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Monday, August 21, 2017

Lies we Believe - Building a Framework of Hope: Part 11

Last post I provided links to inspiring books about those who endured the Holocaust.

Today I want to share with you 3 of the lessons I learned:

1.        Belief that something bad “could never happen” to you is naïve. Bad things happen. People hurt others. Evil exists. FACT: A vast number of people who found themselves in concentration camps were not Jews. There were also political prisoners (those who spoke against Hitler or simply ticked him off), Gypsy’s, homosexuals, handicapped people, clergy, those who tried hiding Jewish friends, and some who had no idea why there were there (true story, some didn’t have a clue why they were imprisoned—maybe it was simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time…like at your window witnessing your neighbor being deported).

2.       Being silent is no guarantee that something horrible will NOT happen to you.  Actually, evil increases in the silence. Where there is a void (such as silence from the church) something will fill it (hint: look at America’s current moral decline). When God’s people remain absent, and impotent, to the evils in society, the wickedness will increase.

Bonhoeffer is attributed as saying: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” 

Here’s what the Bible has to say about God’s people remaining silent in the face of evil: “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.James 4:17 NKJV

This famous quote by Niemöller makes it clear we must NOT be silent: 

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

3.     Tell the truth…no matter the risk or cost. The Bible instruct us to be honest (Lev 19:11) and trying to outsmart evil will not work. Evil changes the rules to meet its needs. Fear can cause us to want to lie, but we must TRUST God more than we fear evil. 


Prior to going to a concentration camp Corrie Ten Boom and her family hid Jews in their home. One day Nazi’s came and asked her sister if they were hiding Jews. Instead of lying, she told them they were hidden under the table. The Nazi’s thought she was crazy, they could see there was no one under the table. What they didn’t realize was that under the very floor the table rested on there were Jews hidden. God protected everyone involved. TRUTH PREVAILED

Wiesel made a rash decision due to fear. At one point he was in a camp hospital with an infection in his foot. The camp was being evacuated due to the Russian Army advancing and those too weak to walk to a new location were being left behind. Weiser was scared, so he lied and said he could walk. He should have stayed. Everyone who remained behind were freed. 

Lengyel lied about her son’s age thinking it would protect him. It only sent him to the crematory sooner. 


Realize bad things happen to “good people”. No one is immune. You can’t lie your way out of hardships. Silence, and avoidance, only increase the likelihood of bad things happening either to you or others. Plus, being silent when you KNOW you should speak, is sin. 

Everyone dies at some point. Make your life, and your death, count. While you can’t trust man, you can TRUST GOD. 

Enjoy this music video by Switchfoot- Live it Well