Archive for the ‘love your neighbour’ Category

Love

April 12, 2011

Dear GOD,

I bet it is very hard for You to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. -Nan.

Children’s Letters to God

In 1942, Wladyslaw Misiuna, a teenager from Poland, was recruited by the Germans to help inmates at the concentration camp start a rabbit farm to supply furs for soldiers at the Russian front

October 17, 2009

In 1942, Wladyslaw Misiuna, a teenager from Poland, was recruited by the Germans to help inmates at the concentration camp start a rabbit farm to supply furs for soldiers at the Russian front.  Misiuna felt responsible for the thirty young women he supervised.  He stuffed his coat pockets with bread, milk, carrots and potatoes and smuggled in food for them.

But one day, one of his workers, Deborah Salzberg, contracted a mysterious infection.  Misiuna was beside himself.  He knew if the Germans discovered the open lesions on her arms they would kill her.  He had to cure her, but how?  He took the simplest route.  He infected himself with her blood and when the lesions appeared, he went to a doctor in town.  The doctor prescribed a medication, which Misiuna then shared with Deborah Salzberg.  Both were cured and both survived the war.

Eva Fogelman, Conscience and Courage, p.70

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows.

Isaiah 53.4a

The Japanese had pistols and bayonets and I had only party symbols and my swastika armband

October 4, 2009

At the Rape of Nanking: A Nazi Who Saved Lives
The New York Times
December 12, 1996

When the invading Japanese Army overran the Nationalist Chinese capital in December 1937, soldiers embarked on a two-month rampage of looting, rape and killing that left tens of thousands of Chinese civilians dead in what became known as the Rape of Nanking.

Now a recently unearthed diary reveals an unlikely rescuer of thousands of Chinese: a German businessman living in China who was the leader of the local Nazi organization.

The businessman, John Rabe, kept a 1,200-page diary that provides a rare third-party account of the atrocities. In it, he writes of digging foxholes in his backyard to shelter 650 Chinese and of repelling Japanese troops who tried to climb over the wall, of dashing through war-torn areas to deliver rice, and of stopping Japanese soldiers from raping Chinese women. He even wrote to Hitler to complain about the Japanese actions.

”These escapades were quite dangerous,” he wrote in his diary. ”The Japanese had pistols and bayonets and I — as mentioned before — had only party symbols and my swastika armband.”

Mr. Rabe, who died in 1950, lived and worked in China from 1908 to 1938. His diary sheds light on a heretofore little-known man, who, although a Nazi loyalist, risked his life and his status to save people who would later become his country’s enemies.

Indeed, Mr. Rabe’s outspoken support for the Chinese upon his return to Germany appears to have ruined his career.

Some who have followed his case say that he, like Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who protected Jews under very different circumstances, offers another example of the durability of humanitarian impulses in the cruelest of times.

One missionary, Robert O. Wilson, a Harvard-trained doctor who worked in China in the 1930’s, wrote of Mr. Rabe:

”He is well up in Nazi circles and after coming into such close contact with him as we have for the past few weeks and discovering what a splendid man he is and what a tremendous heart he has, it is hard to reconcile his personality with his adulation of ‘Der Fuhrer.’ ”

It is not clear whether Mr. Rabe embraced the oppression of Jews and other groups in Nazi Germany. He lived outside Germany during the time of Hitler’s rise to power, and there is no record of the extent of his activities in the Nazi Party after he returned to Germany in 1938, according to Ms. Chang. Because scholars, who received the diary only a few days ago, have not finished reading it, they cannot say if it contains expressions of anti-Semitism.

But Mr. Rabe was outspoken in his support for Nazism. In a lecture he delivered after his return to Germany in February 1938, he said, ”Although I feel tremendous sympathy for the suffering of China, I am still, above all, pro-German and I believe not only in the correctness of our political system but, as an organizer of the party, I am behind the system 100 percent.”

I did it

October 3, 2009

The day’s work had ended; the tools were being counted, as usual. As the party was about to be dismissed, the Japanese guard shouted that a shovel was missing. He insisted that someone had stolen it to sell to the Thais. Striding up and down before the men, he ranted and denounced them for their wickedness, and most unforgivable of all their ingratitude to the Emperor. As he raved, he worked himself up into a paranoid fury. Screaming in broken English, he demanded that the guilty one step forward to take his punishment. No one moved; the guard’s rage reached new heights of violence.

“All die! All die!” he shrieked.

To show that he meant what he said, he cocked his rifle, put it to his shoulder and looked down the sights, ready to fire at the first man at the end of them. At that moment the Argyll (Highlander) stepped forward, stood stiffly to attention, and said calmly, “I did it.”

The guard unleashed all his whipped-up hate; he kicked the helpless prisoner and beat him with his fists. Still the Argyll stood rigidly to attention, with the blood streaming down his face. His silence goaded the guard to an excessive rage. Seizing his rifle by the barrel, he lifted it high over his head and with a final howl, brought it down on the skull of the Argyll, who sank limply to the ground and did not move. Although it was perfectly clear that he was dead, the guard continued to beat him and stopped only when exhausted.
The men of the work detail picked up their comrade’s body, shouldered their tools and marched back to camp. When the tools were counted again at the guard-house no shovel was missing.

John Piper comments: The guard had miscounted. The young soldier who stepped forward had not stolen a shovel. He had given his life for his friends.

