"What is truth?" (John 18:38a, NIV2)
Wilhelm Hosenfeld, a hero of World War I, joined the Nazi party in 1935. He was excited about what the future would hold. As an officer, he was assigned to Warsaw throughout World War II, and he was proud of this assignment.
One day, he read, "Mein Kampf" written by his beloved leader, Adolf Hitler, and he became disillusioned. Hitler was not what he was supposed to be. He was a fake. He realized then that our world was in trouble, big trouble. He realized that Hitler was a slaughtering machine, eliminating anyone he didn't like as well as any of his opponents. He became even more disillusioned when he saw with his own eyes the oppression of the Polish people, including the Polish clergy, to say nothing of the abuse the Jews were receiving, with the goal of exterminating every one of them.
He decided to do anything he could to save these poor people. An opportunity was handed to him in 1942. A Jew named Leon Warm escaped from a train to Treblinka, and Wilhelm provided him with a false identity as well as a job.
He had another opportunity in 1944, during the Nazi suppression of the Warsaw uprising. He met a renowned Jewish musician, Wladyslaw Szpilman. He sustained him during the final weeks leading to liberation, by providing him with food and supplies.
Sadly, in 1945, Wilhelm was arrested and sentenced to 25 years in the USSR. Petitions were send for his liberation, but they were all ignored. He died 7 years later.
Some of us who read about Wilhelm can identify with him. After all, he was part of the Nazi Party; but he came to understand that he no longer believed in their ideology, especially when he saw with his own eyes how the Nazis persecuted those they hated. Reading the "bible" of the Nazi propaganda, "Mein Kampf", certainly opened his eyes. Even though he had no choice but to continue his duties in the regime, he did all he could to help those who were oppressed. He put his life on the line just to save one or two Jews.
Some of us have landed in denominations that have also disillusioned us. Instead of love, we find criticism. Instead of inner peace, turmoil invades our soil. Still, we may be believing in one of their doctrines. We rationalize that if that doctrine is true, that denomination must be from God. Think about it, however: how is it possible that a Godly church would discriminate against others, especially those who do not follow their doctrine?
If we are disillusioned with our church for these reasons, it's time what we approach our Heavenly Father and ask Him what Truth is. Through His guidance and His Word, we will find Truth. After all, didn't Jesus say: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (Matt 7:7, NIV2) Only God can tell us without doubt what Truth is.
Let's ask ourselves the following questions:
1. Who saved us? Our denomination? Or God's own Son?
2. How can we be saved? By our own righteousness and goodness? Or through Jesus' righteousness?
3. What does this Bible verse mean to you: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast." (Eph 2:8-9, NIV2)
Did we ever consider how religion (Working for God's approval) always stresses: "Do!" However, Jesus says: "It is finished!" (John 19:30b, NKJV) or in other words: "It's done . . . Complete." (John 19:30b, MSG) "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved."" (Acts 4:12, NIV2)
What does "Good News" mean to us? Does it mean what we have done lately for God? Or does it mean what Jesus has already done for us? After all, Jesus fulfilled everything just for us: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." (Matt 5:17, NIV2)
But what about the Old Testament Law? "So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian." (Gal 3:24-25, NIV2) The Law helps us realize that we need a Savior, God's own Son!
How do we testify? By proclaiming the doctrines of our denomination? Or by sharing with others what our Heavenly Father has done for us? Love is now our law: "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Gal 6:2, NIV2)
Just like Wilhelm, there are others who are disillusioned. We don't have to stay in that state of confusion. There is hope. Let's allow our Heavenly Father to be our guide, and may we become the ones who share the Real Good News.