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27
Oct
2014

FRESH FROM THE BREWER: NEVER FORGET

Written by Troy Brewer  |  Found in: Main Articles

On April the 21st 1836, when Sam Houston led my ancestor Henry Brewer onto the battlefield of San Jacinto, they charged into the Mexican Army with the battle cry of "Remember the Alamo, remember Goliad!”  

 

Since that time, we have enjoyed 188 years of freedom because a handful of courageous men had the audacity to refuse to forget.

I am grateful that they chose to remember and it is within that blanket of freedom we stand here to today.

 

To remember is a choice. What you remember and how you remember says a lot more about your heart than it says about your mind. What you remember and how you remember speaks of your values and integrity on the inside. It declares your motives and agendas and shows if they are pure and true. It is because of that, we remember the devastating reality of The Holocaust and we say "we will never forget!"

  

We will never forget when we see the number 6,000,000, the number most commonly accepted as the Jewish death toll during The Holocaust, that behind every single one of those numbers was a person, a life full of promise and hope.

 We will never forget that several million of that 6,000,000 were little boys and little girls that were persecuted, terrorized, starved, beaten and murdered and for what, the extermination of a blood line? We will not forget the insanity and the reality of that.

 

We will never forget that not only were great and unspeakable atrocities done to the 6,000,000 Jewish people who were murdered. There were tens of millions more who were displaced, made homeless, separated from their families and had everything they ever owned, stolen from them.

 

We will "never forget" that this didn't take place over a day or over a year but actually over decades, while the world yawned as this evil mounted.

 

 I will never forget Yehuda Bauer’s famous quote after he observed the world's stance during The Holocaust, referring to the Ten Commandments, "Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but above all, thou shall not be a bystander."

 

If we choose to never remember, then we choose not to be moved by the reality that such things exists among us and must be confronted. When we choose that, we allow for it and when we allow for it, we partake in it.

 

I remember when they created the courts for what would be called the Nuremberg Trials for the historical documentation of The Holocaust and the prosecution of prominent members of the Nazi Party, they wanted to come to a conclusion as to what was the very essences of this great evil?

 

The conclusion of the Nuremberg trials were summed up by these three words: Lack of empathy. They determined that a human being can condition themselves to refuse to be emotionally affected by anything. The death of child, the destruction of families, you can condition yourself to not be affected by their pleas for help or the injustice of all it.  You can develop skill sets of forgetting.

The Nazis became good at this. Lack of empathy is the essence evil.  So today, we stand against evil by remembering and refusing to forget, allowing our hearts to be touched by such a thing.

We also choose to never forget that the Nazis didn’t win.

 

 The Jewish people did not just survive they overcame it and many of them returned to the land that was promised to the by God. They defied all odds and made an impossible Biblical prophecy come true while the world continues to marvel at a Jewish State that stares back at the rest of the world powers and says “We will never forget!”

 

I am not a Jew I am a Gentile by birth. My natural heritage is not Israeli.

 

I like being a Texan and a Gentile, it works for me.  I am a man who loves God. A man who loves people. A man who loves freedom and because of that "I will never forget!"

 

I will not allow my children to forget, I will not allow my grandchildren to forget. I will not allow my congregation that "I pastor" to forget.

 

I am a Christian and as a Christian I am commanded to stand with and for my Jewish friends. I recognize that in years past, the church has not only been a bystander and has been ill responsible at best. In many cases it has been actual participant in the cycles of holocausts that have happened throughout the centuries, for that I am sorry.  As a Christian and as a pastor I am sorry for that.  It was never the heart of Jesus; it was the heart of evil and of hateful men among us.  But today, in this garden and in this place, I stand with the Christians who did stand with Israel.  I stand with William Cooper, Irena Sendler, Corrie Ten Boom and Dietrich Bonheoffer; I stand with the thousands of Catholic priests and Christian pastors who were forced into concentration camps because of their stance with the Jews. I will never forget them …. And as a Christian, I ask my Jewish brothers and sisters to also choose to "never forget" them.

 

The word for "forgetting" is amnesia, the definition is incredible.  Amnesia is described as "Impaired ability to learn new information because of an impaired ability to recall past events."

 

The inability to remember means the inability to learn and to move forward. Our future and the hope of our future is directly connected to our ability to remember.

 

As a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, I declare in the name of Jesus that the church in Johnson County Texas, stands with the people of Israel and we make a vow to never ever forget.

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