I have come to believe that much of the appeal of the so-called reality shows and the spawned “reality stars” comes from a desire to characterize and condemn “Hitlers.” So what are some examples of these modern day monsters? The most villanous might include: Dance Moms, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Real Housewives of…, and of course Donald Trump. You see, once we have pointed out how outrageous is their behavior we can step back and say, “At least I’m not as bad as Hitler!” Let me share an example I personally observed:
My wife and I were invited to a party that we only learned on arrival was an after-party for a pro-abortion rally. (The picket signs stacked in the front yard were our first warning.) After we sat down and tried to relax, a guy who declared he was Jewish set up a bar stool from which he began to “preach” to like-minded friends. He began to complain about how pro-life leaders were a bunch of self-righteous Christian hypocrites who believed they were the only ones with the truth and that everyone else was going to hell. He kept up his complaints about hell, hard-heartedness, and religious bigotry for quite some time, and each time he raised his voice somebody echoed, “Yeah!” My wife and I could only exchange concerned glances. When the “preacher” was finally satisfied he had rendered all due judgement, he seated himself right next to me. At that point I leaned over to him, introduced myself, and told him I was a Christian and that I believed the only reason I could ever go to heaven is because Jesus died on the cross for my sins. The shock on his face was obvious—he had gone too far. Then it was like something pushed him back and he declared out loud, “I actually do believe there are some really, really, really bad people—like Hitler—who are going to hell.” I then asked him, “So, how really, really, really bad do you have to be to go to hell? Where do you draw the line? And how can you be sure you have not crossed the line?” My new acquaintance went silent. By the end of the party my wife and I had shared about our faith in Christ with everyone who either affirmed a need to get back to church or even return to faith in Christ.
For my part, I have found there is no peace when I compare myself to “bad people.” However, when I finally recognize how holy is the life of Christ then I finally see my own need for forgiveness and God’s goodness and loving kindness are revealed:
“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit…”- Titus 3:3-5
Scripture quotations from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, 2001, by Crossway Bibles, Good News Publishers.