The ideas of the “German Christians” have their counterparts in the Churches of Britain and America, but there the different elements that compose contemporary Christian culture remain interfused. No crisis has arisen to isolate them. We can still remain comfortably vague about many things just because we have not thought them out. The German conflict calls us and helps us to see just where we stand. And it must be apparent that we should be well advised to think these things out, not merely for the sake of intellectual clarity and theological integrity, but practically, because the crisis that has confronted the Church in Germany is certainly—if with some superficial differences of form—going sooner or later to confront us here. Germany has no monopoly of paganism and it is not the habit of paganism always to remain passive and non-aggressive.And what was that paganism that McNab was referring to? It was a God and a revelation centered in the German culture rather than God’s revelation, the Bible, and the living Word of God, Jesus Christ.
The hardcore Nazis were totally pagan. They fulfilled their religious needs and ideals in the German landscape, culture and history. On the other hand, the German Christians were compromisers; they mixed their Christianity with the Nazis paganism. God’s revelation was in Jesus Christ, but it was also in the history and culture of the German people. God was supposedly completing his revelation in Christ with the rise of National Socialism.
Another movement, the German Faith Movement, was very different than Christianity. Frey using Professor Wilhelm Hauer who wrote about their beliefs writes of the Faith movement’s view of death:
The Germanic German faith in life discloses also the eternal meaning of death. The earth is home and sanctuary, it is her will that the generations sink back again into her as they rose up from her, “We say ‘yes’, to death also, for it is the divine’ ‘Must’, the sacred original law of life, to which we willingly submit ourselves.”And in a ceremony written out by Hauer for the dead the end is, "Loyalty to the earth/Loyalty to the God in us,/Loyalty to the eternal ‘Die and Become.’"
In the midst of all of this the orthodox, called evangelicals in Germany, lost their teaching and pastoral positions. Christianity could not be spoken of in the schools and young people were socialized into the Nazi culture. Believers also lost their freedom to speak publicly of Christianity from a confessional viewpoint and many of them lost their lives in concentration camps. The only Christians with any power were the German Christians who insisted on a synthesis of paganism and Christianity.
But the words that Karl Barth writes in his forward to Cross and Swastika are wholly filled with promise and hope:
Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem his name. “They will be mine” says the Lord of hosts,, “on the day that I prepare my own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between the one who serves God and the one who does not serve him” (Malachi 3:16-18).