The lie is the death of man, his temporal and his eternal death. The lie kills nations. The most powerful nations of the world have been laid waste because of their lies. History knows of no more unsettling sight than the judgment rendered upon the people of an advanced culture who have rejected the truth and are swallowed upon in a sea of lies. Where this happens, as in the case of declining pagan antiquity, religion and law, poetry and philosophy, life in marriage and family, in the state and societyin short, one sphere of life after another falls sacrifice to the power and curse of the lie. Where man can no longer bear the truth, he cannot live without the lie. Where man denies that he and others are dying, the terrible dissolution [of his culture] is held up as a glorious ascent, and decline is viewed as an advance, the likes of which has never been experienced.
Like few other conservative Lutherans in Germany in 1933, Hermann Sasse recognized in Nazism the mystery of evil mentioned by St. Paul. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12). The world largely ignored the murder of six million human beings by the Nazis, whom the latter regarded as a "decadent" race, ignored at least until the prison camps were opened, and photos and films were released to a world aghast. Sadly, the aged Luther's vitriolic attacks on the Jews for not accepting the Gospel (not on racial grounds, as in the case of the Nazis) only added anti-Semitic fuel to the horrid fire.
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