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Nicht Schuldig!

by on August 12, 2013

The trials at Nuremberg, Germany after World War II revealed a serious human weakness. Men who were part of Hitler’s destruction machine were charged with crimes against humanity by the tribunal.

Their response: “Nicht Schuldig!” (not guilty).

They pled “not guilty” because they were “only following orders.” Since they were following orders, they reasoned that those who gave the orders were the ones who were guilty.  Since they were only carrying out the orders, they pled “not guilty” for the deaths they had caused.

Were they guilty or not guilty? The tribunal judged them guilty and sentenced many of them to death.

These men obviously acted in accordance with Hitler’s government. So, they were not guilty of violating the laws of the war years. How could they be found guilty?

People today can act in accord with the expectations of a particular political system and thus feel safe from sanction. They may have opinion and support on their side. But, if they act in ways that are not in accord with natural law and God’s laws, written or not, they are guilty! They will eventually be found guilty by men and/or by God. Eternity will judge what time has ignored.

We are guilty if we commit wrongs against people; no matter if they are crimes against the government or not.

The military tribunal judged Hitler’s men guilty even though they had followed Hitler’s orders and had not broken the laws then existing in Hitler’system. They were, however, found guilty because they broke laws of God and human dignity.

No human authority has the right to command crimes against humanity. God sometimes allows men to commit crimes against other men for reasons we do not always understand. Eventually, however, justice will be served.

“There is an arrogance and cruelty in power.” Power must bow to reason and faith. Men of character must prevent the destructive powers of wicked men. Many, many crimes were committed in Hitler’s Germany. Those crimes were catalogued and the guilty sought and brought to justice.

Just as the Apostle Paul listed names of men who sinned;  just as Ezra listed names of men who had married foreign wives. The guilty must be apprehended. Justice must be served. The price must be paid.

Pilate claimed to have power over Jesus. Jesus answered,

You could have no power at all against  me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered me to you has the greater sin.

John 19:11

What about you? What is your behavior? Are you willing to cause harm if/when you are following orders? Who is giving you the orders? What is the source of the authority? Are you deferring blame to someone else?

Do you realize that there is a higher authority than any earthly authority? God may or may not give power and control to one over another. In any and in all cases, justice will be served.

You may be enjoying power and prestige now but, God does not settle all of His accounts at the end of the year. Your time is coming. Your name will be called. Are you guilty?

Are you guilty?

When you stand before God, you will not say, Nicht Schuldig.

You will stand condemned by your actions, or –

You will stand redeemed and free because your sins are confessed and forgiven.

Any power you have today will be absent then –

Except – The power of God in your life by the Holy Spirit.

It is your choice today.

Tomorrow may be too late.

From → Christian Living

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