There are no two ideologies more apart in their doctrines than Christianity and Nazism. Nazism is based on hate, violence, hubris, and intolerance as espoused by Adolph Hitler; while Christianity is founded upon Jesus’ teachings of love, humility, peace, and inclusion. It would seem that these ideologies would stand at polar opposites with one another; yet there is a lesson that Christianity and the Christians which adhere to it could stand to learn from Nazism.
A Worldview Not A Belief
Hitler’s brand of Nazism was not simply a belief. It was a worldview. It was something that he understood to affect every aspect of daily life, not only for himself but for every German citizen. Christians, likewise, must shift their thinking of Christianity away from the concept that Christianity is simply a personal religion that affects themselves to which they passively share on on occasion with those around them. The German Nazi regime promoted German artists, musicians, authors, scientists, etc. This was done not simply to promote the Nazi ideal, but to live the Nazi worldview. It was the present reality of the glorious Third Reich which had been inaugurated, but not yet come in full. It was an expression of what was and what was to be.
In the same vein, Christians need to promote the Christian worldview. Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is at hand” (Mt 3:2; 4:17; Mk 1:15). The kingdom is a present reality that has not fully come to be. We need Christian artists to express the truth of this in fresh creations. We need musicians to write fresh songs which do more than edify the body of Christ, but edify the world. We need politicians to run for office and pass laws which protect the poor and oppressed. We need lawyers who are willing to defend not only the rights of Christians but the rights of all individuals who are downtrodden. We need teachers who will boldly teach kingdom values and truths, not only in Sunday school but in public classrooms. We need Christians who are willing to live and express kingdom as something more than a mere subjective truth or worse as some kind of enlightening experience. In other words, we need Christians to be “citizens of Heaven” (Phil 3:20).
Jesus As The Face Of Christianity
Additionally, Hitler understood that He had to be the face of Nazism in Germany. He understood that to claim to be German must be understood as an irreversible tying of oneself to his ideals, vision and leadership. Therefore, to say that you were a German during the Nazi regime meant that you expressed loyalty and fidelity to Hitler. Indeed, when the Allies were making their last push into the fallen Reich at the end of WWII, the Germans were fighting to the bitter end.
Likewise, to say that you are a Christian must mean the exact same thing. Jesus spoke of “taking up cross and following him” (Mt 16:24-26).(Mt 16:24-26). This means more than simply bearing hardships. It means being branded a criminal if necessary. It means losing all rights and privileges under the current political system. It means losing your home, your legacy. It means associating yourself so closely to Jesus that one cannot separate you from him or him from you. Jesus must be seen in every artwork produced. He must be heard in every song that sang. He must be seen as the force behind every law that passes. He must be seen as the true advocate behind every legal defense. Just as it was said that “Hitler is Germany; Germany is Hitler,” (Project Nazi: The Blueprint of Evil). It must also be said, that Jesus is Christianity; Christianity is Jesus!