First Peter – Instructions To The Scattered Church
1 Peter 1:1-4
The Jewish historian Steven Aschheim
“The FEAR of complexity is a poor reason, I believe, to abandon cultural history.”
Richard Weikart “From Darwin to Hitler” Preface (2004)
“I became fascinated with the topic of evolutionary ethics while doing research for my dissertation. Little did I suspect the course my study would take. While examining Darwinian discourse in Germany, I found that many Darwinists believed that Darwinism had REVOLUTIONARY IMPLICATIONS for ethics and morality, PROVIDING A NEW FOUNDATION FOR ETHICS AND OVERTURNING TRADITIONAL MORAL CODES. Intrigued by these ideas, I intended at first merely to describe and analyze the development of evolutionary ethics in Germany and elsewhere. However, as I began to read the writings of Ernst Haeckel and other early Darwinists, my focus shifted to a specific field of ethics – WHAT IS TODAY CALLED BIOMEDICAL ETHICS.” “Undoubtedly Hitler was immoral, but Eberhard Jaeckel has convinced most historians that Hitler was not a mere opportunist. Rather he was a principled politician with a well-defined worldview, that he pursued relentlessly. Jaeckel does not specifically analyze Hitler’s view on ethics and morality, but it is clear from Hitler’s writings and speeches that he was not amoral at all. On the contrary, he was highly moralistic and consistently applied his vision of morality to policy decisions, including waging war and genocide. It may be difficult to grasp this, but in Hitler’s worldview war and genocide were not only morally justifiable, but morally praiseworthy. Hitler was ultimately so dangerous, then, precisely because his policies and decisions were based on coherent, but pernicious, ethical ideas.
One also cannot comprehend Hitler’s immense popularity in Germany without understanding the ethical dimension to his worldview and his political policies. Hitler not only promised to bring prosperity, health, and power to the German people, but he also promised MORAL IMPROVEMENT. Many scholars have noted the utopian appeal of Nazism, which aimed at creating a higher and better person. The police state he erected not only persecuted political enemies, but also tried to eliminate criminality and social deviance. Nazi propaganda continually portrayed the Nazis as decent, clean-cut, upstanding members of the society. Hitler continually criticized modern, urban society for its rampant immorality, especially the proliferation of sexual immorality and prostitution.
Because Hitler’s support for ‘family values,’ some mistakenly assume that Hitler was a moral conservative. However, taken as a whole, Hitler’s ethical views do not comport well with traditional morality, since he based his morality on an entirely different foundation than did most conservatives. Hitler’s morality was not based ON TRADITIONAL JUDEO-CHRISTIAN ethics nor Kant’s categorical imperative, but was rather a complete repudiation of them. Instead, Hitler embraced an EVOLUTIONARY ETHIC that made DARWINIAN FITNESS AND HEALTH the only criteria for moral standards. The Darwinian struggle for existence, especially the struggle between different races, became the sole arbiter for morality.
Hitler repeatedly asserted that the ONLY RIGHTS THAT ANY PEOPLE HAD ARE RIGHTS WON THROUGH VICTORY IN THE STRUGGLE FOR EXISTENCE.
He scorned humanness and Christian morality, which would promote weakness, thereby producing decline, degradation, and ultimately the demise of the human species.”
Chuck Swindoll “Hope Again”
“No longer loyal and strong, far from courageous and committed, the man was suddenly reduced to heaving sobs. What guilt he bore! How ashamed he felt! Words cannot adequately portray his brokenness. Emotionally, he plunged to rock bottom, caught in the grip of hopelessness; the effect on Peter was shattering. Every time he closed his eyes, he could see the face of Jesus staring at him, as if asking, “How could you, Peter?” That look. Those words. The man was haunted for days. The Savior’s subsequent death by crucifixion must have been like a nail driven into Peter’s heart. The one thing he needed to carry him on was gone….gone forever, he thought. HOPE. Until that glorious resurrection day, when we read not only of Jesus’ miraculous, bodily resurrection from the dead but also those great words of grace, “GO, TELL HIS DISCIPLES AND PETER….(Mark 16:7). AND PETER!
The significance of those two words cannot be overstated.
They introduced hope into the old fisherman’s life….the one essential ingredient without which he could otherwise not recover. Upon hearing of his Savior’s resurrection and also his Savior’s concern that HE especially be given the message. Peter had hope beyond his failure. Because of that, he could go on.”
God showed us a pattern HOW HE WILL MAKE A WAY FOR US.
The Protection Phase
The Dead End
“The Lord will make a way for you where no foot has gone before. That which, like a sea, threatens to drown you will be a highway for your escape.” Charles Spurgeon
God will make a way, where there seems to be no way,
He works in ways we cannot see; He will make a way for me.
He will be my guide, hold me closely to His side.
With love and strength, for each new day,
He will make a way He will make a way.
By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me.
And rivers in the desert will I see,
Heaven and earth will fade,
But His Word will still remain;
He will do something new today.