Last week there was a newspaper news account about a teenager standing in a parking lot in Estes Park, Colorado, who was hit by a large, falling rock that injured her severely.
We have major oil spills, earthquakes, and other natural disasters in the news often. Are those events caused or affected by good or bad luck, chance (like card and dice games), the devil (as in "the devil made me do it," and/or God? What's your take on these kinds of life-events?
You probably know my belief that the Bible comes from God. When the followers of Jesus asked him about the many Jews killed by the Romans and the fall of a tower in Jerusalem killing several people, he replied that these events weren't because those people were worse people, but unless his followers and we change our thinking and living, we will die similarly (meaning, being separated from God forever.
I believe according to the pattern in the first two chapters of the Book of Job, that God only allows Satan to attack believers in him as far as he allows. God does not cause disasters and suffering; they come because of humanity's rebellion in Adam and Eve against God and his will. In effect, they and we set ourselves up as our own gods running our own lives. God uses the Holy Spirit through Jesus' victory, the Bible, and life events to wake us up and make us alive to him. Our new lives and words that honor him are the result.
His purpose is always for our good as he allows and uses pain and suffering to get us back on track in our thinking, feeling, and deciding.
What do you folks think?
I think there will be much preaching in this thread.
I was a Christian preacher for 27 years, and what I call preaching is applying the Bible to the hearers' lives. This thread I consider to be different. We share our ideas without expecting others to accept them to get to understand others better. I won't be preaching just sharing ideas and beliefs. You can take or leave them as you wish.
I don't believe you. You are here to push your ridiculous beliefs. I base this on the fact that I have never seen you do anything else.
Take it or leave it - as you will do anyway - because you already told us that you have all the answers from god.
Hi, Mark. Just because I have a strong faith in the God of the Bible doesn't mean that I don't accept you, even though I may disagree with your ideas.
Why do you trust so much in science as the only source of your views? Do you mean that there is no truth outside of scientific discovery? How can you be so sure?
I'm curious about the bases of everyone's faith, for you have faith too in your own reasoning and scientific discovery. I accept the demonstrated facts of science, but I believe that those facts point to the divine Designer of the Bible.
As I said, I NEVER expect you to accept my beliefs. When God overcame my anger, he made me much more peaceful and accepting of people. My presentation of my ideas is NOT my attempt to change you; you can believe as you wish, and I mean that!
I invite you to read my other, long response below.
Good - I am glad you accept that there is no god as an idea that is at least as valid as yours. Sadly - the book you push says otherwise, so I assume you are not a real Christian.
Never said any such thing. I also use common sense and any number of rational tools, including my own senses, years of studying the bible and personal observations. Where did you get this garbage from?
Really? Then you must surely reject evolutionary biology - because there is clearly no room for a guiding hand - otherwise it must be rejected. And I do object to you claiming that my faith in observable phenomena is no different that your faith in non-observable ones. But - I understand why you need to bring me down to your level.
Good for you. Sorry - I thought you were pushing the god in the bible who will burn me for all eternity if I do not submit, or in recent Evangelical terms - accept Jeebus as my personal savior. My mistake.
I don't care how you overcame your anger. But - I am glad you did. If you want to give credit to that to some invisible super being - that is your business.
I give myself credit for overcoming mine.
Hi, Mark! I should clarify my comments to you. I firmly believe in accepting everyone even though I may disagree with some of their ideas. That's what God's grace is all about. I am not pushing my ideas, though I don't agree with your idea that God doesn't exist. I will never say that you have to accept my ideas, neither will I threaten you or make personal attacks on you. You are perfectly free to believe as you wish, in my opinion.
Do you think that I will automatically attack you or try to get you to believe what I believe? Not so!
Of course, I believe that my beliefs in the God of the Bible are valid. I don't have to believe that your non-beliefs are valid to accept you and your right to believe them. I hope that this explanation helps you understand, since understanding is what I'm interested in, not agreement.
I see. Which means what exactly? I accept you also. Here you are and there is no denying that.
Your beliefs are total nonsense of course - but - I understand why you need to believe what you do. It is a powerful idea. Your loved ones up in heaven. There because God decided it was time. And you will surely meet them and have eternal bliss.
