The question is often asked about how the German population in the 1930s were so gullible to support the Nazi party who went onto kill millions of people in the second world war.
We should say, not every German was supportive, but dissenting voices were quietened either by imprisonment or by death.
The German people at the time were swept up in a furore by Adolf Hitler who was saying to a destitute nation what they wanted to hear.
Hitler told them what they wanted to hear.
He would make Germany great again and this became music to a destitute population and economically ruined nation.
What culminated was frenzied and terrified nation, they were spurred on by Hitler’s persuasive words.
Even the children of Germany became swept along with the tide joining up to Hitler Youth.
But the German people haven’t been the only nation swept along by the tide of public thinking and persuasive words.
Think back to when the ruler over Judea in Jesus time Pontius Pilate put the freedom of Jesus to the mob alongside of the anarchist Barabbas.
The cry to free Jesus was drowned out by the majority who immediately chanted Free Barabbas.
History is filled with scenarios where the fate of someone’s life was influenced by the crowd such as in the Roman Colosseum.
Fast forward today, in today’s sporting colosseums we see a similar scenario where we urge a team or individual to beat the opposition.
Yes, it can be just a game, maybe a political rally but the intensity of some crowds becomes frightening, especially if you are cheering on the opposition.
Have you ever been in a situation where you shout for your team but have felt intimidated by the crowd and you go silent or end up cheering for their team?
This is what it was like for the people of Germany, for some, self-preservation was to turn a blind eye to what was going on.
Even the church did so.
Today in New Zealand we see division in our society perpetuated by those who use persuasive words to suit their own agendas.
We’ve witnessed it in race, equality, science, gender and now we see it in the current health issues.
I neither agree or disagree with a recent protest regarding the rights of Freedom in this country.
But I am saddened to see the effects of mob rule insisting Police prosecute the organiser of the rally which took place at the Auckland Domain.
As a country despite the numbers of abuse cases towards children resulting in deaths, we have never seen such an outpouring of venom and hatred towards the individual concerned.
The 130,000 plus who signed the petition in just a few days, were not directly affected by the protest, possibly never will.
But we asked earlier how the people of Germany could be swept up by the furore of the Nazi Party
How could the people decide to let go Barabbas over Jesus?
Its simple the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
The saying the devil looks after its own is true in this case.
But as a Christian should we indulge in the rule of the mob?
In 1 Samuel 17: we are told the battle is the lords but sometimes it is our duty as followers of Christ to call out that, which is not right, just and unacceptable practices to the Lord such as abortion or Euthanasia or other things which are morally wrong.
In Nazi Germany the prominent Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemoller welcomed the Nazis like everyone around him, but he emerged as an outspoken foe of the nazi regime and speak out the wrongs he saw, he was too late.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
We need to find the balance in these changing times when people are being swept up in all sorts of causes.
But Persecution for Christians as we have seen in this country is just around the corner.
So today I want to encourage you to look up to where your salvation comes from.
Strengthen what remains and I encourage you to dig into God’s word, to encourage you to digest and understand what it is that God wants and requires from you.