If we are to fully prosper as a nation before God then we must realize and fully own our past in order to experience healing in its fullness. We can no longer plead ignorance and expect God to accept that we are not culpable for our ancestors short-sightedness in government. In reading Russ Parker’s superb book Healing Wounded History I have come to see how those who have got on their knees before God and accepted their past has made a difference to the world in which a nation stands. Albert Speer, the former minister for armament production, was the only Nazi minister to admit the guilt of the sins of his nation’s leaders. He said:
Things that would have shocked and horrified me in 1934, such as assassination of opposition leaders, the persecution of the Jews, the incarceration and torture of innocent men in concentration camps, I tolerated as unfortunate excesses in 1935: and things I couldn’t have stomached in 1935 were palatable a few years later. If I did not see it, it was because I did not want to see it!
The confession of F.W. De Klerk when corresponding to a question from the floor in the Royal Albert Hall after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize is in contrast to the above statement. He was asked if it was international sanctions that brought about the end of apartheid. De Klerk replied:
It was not the sanctions, but a deep self-analysis on our knees before God
As Parker notes in his book we are living in days when God is raising the voice of prophets in our nation to challenge and bring us back to an awareness and response-ability for the sins of our nation, our communities, our churches and our families. If these group sins are not healed then they will have destructive consequences, which left unchecked will damage people-groups continually as a repeated pattern of pain and destruction and ultimate judgement.