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February 28, 2011 / compassioninpolitics

Why did God allow the Holocaust of the Jews

This question starts with the wrong question–the following points to its misguided nature:

Rabbi Hersch says to the secularist Jew Chiam, “If a person does not have the Almighty to turn to, if there’s nothing in the universe that’s higher than human beings, then what’s morality? Well, it’s a matter of opinion. I like milk; you like meat. Hitler likes to kill people; I like to save them. Who’s to say which is better? Do you begin to see the horror of this? If there is no Master of the universe then who’s to say that Hitler did anything wrong? If there is no God then the people that murdered your wife and kids did nothing wrong.”

That is a very, very compelling point coming from the rabbi. In other words, to argue against the existence of God based on the existence of evil forces us into saying something like this: Evil exists, therefore there is no God. If there is no God then good and evil are relative and not absolute, so true evil doesn’t exist, contradicting the first point. Simply put, there cannot be a world in which it makes any sense to say that evil is real and at the same time say that God doesn’t exist. If there is no God then nothing is ultimately bad, deplorable, tragic or worthy of blame. The converse, by the way, is also true. This is the other hard part about this, it cuts both ways. Nothing is ultimately good, honorable, noble or worthy of praise. Everything is ultimately lost in a twilight zone of moral nothingness. To paraphrase the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer, the person who argues against the existence of God based on the existence of evil in the world has both feet firmly planted in mid-air.

No, the existence of the problem forces us into some kind of theistic solution. This is a good thing, which brings me to my third point. If atheism is a self-defeating philosophic solution to the problem, and some kind of theism is necessary, then it seems to me that theism is one of the only satisfying pastoral solutions to the problem.

You can read the full article here. Additionally, this is what Beyond Theodicy: Jewish and Christian continental thinkers respond to the Holocaust (I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but its available on Google books)

Other Ways to Deal with the Holocaust
1) He made the universe–he sets the rules. We don’t get a vito power on how the world works. Sure, we can choose to reject him, but then he can say “I don’t know you” on judgment day.

In fact, the same can be said about the majority of Americans about poverty & genocide now.

Humans at every point along the way were responsible. Humans at every point along the way had options to act and 95% didn’t.

The root cause of every instance of genocide is sin and idolatry.

In all of His doings, God is just (Psalm 145:17). The blame for the Holocaust lies squarely on the shoulders of sinful humanity. The Holocaust was the product of sinful choices made by sinful men in rebellion against a holy God. If the Holocaust proves anything, it is the utter depravity of man. Just fourteen years after “the war to end all wars” (World War I), Hitler rose to power. What is even more shocking is that millions followed him, enabling his horrific policies and pursuing a path to national destruction.

And while Nazism took hold in Germany, where were the European churches?

2) No one knows. I don’t know why God didn’t directly intervene in the holocaust–until the time it was over. It may be that he prompted people along the way to act, but no one ever stepped up to the plate.

3) You’re argument assumes we deserve happiness. We don’t. Got gave us life in the first instance. We sin…and in the face of that he offers us grace, forgiveness, and everlasting life.

4) This world is a vapor. Real meaning is not in the material. A caring father doesn’t always pick up the pieces for his children. A caring father has the interests–although not necessarily the happiness of His children at heart.

5) God has a plan for each of us. That plan on earth may not involve equality–it may be only in heaven that we realize true equality.

I don’t have all the answers on this one–I do hope one or more of the above helps to clarify the issue.

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