. Perhaps the Germans will even bring the news of salvation to the Jews. Who knows? The possibilities and ways of God are both unimaginable and endless.
I'd like to end this in utter humility realizing the many wrongs done by my nation, particularly upon the world. I shudder to think of our judgement should we not repent and turn to the Lord before it's too late. Everywhere I go, I see the influence of America, some of it good and some of it absolutely horrendous. And every time I enter a new land, I cry out to Jesus to forgive my nation and to bring healing where wrong has been done.
I ask you Germans to remember before your history, to think about where you come from and your impact on the rest of the world. I ask you to remember a time, before that infamous age, when your great learning, philosophy, and Biblical teachers, shaped not only Christian thought, but the rest of the world. Their is a darn good reason your country was used to do atrocious evil. It is because you are capable of overwhelming good. The rest of the story is in your hands. I can only say cry out to God before it is too late. The kingdom of heaven is near! Do not leave it to the next generation. It says in the Bible we will stand before God as nations. What will your nation's legacy be?