Is there such a thing as a good Nazi? Germans in World War II convinced themselves these people existed. Human nature, our flesh in Biblical terms, will always find a way to justify abhorrent behavior no matter how reprehensible. Two principles hold true: (1) Our judgments of good and bad are always relative; and, (2) Our judgments of good and bad are always self-centered. This toxic combination leads us astray from normal, Godly thinking.
Scripture warns us of these human tendencies, which have been innate since God created man. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25). “All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD.” (Proverbs 16:2). Our thoughts and action stem from our human nature. We justify and deny our sinful actions, but, ironically, are quick and eager to point out the transgressions of others.
The first humans, Adam and Eve, exhibited these traits in the Garden of Eden. Eating the forbidden fruit seemed justified given Satan’s explanation to Eve. Their son, Cain, probably thought killing his brother was justified, thinking his own disappointment and anger were sufficient cause for murder. God thought otherwise (Genesis 4:10-12). When God announced his punishment, self-centered Cain complained it was too harsh. One can easily imagine how Abel’s opinion would have differed from his brother’s.
The concept of rationalizing abhorrent behavior is not just an individual problem, it spills over into societies. The concept of relative goodness is frequently applied as a veil to cover unconscionable behavior. An egregious example occurred during World War II when the Nazis created death camps and sent millions, mostly Jews, to their deaths. It is hard to imagine people more evil than this, which begs questions such as, “How could they do such abomination?”, and, “Didn’t they see themselves as evil?”
Here is how they did it. Hauntingly, the Nazis viewed themselves as good people doing their duty. Hitler had convinced the entire German society that Jews were evil. This mantra served as a smokescreen behind which Nazis hid in their evil deeds. By killing Jews, Nazis considered themselves as good people. They compared and measured themselves by the standards they themselves created. Each, in his own eyes, was a good Nazi, a moral Nazi, no worse than the rest. In relative terms, each Nazi was decent, unless he disobeyed Hitler’s orders. Their self-centered perspective masked the horror of their deeds.
Nazis do not have a monopoly on self-deception, however. Today, Muslim extremists justify killing on the basis of religion. If you are not Muslim, or even if you are not the right kind of Muslim (Sunni vs. Shiite), you are considered an infidel worthy of death. Under this type of thinking, strapping explosives to your body and bombing buses with innocent women and children is considered an act of obedience. Similarly, beheading innocent aid workers can be rationalized as being a good Muslim, who was falsely promised he will receive great rewards in the hereafter.
Our relative perspectives and self-centered motives create slippery slopes. Americans are not immune. Our society has been broadening a woman’s civil rights to include the right to choose, a euphemism for baby killing. Under the veil of women’s rights, abortion seems right in her own eyes (BTW: husbands/boyfriends are also guilty), but how about in the eyes of the child? In the end, it leads to death, and is a clear violation of God’s commandment not to kill (Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17). When God rebuked Israel for killing their children, He never commanded such detestable behavior, “nor did it ever enter my mind”. (Jeremiah (7:31, 19:5, 32:35).
Similarly, progressives promote homosexuality under the guise that all “love is good”. Agape (pure, Godly) and phileo (brotherly) are certainly good types of love, but eros love outside of marriage has never been accepted by God. Promiscuity, incest, and homosexuality are detestable sins (Leviticus 18:1-30; 20:10-21, Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 5:18). Good homosexuals differ little from the good Nazis as they both support the causes in which they believe.
It is not normal to set your own moral standards. Thus, you can never judge yourself in the light of your own righteousness or your own standards. Your standards are not God’s standards and your ways are not His ways (Isaiah 55:8). In our own ways, each of us is a good Nazi without us realizing it. Satan will try to deny God’s ways (Genesis 3:1-5). Society, friends, even family members will try to convince you to disobey God’s ways (Genesis 37-27, Genesis 39:6-10. Daniel 1:8-10). If those fail, beware your own flesh and its carnal lusts (2 Samuel 11:2-5).
Our view of morality is relative; God’s view is absolute. We justify and delude ourselves; He sees through the smokescreen of human desire and judges justly. Be on the lookout for where you are being a good Nazi. Then, ask God to help you repent and follow His moral ways.
“I’m Normal.” – I AM
It’s God talking to you.
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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