The Nazi Temptation
On January 30, 1933 Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. With incredible speed, he transformed Germany into a totalitarian society using terror and pervasive propaganda.
W. Mueller, President of the Seventh-day Adventist East German Conference said;
“The Christian welcomes with joy the reawakening of Germany and the fight of the Hitler government against unemployment. The Christian is happy to know that he direction of the country is in the hands of a man like Hitler, who frequently emphasizes that he received his post from God to whom he is responsible. As a non-drinker, non-smoker and vegetarian, he stands close to our conception of the reform of life.”
Still, some worried.
“There was no need for Adventists to be concerned, Pastor Mueller advised. Jesus statement, “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and God what is God’s,” meant that every Adventist should be subject to the government, pay his taxes, assist the government with good works and pray for the authorities.”
Yet the Nazi regime demanded more. Mueller said that Adventists needed to adjust quickly to these new circumstances, but unfortunately some church members were slow in changing. They refused to salute the Swastika flag and to use the Hitler greeting. This refusal, Mueller argued, was bad for the church’s image. Besides, every “Christian can without concern” salute the Nazi flag, the symbol of sovereign Germany.
Likewise, he said, Adventists could raise their arms and give the Hitler greeting with a clear conscience.
The Seventh Day Adventist church of Germany submitted to the Nazi Ministry of Interior. An official memorandum on Adventist teachings, church organization, social activities and attitude to the government. This document contained some deviations in addition to many of the standard Adventist statements.
For example, the Sabbath had been renamed rest day, or “Ruhetag.” The authors emphatically differentiated the day from the Jewish Sabbath. Furthermore, they claimed that in the mission-field their missionaries forcefully promoted German attitudes and culture, defending the present government and effectively challenging anti-German propaganda.
Another section of the document dealt with the SDA Reform Adventists, a group which emanated from the Seventh-day Adventists in World War I. The writers accused them of wrong attitude toward the government and of many intemperate doctrines. The Nazi government banished the SDA Reform Church and MANY OF ITS LEADERS PERISHED IN THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS.
Luke 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you [from their company], and shall reproach [you], and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
“I could not pledge allegiance to the [Nazi] flag, because in doing so I would have promised not only to fight with arms, but also to fight on the Sabbath day. Because I could not give this promise, I was condemned to death.” Anton Brugger
Read the whole article here – http://spectrummagazine.org/files/archive/archive06-10/8-3sicher.pdf