Don't misunderstand me. I wish I could also suspend disbelief and swallow this.
But I cannot, because it makes no sense. None.
What I do find odd is that you think you are not arguing your case.
I also find it odd that you think "accepting" me while completely disregarding what I think and rejecting my opinion as having no validity - has any value.
I am in agree with you. God does not roll dice. Due to our rebellion against his Will, God allows bad things to happen to us. I believe that if a terrible storm is coming, and if we had an ear open to God out of love for God, making Him first in our lives, than each would receive instructions on how to be safe. It's our attention to a sinful world is why we are harmed by circumstances.
I think it's alarming that in the face of all the scientific evidence, an analysis like this can be suggested as an explanation for catastrophic events.
I totally disagree.
I have an sad update on the 17-year-old who was injured in the Estes Park parking lot. She lived within twenty miles of us and died from her injuries. She was a committed Christian who was on a church trip to the Rocky Mountains. It was a terrible tragedy.
I can't read God's mind, but the biblical pattern is clear to me that God must have allowed this tragedy for some good purposes in the lives of those who have been left behind.
Would you say that it was just "bad luck" or chance? I'll give you a personal example. When I first attended college, I felt that God wanted me to be a pastor of churches, even though no one in my family had ever wanted that occupation. However, even though I was a Christian, I ran away from that call because of the need for a Greek major to qualify for seminary. I decided to go into teaching, not praying about my decision. I considered Biology, history, and philosophy for majors along with teaching, but ended up as an English major. So I taught English eight years and got an English Master's Degree in my restless attempt to do my own thing.
In my last year of teaching, our second boy, Keith, died from leukemia after almost three years of traumatic struggle during which my wife and I had infectious hepatitus. But God softened my heart to seek what he wanted for my vocational life. I left teaching for sales management and had tremendous sales success the first two years; we were the top district in the branch. I was almost promoted to regional manager, but the teacher who could have replaced me decided to stay in teaching.
The next year my sales and those of my team were really bad. We had bought a new house during the good times and then some months barely paid our mortgage payments. I had 25 demonstrations in a row without a sale. My branch manager observed my demonstration and declared that it was impossible for me to go that many in a row, but it happened.
Meanwhile, my church involvement was being blessed. I became one of the church leaders, and I was leading Bible discussions and preaching in a nursing home. In March, I was out in the western part of the county making calls when I got a lead to a part-time pastor who needed a job. I was excited and thinking about that opportunity rather than about my driving when I approached a railroad crossing past which 50-mile-an-hour freight trains passed 6 times a day. My car's front wheels passed over the second rail, when a locomotive bore down on me from my right side. I jammed on the brakes and put the car in reverse. It stalled on the tracks. However, my car inched backward as the freight train roared to the crossing. I flinched, but it missed my vehicle by no more than inches, it was so close. I sat there a long time telling God that he must have a mission for me to go on since he could have allowed my life to be taken.
By Mother's Day I had announced to the leadership that I had made a decision to go back to school to become a pastor. One of the elders said, "I don't see how that's possible since you have a wife and three children." We couldn't find a preacher for Mother's Day, so the other elders appointed me to read two messages morning and evening and to lead those services. After the congregation commended me for those messages, the same elder said to me, "Now, I see how it will be possible."
Well, my wife wasn't convinced. It was never on the list of things to do to be a pastor's wife. We were scheduled to go to the seminary's town in three weeks to look for a house there. So she prayed, "Dear God, if you want us to go, please sell our house before we go there to look for another one." Well, I got a red foot and couldn't work; therefore, we moved the date of our trip up to the following week after our house was going on the market. My wife took back her prayer. However, the house was going on the market on Wednesday and in the paper Friday, and we were going to leave the following Monday. On Wednesday a couple came through to look at it, they came back Thursday, and the house was sold on Friday!
My wife said to God, "OK, Father, I go wherever you lead us."
The following week we found just the right house that almost doubled in value in the next four years, and we were provided for sometimes amazingly during those years.
