Friday, June 24, 2016

Book Nook: Breaking the Veil of Silence

I recently had the joy of reviewing a book written by a German pastor, theologian, and activist, Jobst Bittner. I have a soft spot in my heart for anything German, so I was excited for the opportunity to review Breaking the Veil of Silence.

The Veil of Silence affects more people than might originally realize. It causes a sense of being lost, of loneliness. Breaking it allows us to receive blessings and authority to change what's around us. The Veil of Silence is something that affects us personally, but can also affect us as a country or culture group. Germany naturally has a burden of guilt and trauma from its involvement in WWI and WWII, creating a spiritual eclipse; breaking the veil of silence has helped the country transform itself. 

The book weaves together history, psychology, and theology. Incorporating the Jewish roots of the Christian faith, along with reconciliation and healing, the book is great for anyone interested in German history, in transforming nations, or just in getting over generational guilt and pain in their own family. I had a chance to interview the author to learn more.

What is the "Veil of Silence"?
After the end of WWII, the Germans returned from the war – all had become perpetrators in one way or the other – whether actively as Nazis involved in mass murder – or passively by being indifferent towards hatred of Jews and enmity against Jewish life! Today, we can incur guilt in the very same way and become perpetrators again, through indifference against modern anti-Semitism and enmity against Israel. Silence is passed down through the generations – whether with the descendants of the Nazi perpetrators, or with the descendants of the Holocaust and war generation. Those who learn to break this silence will experience unique healing and reconciliation.
-   How can the development in Germany be applied to other countries as well??
The Veil of Silence exists in all countries and in every nation. The pillars of darkness are established on silence. When we learn how to tear them down and how to break them, the glory of God will break through in families, cities, and nations and will change them. The Veil of Silence exists on several different levels: 1. On a personal level, 2. on a family level, 3. on the level of church history and the church, and 4. on the level of cities and nations. Definitely, there is a Veil of Silence in the United States. The principles of how to break the silence are biblical, which makes them universal.
Does everyone have this Veil of Silence?
Unfortunately – yes. Silence destroys our spiritual life and debilitates our relationships. Silence has terrible effects on our health. David says in the Psalms: “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away!” (Ps 32,3) There is silence in the face of sin, silence in the face of injustice in our own families, and silence in the face of guilt that nations incur against minorities, other races or people of a different skin color. The original term for “silence” contains passivity and in difference. All who break their silence in the face of anti-Semitism and enmity against Israel in our time and who take a stand publicly, do their part so the mistakes of the past cannot repeat themselves.
-   How can breaking the Veil of Silence help us on a personal level as well??
Wherever I go, I have seen what can happen when people break the Veil of Silence! They experience personal breakthroughs like never before. They live in new authority and in love to Israel. Churches arise again and become a testimony in their cities. Take part in a March of Remembrance and read the testimonies on our website . God bless you. Thank you very much!
 About the Author:
Pastor Jobst Bittner has an M.A. in Theology, and together with his wife Charlotte he founded ministries all over the world. He is president of TOS Ministries and initiator of the international March of Life movement, which has taken place in more than 80 cities in 12 countries. One of the spin-offs is the March of Remembrance in more than 50 cities in the U.S. Next to this apostolic pioneer ministry, Jobst Bittner ministers as a conference speaker on five continents.

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