The Millennium Cross – The biggest cross in the world (sorry Rio!)
On the schedule was an item that said Prince Philip of Prussia would speak. I wasn’t sure if this was an actual prince or if he fancied himself a prince or if he had taken the name Prince like the singer. In any case, I was curious.
At the appointed time, a thin, well-dressed man came to the stage. It didn’t even occur to me that this might be the prince because he’s a man that you would never pick out of a group as being royalty of any kind. In fact, he seems almost too humble and unprepossessing.
He introduced himself and his family tree (follow the link above, and you can read all that). Prince Philip became a believer at the age of eighteen, and is now a pastor. He spoke of his great-grandfather, William II (also known as Kaiser Wilhelm), and the start of World War I. Although he was deeply shocked by the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, it was a war he never wanted. When you understand the family relations, you will understand why he didn’t want the war: he was the eldest and best-loved grandson of Queen Victoria. In fact, the rulers of Russia, Spain, Norway, Romania, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Greece were all his family. So it’s easy to understand why he didn’t want war in Europe. But the generals insisted that it was necessary to respond to the assassination quickly and with power. The tragedy is that William II was a believer, but he lacked the faith to seek God for the answer.
So because of his great-grandfather’s lack of faith, a war resulted with over 37 million military and civilian deaths. And William II abdicated, opening the way for Hitler (obviously, I’m over-simplifying for the sake of brevity), and the deadliest war of all time, World War II, with an estimated 30 – 50 million military and civilian deaths.
Then came a moment when the whole hall was so silent that it seemed that we scarcely dared to draw a breath. Prince Philip drew a deep breath and stated his desire to repent on behalf of his family for Europe’s bloodiest century, and asked our forgiveness before God. I was sitting in the first row, and I don’t know if I was first, but I didn’t see anyone before me leap to their feet faster and begin clapping. Then the whole hall was on their feet, clapping and clapping for several minutes. The conference leaders went up on stage and surrounded Prince Philip, and the applause went on and on. My hands were aching, but I could not stop. I applauded his courage and integrity, and my willingness to forgive such a man. And I wanted him to know that he is forgiven. Well, obviously, he knows that God forgives, but I wanted him to know that I forgive, too.
Finally, the conference leaders each embraced Prince Philip, stating their forgiveness on behalf of their nations and their families. It was one of the most moving moments I’ve ever witnessed, and I feel certain that it changed the spiritual atmosphere over Europe. Now, I believe, Revival can happen here. God is good!