Seven years after Keith died in my last year at seminary, I started getting tired. During my first six years in two churches, that tiredness developed into fatigue, exhaustion, and finally anxiety attacks and emotional shutdown. I retired and through psychological help discovered that I had depression that was buried anger about my brother's and son's deaths from leukemia and the dysfunctional family in which I grew up. I began grieving those losses for the first time in persistent prayer for seven and a half months until my depression left and another month until peace about the past came, and my anger left. I felt much closer to God even while I was pouring out my anger at his permitting those events in my life. For example, I came to see that the loneliness I felt as I was growing up was filled up by Jesus' love and grace when I was 16.
Now, in retirement I feel that God wants to combine all of my previous careers for me to be a writer of Christian books.
Now, that sequence of events I choose to believe was God's working and guiding in my life and the life of my family. I leave it to you to interpret those events as you wish. What do you folks think?
It is simply Chance, and good or bad decision
I agree. Chance and decisions.
I would add that in order to have good luck switched to the "on" position, one needs to participate in life, while observing carefully the events as they take place.
Luck to me is making sure you are in the right place at the right time occasionally at least. It increases the chances.
I agree. If you have faith in life itself, you will attract more chances
I agree, Deborah, only in the fact that we all have faith in something or someone. If you have faith in life, you have that right. However, life often lets us down. I'd prefer to have faith in the God of the Bible, who has never let me down, even through the suffering that he's allowed in my life. Thanks for your participation.
And how does one go about positioning themselves exactly in the place where luck occurs? Can all these lucky people see around corners up the road and into the future? Can we all manipulate another person to be exactly in 'their place of luck' at the absolutely correct time as we need them to be? Can our thoughts travel across time and space, search out others who have the same needs and bring them by an astral string to us? Or are the participants unaware of the cosmic energy bringing two incidents together (co-incidence) just at exactly the right time. And if unaware of these luck filled events, how can any participant take credit for something They did not do?
It depends on where you believe visions come from.
When I was a kid, about 8-9, I had a few visions about my future. Over time I forgot about them....until they started coming true. When the deja-vu moments hit me in the face I forced myself to take a good long look at my past (when I had the visions) and the current situation. How could I have avoided it? I couldn't. The only thing I was in charge of was how I felt about it and what choices/decisions I made about it.
For some reason the circumstances were meant to be.
Where do you think those visions came from, Rafini? God has given me visions too for the benefit of one church that I served, and he made them come true.
At this point I'm thinking the visions came from God,
God has given me many dreams/visions. Some were of things that were to be and there was nothing I could about it.
I've have had dreams that were simply examining a number of potential futures. Our subconcious mind chooses one and guides us toward it. And some were ... Ya better be careful about this or that will happen.
I know where they came from. Sometimes it's hard to figure out what king it was though.
neither of above mentioned things..natural phenomena are natural ones..it occurred even when humans didn't exist and would keep on occurring even if humans seize to exist..i dont think god has anything to do with this..HE devised natural system which is automatic system...
Pisean, would you call your belief deism? That's the belief that God made everything and left it alone to wind down like a grandfather's clock.
I believe the teachings of Psalm 139 and Romans 8:28 that God guides the creation that he made, even if some aspects of it are "automatic."
I invite you, pisean, to read my examples from my life in the long post above and judge for yourself. Thanks for your input!
Oil spills aren't natural disasters.
And to you, I would say, yes, it is all caused by god.
Or the devil, take yer pick.
All good things come from the Father of Lights, from Above. The bad things, are caused by the Devil and our own stupidity. But God always uses everything bad that happens and turns it into something good for us in the long run.
Nice to meet a fellow Christian, Bruce. Interesting question, and one that I struggled with recently. It's a hard one to answer at times, but I'll give it my best shot.
God meant for us to live in peace and harmony with Him and creation. But we screwed up and choose something else. God made free-will, which dictates much up what happens. The devil, Satan or Lucifer (whichever you prefer) tries to influence those decisions for his own end, and to turn mankind away from God. Misery loves company, and Satan ain't exactly the jolliest guy around town. God gives us visions, directions, leading through many things- friends, family, prayer, church, the Bible, etc. Natural disasters come from many factors. Look at it this way- remember the huge earth quake in Haiti? Research what was going on around the time of it. They had just announced that their religion was voodoo. Then earthquake? No, God is not hiding in heaven waiting for us to mess up. But for every action there is a reaction. A domino effect. He doesn't want to punish or reprimand. He hates suffering. But if your a parent and your child that you love dearly and have warned repeatedly continues to do something wrong- what would you do? Before you condemn God for something, look at it through His eyes.
