Sunday, March 18, 2007

Did Hitler go to Hell?

Whoa, there must be some form of parody in the universe, a dictator who tried to commit the genocide of all Jews. Surely he went to Hell. But, what if by the grace of God he didn’t. I am not asking you at any point to believe in or act upon the ideas and propaganda of a psychotic ruler who thought the benefit of all mankind included the eradication of the Jews. Nor am I standing behind or saying I believe in the mission of any Nazi or Neo-Nazi organization. Do I think Adolf Hitler went to Hell? In short… Yes. But only after some major thought was dedicated to this topic. The act of condemning or believing someone should go to Hell is rather presumptuous; Only God can decide who will be welcomed into Heaven and who will be condemned to Hell.
In Church a couple of Sundays ago Pastor Dan brought up an interesting point that led me to this topic. Has your Karma run over your Dogma? In other words Karmaticly you believe good things happen to good people and that of course the converse is true, that bad things happen to bad people. This thought process allows you to stand on the sidelines and point to people and say, “That bad thing happened to that person because of the negative things he has done.” However, Christian Dogma states that good things and God’s grace can happen, to even the worst of people.
Just a small side note, in stating that Christian Dogma holds to this belief I do also have to say that I acknowledge that various other beliefs hold true to this same tenant, that God’s grace and love are imparted upon even the worst of individuals.
So again I ask; did Hitler go to Hell? No, but only when assuming that he felt remorseful and asked for forgiveness for the atrocities he had committed. To me this is the strongest tenant of any belief whether it is religion or a 12-step program, a person must acknowledge the problem they have and ask for forgiveness. Without this, a person will have shown no remorse, and therefore have not shown a reason for anyone to help them. First they must show they are willing to help themselves. Not to say that others shouldn’t try to help or that they won’t, but in most cases without the self-realizing step that what they have done or what they are doing is wrong, what reason is there for a person to stop? With this caveat in play, I may have to change my answer.
Based on what I know of Hitler, he believed with all of his heart and soul in what he was doing. He was very committed to his ideas of Arian superiority and how they pertained to the eradication of the Jews. He also carried out his decree with extreme fervor, as we all know. Whether it was mass execution, murder for personal gain, or concentration camps, Hitler carried out all his actions with methodic and remorseless precision. This leads me to believe based on simple human nature he did not see fit to ask for forgiveness, let alone believe he needed it. But, in that off hand chance he did ask for forgiveness, I am positive God welcomed him with open arms and tears of joy.

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