Extract from, Ernest Gordon, To End All Wars

Wang Jie was training a group of young soldiers to throw live hand grenades. One recruit was nervous and dropped his as he pulled out the pin.The seconds ticked by as he stared, transfixed, at the grenade lying just inches from his feet…

October 3, 2009

Wang Jie was training a group of young soldiers to throw live hand grenades. One recruit was nervous and dropped his as he pulled out the pin.The seconds ticked by as he stared, transfixed, at the grenade lying just inches from his feet. The other trainees threw themselves to the ground, but Wang Jie flung himself forward and covered the grenade with his body just before it exploded. His chest was blown to bits, but his action saved his comrades and the young recruit was unharmed. In his diary he had written, ‘Soldiers armed with Mao-Tse Tung thought are all conquering. For the revolution I fear neither hardships nor death. We must regard Mao-Tse Tung thought as our food, our weapon and our steering wheel and always act according to Mao’s instructions in our daily life.

Gao Anhua, To the Edge of the Sky, p.121

Nowhere does Jesus teach that it is right for his own disciples to offer violence to anyone

October 3, 2009

Nowhere does (Jesus) teach that it is right for his own disciples to offer violence to anyone… If Christians had owed their origins to rebellion, they would not have adopted laws of so exceedingly mild a character. [These laws] do not even allow them on any occasion to resist their persecutors, even when they are called to be slaughtered as sheep.

Origen  Against Celsus, book 3, chap.7, 3rd Century.

NB This does not preclude the posibility of Christians in military service etc. The Church is disarmed and the Kingdom of God advances without carnal weapons. However, the Kingdom of Man has also been established by God. The State has been armed by God, as it were.

If I had the true love of souls, I should long and labor for those around me, and afterwards for the conversion of the Heathen

September 28, 2009

I may reasonably doubt the reality of every gracious affection, they are so like the morning cloud, and transient as the early dew. If I had the true love of souls, I should long and labor for those around me, and afterwards for the conversion of the Heathen.

Henry Martyn, missionary, translator of the Bible into Hindi and New Testament into Persian. His memoir is highly recommended to inspire spiritual devotion

From, John Sargent, The Life and Letters of Henry Martin, Banner of Truth, 1985, p.31

God grant us the ‘true love of souls’ that ‘should long and labor for those around’ us.

In all companies where he did come he would freely reprove any sin, and misbehaviour which appeared in any person, especially swearers, filthy talkers, and Popish praters

September 26, 2009

(Sampson spoke thus of his friend John Bradford): Neither was he only such a practiser of repentance in himself, but a continual provoker of others thereunto, not only in public preaching, but also in private conference and company. For in all companies where he did come he would freely reprove any sin, and misbehaviour which appeared in any person, especially swearers, filthy talkers, and Popish praters. Such never departed out of his company unreproved. And this he did with such a Divine grace and Christian majesty, that ever he stopped the mouths of the gainsayers. For he spoke with power and yet so sweetly, that they might see their evil to be evil and hurtful unto them, and understand that it was good indeed to the which he laboured to draw them in God.

J.C.Ryle, Five English Reformers, Banner, 1994, p.126

The life to come is more sweet, and the death to come is more bitter

September 26, 2009

(On John Hooper’s last night before martyrdom under Bloody Mary) Sir Anthony Kingston, whom he had once offended by rebuking his sins, came to see him, and entreated him, with much affection and many tears, to consult his safety and recant. ” Consider,” he said, ” that life is sweet, and death is bitter. Life hereafter may do good.” To this the noble soldier of Christ returned the ever memorable answer :  “The life to come is more sweet, and the death to come is more bitter.” Seeing him immovable, Kingston left him with bitter tears, telling him, ” I thank God that ever I knew you, seeing God did appoint you to call me to be His child. By your good instruction, when I was before a fornicator and adulterer, God hath taught me to detest and forsake the same.” Hooper afterwards said that this interview had drawn from him more tears than he had shed throughout the seventeen months of his imprisonment.

J.C. Ryle, Five English Reformers, Banner of Truth, 1994, p.55

I’d rather be with God against men, than with men against God

September 12, 2009

Aristides de Sousa Mendes was, in 1940, Consul General for Portugal in Bordeaux, France. He was a graduate of the University of Coimbra, a wealthy lawyer from an old aristocratic family and he had represented Portugal in diplomatic posts in Brazil, Zanzibar and the United States. Hitler’s Nazi forces had marched into Paris and a flood of humanity had departed for the south, hoping to leave France. Their destination was Bordeaux where a Portuguese visa could assure them passage through Spain into Portugal, which was nominally neutral; from there they could perhaps hope to obtain a passport or a visa to America. Salazar had ordered his embassies not to issue exit visas to Russians, Portuguese political exiles or any Jews.

Thousands of refugees reaching Bordeaux had found the Portuguese Consul General’s apartment and had congregated outside, hoping for visas de Sousa Mendes, with great compassion, decided to disobey the Salazar orders and he, with his two sons, wrote by hand some 30,000 visas in order to save as many refugees as possible from the Nazis. 10,000 of these refugees were Jews. He was quoted as saying, “I have to save these people, as many as I can. If I am disobeying orders I’d rather be with God against men, than with men against God.”

The result of this magnificent action was that he was recalled to Lisbon in disgrace, but on the way he stopped in Bayonne and wrote out more visas by hand, thus saving another thousand refugees. When he reached Lisbon he was fined and prohibited from practicing law. He was reduced to selling off all his personal possessions to procure food for his family. He died in 1954 penniless and still in disgrace.

Aristides de Sousa Mendes’ name has been honored by the United States Congress, the Government of Israel, and has been recently restored to a place of honor and respect by the President of Portugal, Mario Soares.

source

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5.29