Flip-side of things- Satan also has *limited* (key word) power on the earth. He can influence decisions, like the loss of your job which drove you into depression and ultimately to suicide. Or leaving your family, running off with someone. Satan can influence others and yourself in your actions, but it is always your choice. (bummer, I know) Remember what your mom/dad always told you- "peer pressure? bull!" "If your friends told you to jump off a bridge, would you?" Well, that is the case on a whole new level. You can be prodded, pocked, and backed into a corner, but there is always another way. Maybe not easy, maybe not great. But there is always a right and wrong thing to do, and it is ALWAYS your choice. And it effects others.
I heard an example recently, can't remember where, that likened the human race to a scarf. the fact that we are all connected to one another. Even if you change the color, the threads are joined and continue. If you miss a stitch, get it uneven, the whole thing is off course. Same thing with laying shingles for a roof. The first one effects the last one, the middle one effects the next,.....etc, etc.
Bad things happen, and sometimes (not all times) there isn't anything we can do about it. Just accept it, learn from it, get strong from it. Move on.
So- what effects events? Everything. Nature, science, God, Satan, humans. In the end, everything works out for good. We grow stronger through hardship. As long as we stick with it.
Believe Me mate.... The Space Ship that abducted my neighbor yesterday was Not driven or manned by God!
Neither was the event a spiritual or religious vision!
No large rocks were dropped on our heads.
No person was being punished as a result of the past actions of a mythical character from a mythical place referred to as Eden.
No person was exposed to this event as a result of the writings referred to in the Book of Job.
No satanic conspiracy worshippers were at the scene.
No body played card games.
No body saw any Romans present.
No preachers were required to provide a distorted commentary of the event.
Nor did anybody; including spectators and aliens felt the need to give 10% of their income as a result of the event.
No Oil Spills occurred naturally.
No earthquakes, flash floods, volcanic eruptions or Nocturnal Emissions occurred during or after the event.
According to the news reporter present.. luck was not a factor; other than luckily no body else was abducted or 'spirited away' against their will.
However; prior to the Space Ship leaving a widescreen TV appeared (from nowhere) and beamed references across the screen of the Tibetian Book of the Dead and the lord Yama with an outstretched hand. Then.... Whooosh and my neighbor and the Space Ship were gone... along with my cat!
Left on the ground was a pile of small black stones.
As a preacher of 27 years... surely you are a wise man who can answer the following questions.... objectively.
Do you think it was a message from God?
What do the black stones mean?
Why was there no natural oil spill?
Why did the Lord Yama appear before the crowd?
Where in the Book of Job are we to find true reference to space ships?
Why did my cat get taken away?
Do you think the death of Michael Jackson had something to do with the event?
Did you manage to see this event on You-Tube?
Please help shed some real light on this enlightening event.
Thanks for your interesting input, pearldiver!! I cannot read God's mind. He's God and I'm not. I don't get verbal messages from him and don't have a special pipeline from him except the Bible, the principles of which I struggle to follow in his strength through the God-man Jesus. I invite you to read my long post above with examples from my life and judge for yourself.
Very entertaining Pearldiver!
I got almost as good a belly laugh out of this as I did from the rant above!
Hi, earnestshub!! We meet again. I invite you to read my long post above and judge for yourself my life's experiences.
Do you mean my description of my life, earnestshub, as that "rant"? I'm curious why you describe it that way. I just reported what I feel God did in my life. If you have a different interpretation of the events of my life, I'd be interested in knowing it. Share your ideas; that's the point of this thread.
Peyote and LSD can cause some pretty interesting visions, if you are into seeing visions.
Also, brain tumors, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder have been noted to cause visions.
