It might sound like a preposterous question to you (or most anyone), given the fact that Hitler is widely considered to be one of the most evil men in written history, and that his hateful reign of oppression and genocide will probably stand as one of Earth’s most heinous man-made atrocities ever.
But the simple fact is… that even based on the religious dogma within Christianity (that one needs only ask for God’s forgiveness in Jesus’ name)… that Hitler might well have… at the last second… gone to Heaven.
Picture this scenario:
A man of broken dreams and broken confidence sits with his wife in an underground bunker. Humbled. Fearful. The country which he had attempted to lead into his perceived vision of greatness is now falling into the hands of the enemy, whom even at this moment are advancing on the Capitol. All is lost. They have nowhere to run. In addition, he knows what he has done. He knows the actions of his administration… the death camps… the murders… he knows that will all be made public soon. And he knows he will be held accountable by men. By lesser men. And he knows that even if he were able to slip out of the country, they would find him… eventually, if not immediately. And when they did, it would not be good for him. And this was true even if he avoided a more horrible death to even get that far. After all, his friend Mussolini had only recently been cut down from being strung up by his heels, and was even at this moment being urinated on in the gutters of Italy. And so… in the face of all this… he and his wife in their final moments of desperation and shame, decide to end their lives.
In these last moments of raw human existence, stripped of realistic future, they have decided to end their lives and go to Heaven together rather than apart.
Heaven? Hitler? Seriously? Well, Hitler was a self-professed Christian, and under the rules of Christianity, if you ask for forgiveness in Jesus’ name… you get it. No exceptions. No “well, yeah… but you’re Hitler” responses to that request.
But isn’t suicide a sin, you ask? Well, maybe. But it’s not always an unforgivable sin when it is, right? At least not in our minds. For instance, we hold that anyone from within our soldier ranks who assumes a suicide mission, if they be a religious person, goes to Heaven when they’re done, even though their actions result in their own death. Right? Those people who forfeit their lives are held in the highest esteem. But realistically speaking… in a “suicide means sin” world… doesn’t Hitler going to Hell for killing himself also mean that… so does anyone who’s ever thrown himself on a grenade to save his comrades? Well, we couldn’t have that now, could we?
And besides… is suicide really on that imaginary list of “unforgivable sins” that God won’t forgive if one asks? I mean… in Christianity God forgives ALL sins, right? On what page would that be in the Bible where suicide is exempt? Where does it say in there that there is a ranking of better or worse sins?
But that’s not really what is at issue here, is it? I mean… this is just an exercise in mindful hypothetical chess, isn’t it? What’s REALLY at issue is your resistance to the idea that Hitler could ever go to Heaven under any circumstance, right? What is really interesting in this discussion is the fact that your mind wants to go to every extent to pull out loopholes of why Hitler couldn’t have possibly gone to Heaven… like pointing out he committed suicide… or like pointing out that Hitler’s atrocities were too heinous for even God to forgive… or pointing out the fact that it is rumored by Christians who want to distance themselves from Hitler that he was a false Christian.
But see… all those are YOUR misgivings of reasoning, and yearnings for justice… not God’s. Because as rancid as that thought of Hitler going to Heaven may taste to you, it’s not actually all that unreasonable if you think about it:
First, it is probable if not also likely that a mortal man put in that type of no-win situation would have taken a moment to stop and pray to a God that he might soon have to reckon with and be judged by. Most people when faced with their own death start looking for and reaching out to God even if they have not done so previously. And it has been proposed by some historians that Adolph and Eva prayed together before the final event of supposed co-suicide occurred. So if Hitler had indeed gotten down on his knees and asked for forgiveness of all his sins in his last moments, did God grant that forgiveness to him?
If you immediately say “no”, you might want to get to know your God a little better. It is proposed within Christianity (of which Hitler professed his allegiance), and most other world religions that God forgives ALL sin when someone asks forgiveness… even of course… suicide. All means all. Redemption isn’t subjective. God doesn’t love all his children except for the “bad” ones. God loves all. Without exception.
And any resistance to that thought is something our minds drum up to say… THAT religion where God forgives and accepts Hitler into Heaven can’t be MY religion. That God can’t be my God. My God would not have forgiven the most evil man in existence after what he did to millions of innocent men, women, and children. But in reality… those type of thoughts are only our individual mindful positions, not God’s. It is your uncomfortable association to Hitler through his sharing of a Christian faith that causes your unease… not God’s. It is your sense of justice that is being attacked, not God’s.
It is because of those attachments that we then wind up projecting our own faults and misgivings onto our idea of God. Because to do otherwise would be removing us away from God, right? Admitting that our idea of God was different than the reality of God would mean we weren’t as close to God as we thought, right?
But the simple fact is that when we project our beliefs or preferences back onto God to make that idea of God better fit what we would prefer it to be… WE ARE AT THAT MOMENT IN THE PROCESS OF REMOVING US FROM GOD! In that moment we are rejecting God’s reality, and replacing it with our own personal preference of reality, or preference of God.
From God’s position, it may very well have been that Hitler was one of his most lost children, and most in need of redemption from an entering-the-kingdom perspective. It may have been… even from the Christian modeled understanding of God… that Hitler gained access to Heaven at the last moments that he made peace with God.
The Agape type love that God is made of means unconditional love and acceptance. It means no subjectivity. It does not come with strings attached. And that reality would fit with the potential outcome that Hitler’s experience was that of Heaven and not of something else.
Have you ever before considered that Hitler might well be in Heaven? What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you have the courage to share your opinion? Or like in reading this entire article, would you rather just distance yourself from the whole thought process?
I look forward to your comments.
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