G’Day World #342 – Dr Craig Johnson on Hitler

I had the very great pleasure of hanging out with Pastor Dr Craig Johnson in Paris back in July. We had a terrific time, including some very great laughs walking through the Louvre. Craig is an Evangelical Protestant clergyman. He is the founder and Pastor of Bethel Christian Fellowship in Agoura Hills, California.  He is  currently the host of two weekly television programs: Another Cable Show about God and The Veritas Forum, and he has authored three books: Nehushtan: The Enemy of Revival; The Alexander Code: Alexander the Great and the Hidden Prophecies of the Bible; and Tardemah: The Deep Sleep that Awakens Your Dreams. He has degrees in Theology and Philosophy.

While in Paris, we talked a great deal about Hitler and the roots of Antisemitism, something Craig happens to know quite a lot about.

So, following on from this blog post I did recently, we chatted today about the roots of Hitler’s worldview and whether or not Hitler and the Nazi’s were Christians. I, of course, take the position that Hitler and the National Socialist Party were Christians – Craig argues they were not.

My main references are:

This list of quotes from Hitler’s speeches and writings in which he professes his Christian beliefs here.

The official National Socialist Party Platform which states:

“24. We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: common utility precedes individual utility.”

I think Hitler was just trying to bring Matthew 13:49-50 to life:

13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
13:50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

After all, didn’t he build furnaces of fire?

Craig references a book called “Hitler’s Table Talk”, which is a series of statements Hitler said in private meetings, which were apparently recorded and transcribed. You can download a copy of “Hitler’s Table Talk” here. But you should first read this analysis of the book’s English translation which claims that the English version has been deliberately translated to sound much more anti-Christian than the original German. Also read this post which explores the credibility of the men who discovered and translated the document. The bottom line seems to be that Hitler definitely believed in Jesus but thought the version of Christianity developed by Paul of Tarsus was akin to Communism. Hitler also believed he was following in Jesus’ footsteps by attacking the Jews. So the question is – does that make him a Christian or not?

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10 thoughts on “G’Day World #342 – Dr Craig Johnson on Hitler

  1. I’m wondering if claiming that Hitler was just yet-another-crazy-christian really helps the “cause of securalism” or whatever you want to call it. Even if it were true, and I’m not really convinced, Hitler and the Nazis are nowadays the pure incarnation of evil, so you are just going to offend people by talking about that (even more than by talking about whether God exists or not, I think).

    I think Craig really gave you a good opportunity when he claimed that “people who believe in absurdities will commit attrocities”. It’s proven to be true with the pseudo-christian esoteric aryian crap that the nazis believed in, and it’s proven to be true with all of the major religions in the world, including Christianity. I think it would be much more productive to focus on how mystical, irrational and anti-intellectual thinking is simply detrimental to the human condition (making us think that the ‘others’ are not good true humans, that this world is uninmportant compared to the ‘other world’, etc).

    But hey, only my opinion. Interesting stuff in any case, though you should have interrupted the guy more often to avoid constant repetition of the same points 🙂

  2. I think Hitler’s crimes fit nicely into the catalogue of Christian crimes, including the inquisition, slavery, the Crusades and the invasion and genocide of the Americas, Australia, India and Africa. My point is that Christianity has been used as a platform for genocide and terror since it teamed up with Constantine in the 4th century CE. The fact that Hitler was a Christian shouldn’t shock anyone.

  3. Well, whether or not he was a Christian would seem to be dependent on how define the word Christian. However, whether or not he was one, if he believed in the Force and not in Jehova then he certainly wasn’t your typical Christian.

  4. What an absolutely brilliant show! Cam you didn’t get Dr. Craig to come around to your way of thinking about the link to Christianity and that’s what made this such a brilliant show. Both you and Dr. Craig pushing both your own particular points of view made for a great discussion… “table top talks” or not 🙂

    Thanks for a great podcast!

    Alex

  5. I heard a lot of talk about Hitler being a christian and all this stuff, and this is just intellectual dishonesty. I do not deny that Anti-Semitism did gain it’s roots in Christianity, this is true. To state that he was a Christian is just dishonest, and indicates that lack of research that people who believe this have done. I once remember reading a quote from hitler that was lamenting the fact that some French dude was able to stay the spread of Islam in Europe by defeating the muslim caliph kingdom’s that were trying to break out of Spain. I could not find that quote, but in the absence of it, I will leave you with this one

    “I can imagine people being enthusiastic about the paradise of Mahomet, but as for the insipid paradise of the Christians! In your lifetime, you used to hear the music of Richard Wagner. After your death, it will be nothing but hallelujahs, the waving of palms, children of an age for the feeding-bottle, and hoary old men. The man of the isles pays homage to the forces of nature. But Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless — A negro with his taboos is crushingly superior to the human being who seriously believes in transubstantiation.”

    There is a whole host of such quotes on Wikipedia, under “Wikiquotes”

  6. Steve, did you even read what I wrote above the credibility and translation of the table talk?

    Before you start talking about intellectual dishonesty, answer a question – what makes someone a Christian, in your opinion?

  7. To everyone here…..”You shall know they are Christians by their LOVE.” Period. Study “agape” love so that you know what love means in the Biblical sense of 1st Corr 13.

    Notice, the Bible does not say that you shall know they are Christians because they “say” they are Christians, because they “speak” Christian jargon, because they “read the Bible”, are a “pastor”, etc. etc. etc. You get the point.

    Love in word and in deed. That is how you know a person is a Christian. Hitler was not a Christian.

  8. dr craig and i have been friends for a couple of years now and i find his teaching very precious jewels. they have teansformed mine and many others lives that i have shared the word.. you need marveloue testimonies–email me

  9. I just listened to this episode recently. It was an interesting one. I think that Craig made a lot of good points and I feel he made his case that Hitler was not an orthodox Christian and a lot of his actions and ideas were based on other superstitions and crackpot ideas.

    However, he also spoke like a classic spinmaster to try and separate any linkage at all between Christianity and Nazism, constantly bringing up the names of new books and authors all the way through. To state that there is no linkage between Christianity, which has been historically anti-semitic with a fairly dualistic worldview that is waiting for an apocalyptic end-time, and Nazism which combined these factors, present for well over a millenium, with a whole assortment of other lunatic notions, is disingenuous to say the least.

  10. Adrian, since doing the podcast with Craig I’ve read a lot more on Hitler and his Christianity and, in hindsight, if I’d known that stuff before we did the show, I wouldn’t have let Craig get away with as much as I did.

    My current view is that it is drawing a VERY long bow to suggest Hitler and the Nazis were anything but Christians. While it may be true that there were members of the Nazi Party, even senior members, who had contact with pagan ideas, it’s beyond argument that Hitler had a LIFELONG relationship with Christianity and spoke of himself and the party as being Christian constantly, both in public and in private.

    When you compare the potential influence on both the pagan and the Christian ideologies had on the Nazis, it’s very hard to make a strong case against them being more Christian than anything else.

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