Totally true. Although i am sure the word visions would rather by typed hallucinations. Hallucinations are caused when the right side of the brain is being flooded from the left side of the brain. The left side is the creative, imaginative and spacial side of the brain. When it is flowing and passing through the node between sides of brain, pictures begin to happen and indeed hallucinations occur.
Hi, AKA. Thanks for your participation. The visions that I believe God gave me came at a time when I didn't expect or want them, 5 AM on my day off, Monday morning. You have to understand that I'm a late person who needs more than the average amount of sleep, and I don't remember my dreams.
Well, it was in the spring, and I awoke (I think) with a vivid picture of our church auditorium completely empty and several parking spots around the church where there presently was only lawn. Another scene then appeared of our church members worshiping and learning in a school gymnasium while they were waiting for a new church building to be built on the northside of town (the church had always on the southside). I awoke refreshed that morning, and those visions are just as vivid now in my memory as that Monday morning seven years ago.
My friend who was knowledgeable about such events said that my vision had all of the characteristics of a vision from God. I don't claim any credit, because the last thing I wanted to happen was to be awake at 5 AM on Monday morning (or any morning, in fact). Well, I told the people about my vision(s) during the last message I preached before we left the following December.
After we moved to South Dakota, the church bought eighty acres on the northside, ran a successful fund-raising drive, sold their church to a day-care owner who allowed them to stay in the church for six months, and began construction, which should've been done at the end of those six months.
Well, construction got delayed, and--you guessed it--they had to rent a school gym and classrooms while they waited for their new building to be completed.
Now, you can attribute those circumstances to luck, chance, or God. I choose the last of those options and claim no credit for those events.
You may want to tell your friend the visions while you sleep are called "dreams"
As one who grew up in a very religious home, who raised a family being devout in a religion, (and no longer is interested in any religion) I think there is a huge amount of truth in "revelations" and "visions" being based on some aggrandized self concept which may or may not be due to mental disorders.
"God speaks to me" is the basis for many a disturbing murder, rape, suicide and more. If there is no definitive way to determine it's really "God's voice" then the parameters of reality get pretty twisted. And, if God truly does speak to *anyone*, that person should have the good sense to let others find their own way to him. The presumption that we are all gone astray and going to hell is complete idiocy. If there is a God and he created us, you can't escape him, and therefore, the need to be "saved" by being preached to is completely unnecessary. Something few religionists grasp.
I would never preach to you, Daniel, but I do have the right to share my beliefs and experiences with anyone here. I do believe that any visions or dreams that make a person do what the Bible forbids are not from God but from another source.
I'm curious, Daniel. What turned you off to your religion, and what was it? You might read my earlier responses to understand my faith better.
Thanks for coming to my thread!
Something unfortunate also happened to a family last week. A tree limb broke off and fell on a new mother and her six-month old daughter who was under the tree posing for pictures. The family was out having a nice walk at Central Park when they stopped to take pictures. The baby died and the mother is in serious condition for head trauma. The tree itself, after the authorities examined it was not rotting.
I don't know why these things happen. I don't know if it should be attributed to God.
Are you saying a god killed an innocent baby? For what reason?
Flightkeeper, thanks for joining our thread! I believe on the basis of the Bible that God doesn't cause bad things to happen, because bad things happen because the human race fell into imperfection in Adam. Satan also has a hand in disasters to disillusion and attack God's believers.
But God permits and doesn't cause them to happen for many good purposes: to call unbelievers to believe in him, to strengthen believers' faith, to enable his people to be more dependent on him, to point believers to persistent, constant prayer, to enable his people to recognize their lack of control over events, and give him more and more control of their lives.
These are just some of the lessons that God has taught me through my brother's and son's deaths from leukemia, from my growing up in a dysfunctional family, and from my seven years of depression and 24 years of chronic pain, about which God has given me his peace.
I agree with you Bruce that God doesn't cause bad things to happen. Ultimately it is really our faith in God that allows us to deal with the terrible and unjust things and continue to do our work as best we can.
Who effects events? WE DO. Every human on this Earth has the capacity to control his or her own life, completely. You ALWAYS have a choice concerning what you focus on, what you believe (which is just a thought you keep thinking), what you eat, your health, your thoughts, your reactions... etc. etc.
In fact we are in such control, it scares us into conceptualizing God into an all knowing, super-being who micro-manages all events on Earth!
You get it how you live. In other words, your predominate vibrational offering to the Universe is what you will in turn, experience.
Why did that girl get a boulder to fall out of the sky and crush her? Sadly, she was probably vibrationally focused on worrying about a tragic event or maybe she was terrified of death. It doesn't matter if you focus on what you DO want or DON'T want, if you are thinking about it, it will manifest as an experience in your life.
God, or what I sometimes refer to as; Life, or the Universe, gives to us EXACTLY what we think about and are feeling. So you became a preacher because you were focused on that in your mind and in your emotions/feelings.
Now you are a curious HubPages writer who wants to know what people think and you are getting just that. This is the law of attraction. It is responsible for all of your experiences, whether you choose to label them as good or bad is up to you.
By the way: I think its funny how much faith is put in a book whose first editors (the Romans) were the ones who killed it's Messiah (Jesus). C'mon now, seriously? You don't think that much of that has been cut, worded differently and edited to fit with an agenda that kept people clueless to the real responsibility they have over the outcome of their own lives? Take your power back and realize its all in your mind and you have a choice of what is in there.
Much Love and Blessings, may this be of benefit in your journey through this life.
Thanks, Andrewskis, for your interesting, well-written response. I have to disagree with you, but I hope that we can disagree agreeably. You certainly have a right to your beliefs!
I'd like to comment on a couple of your observations. First, why do you believe that the vibrations of my thoughts control the universe? Would you call your belief pantheism, the idea that God=universe, including humans?
Anyway, I don't agree because I believe that according to Genesis 1 and 2, humans are God's special creation separate from the animate and inanimate creation. I just can't believe that that 17-year-old controlled that rock and seemingly committed suicide. Can you sight other references for you beliefs? I've never heard or read that kind of interpretation.
Second, the Book of Romans was written by the Apostle Paul, not by the people in Rome, but Paul wrote it to the Christians in Rome. That's why it's called Romans. If you think that that book takes away our personal responsibility, read the chapters 12-16, where Paul calls the Roman Christians to give their lives to God and to each other in love. The three parts of the book are Paul's description of our imperfection (1:18--3:20), God's grace (free acceptance) through Jesus' death on the cross and what God has done for believers in rescuing them (3:21-the end of 11), and believers' responsibilities to love each other (chapters 12-16). I believe that God inspired Paul to write that book because his description of humans is accurate and his description of God's grace is foreign to human, self-help thinking; it had to come from God.
Again, you can believe as you wish, but please don't misrepresent the Bible. I hope that this explanation helps you to understand Romans better.
But you misrepresent the bible Bruce. Why is it OK for you to do so?
Hi, Mark! I wish that you would tell us how I misrepresent the Bible. What have I written on any of the hubs and forums that falsifies the Bible? I don't understand. Enlighten us. My beliefs and yours may be different, but I believe that mine have a firm basis in the Scriptures. Show me specifically how they don't, and I'll change them to be more biblical.
Actually all that you've mentioned take part in changing events. In the Garden of Eden Eve chose to listen to the evil serpent and Adam chose to listen to Eve. Mose listened to God and the devil listens to no one until God decides to step in.
So, you think that chance and luck also are involved in events, SpanStar? You're right that human decisions are important in many events, but what about the 17-year-old who was eventually killed by the falling rock?
I believe what Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:1-10 that we are spiritually dead to God when we are born (verses 1-4), that he gives new life to believers by grace through faith as his gift (verses 5-9), and that he gives believers the ability to do good works according to his plan (verse 10). He gives us his Spirit to make right choices according to the ideas of his Bible.
That's what I believe; you're free to believe as you wish.
Everything is and has already been decided by God. Each of us have a purpose in life. He gave us this. every event in your life is one you can handle and its good. God allows the devil to make the bad events happen in order to glorify Him. So in the long run even bad events are good ones and it's all from The Almighty Heavenly God!
luck and chance don't really exist (that is in the biblical sense). you can be lucky but by that you should mean you are blessed! there is rhyme and reason to everything!
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