Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Where is Charles Martel when you need him?

The Battle of Tours (10 October 732) took place between the cities of Poitiers and Tours, in north-central France, close to the border between the Frankish kingdom and then-independent Aquitaine. It pitted Frankish and Burgundian forces under Charles Martel against a much larger army of the Umayyad Caliphate led by 'Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi.

Surprisingly, the Franks were victorious. 'Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi was killed, and Charles began to extend his authority and begin uniting a European kingdom that would withstand the challenge of Islamic military forces to the present day.

Some saw this as divine judgment in favor of Charles, nicknamed Martellus ("The Hammer"). Later , Charles Martel would be praised as the champion of Christianity, seeing the battle as the decisive turning point against the powerful Islamic empire.

The Battle of Tours came after two decades of Umayyad conquests in Europe beginning with the invasion of the Christian Kingdoms of the Iberian peninsula in 711 and seemingly unstoppable military expeditions into Gaul (the former province of the Roman Empire).  The Islamic army had reached as far northward as Aquitaine, Burgundy, and Bordeaux. Charles's victory came when Muslim rule was overrunning the old Roman and Persian Empires.

Charles surprised the Islamic forces who did not expect to find a large and well organized enemy.  For a full week they skirmished awaiting the arrival of the full Umayyad forces.  It gave Charles Martel time to organize and concentrate his forces for the battle plan.  Perhaps the most decisive maneuver was Charles raid on the Umayyad base camp threatening the bounty the army had accumulated in previous battles.  Charles so rattled the Umayyad forces that they left their tents standing and ran with whatever loot they could carry.

The army retreated over the Pyrenees.  In 735 another forey by the Islamic forces was repelled by Charles, putting an end to any of the Muslim hopes beyond the Iberian peninsula.  Charles’ grandson, Charlemagne, became the first Christian ruler of a mostly united Christian Europe.

Now here we are some thirteen centuries later, after Luther himself had wrote against the invading Muslim armies of the Turkish advance, and after terrorism has spilled over into the cities of Europe and the United States.  Here we are after a priest was murdered in his own parish church by an enemy more devious than the multinational, multilingual Ottoman empire and even more brutal.  Where are the voices of Luther in our day to rally us to organize together against our common enemy?  Where is the next Charles Martel who will face down the armies seeking to build a new caliphate more by terrorism than open conquest?  Where are those who both recognize and acknowledge that this is no mere threat to religion, though it is certainly that, but also a threat to the West as a whole and to freedom itself?

Luther initially feared that the Turkish invasion was a scourge from God against the sins of the Christians.  In 1528 Luther changes his mind and encouraged Charles V and all the German people to resist the invasion.  I am not prepared to say that the success so far of the jihadists is not in part due to the way we in the West have abused our freedom as license to cover our decadence, immorality, and licentiousness but we must battle on both fronts – fighting the common enemy and fighting for virtue, goodness, and truth in our exercise of the gift of freedom.  Where is the leader who can rally us to both?

17 comments:

Carl Vehse said...

"we must battle on both fronts – fighting the common enemy and fighting for virtue, goodness, and truth in our exercise of the gift of freedom. Where is the leader who can rally us to both?"

Isn't that what the Germans were crying out for at the beginning of the 1930s... or what the Pharisees and Sadducees were expecting in their version of the Messiah?

John J. Flanagan said...

Indeed, the threat of Islamic terrorism is real, and Western nations are learning that in many respects, Islam is incompatible with Christianity, Judaism, and other religions. Islam does not stress assimilation and tolerance, and the idea of democracy is alien to this system. I for one do not believe in allowing the migration of Muslims into the United States. Other religions, non-violent and peaceful, can coexist, but in every corner of the world, in most every land where Islam has gained a foothold, sectarian violence and terrorism follows. The Jihadists usually intimidate moderate Muslims to support them, and as a group, they promote Sharia rather than abide by the Constitutions and laws of the host nations where they settle. This is reality, not xenophobia, and survival of a free society warrants strong measures of self protection.

Carl Vehse said...

"Here we are after a priest was murdered in his own parish church by an enemy"

Let's not forget the laity—men, women, and children—who have been murdered by the islamoterrorists.

Carl Vehse said...

"armies... battle... fighting the common [jihadist] enemy and fighting for virtue, goodness, and truth n our exercise of the gift of freedom. Where is the leader who can rally us to both?"

Before sending the troops off with a sermon and a prayer for victory, called and ordained pastors should consider some of what they—in a real world—are asking for in terms of what will be needed in such a fight against Muslims.

• A Declaration of War by Congress;
• A much larger and probably more violent internment program in the U.S. than in WWII with Japanese Americans, which will likely involve armed defense by police and citizen militia against guerilla attacks by islamists already in U.S. cities, thanks to agencies like the LCMS-funded Lufauxran Immigration and Refugee Service (an accounting will have to be made);
• At least 150 MT of nuclear explosions directed at a dozen or so Middle Eastern countries, with the anticipated deaths of 300 million people directly or from subsequent disease and starvation;
• Cutting out [yet again!] the growing cancer in Europe;
• The subsequent indictment, trial, conviction, and sentencing of American citizens who aided and abetted Muslim terrorism;
• A world-wide economic disruption in carrying out such a fight for victory;
• A President who is willing to "push that button."

Thus the question, "Where is the leader who can rally us to both?" will not have a pleasant answer.

Anonymous said...

Hello Pastor,

Thanks for your post. I always enjoy your blog, and I really want to keep the eight commandment and put the best possible construction on your words both spoken and written. A quick question: Would you make a distinction between immigrants who are Muslim coming to this country(some fleeing war) and the army that was destroyed in 735 AD? How you recommend we receive them? A town in Wyoming has just now taken to burning the Quran. This isn't what Christ has called us to do. Take a quick minute and fire off a quick response. I hope to be in TN in November and go to your church. I have family in Memphis and in Knoxville. Thanks again for your writings and ministry.

In Wyoming

David Gray said...

How is burning a Koran bad? It is a false revelation from a false god that leads men and women into hell.

Carl Vehse said...

Gillette, is the town (pop. 31,000) in Wyoming where a copy of the Koran will be burned this weekend.

An October 29, 2014, Refugee Resettlement Watch article, "Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains largely funded by government contracts," discusses resettling inadequately screened Muslims in Wyoming.

LFSRM is a LCMS RSO, and a subcontractor of LIaRS (Lufauxran Immigration and Refugee Services) which gets most of its money from taxpayers' pockets, but also gets some token funds from the LCMS, which it gets from pewsitters' pockets.

The resettled Muslims provide cheap labor for the coal mining operations in the area.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Grey,

We are called to preach Christ and Him Crucified, not to violently attack other false religions and their writings. Sure, Islam is a lie and the LCMS clearly teaches this. Our weapons in this warfare are not bonfires, bombs, or other modern weapon, but the preaching and teaching of the Word made flesh. Christ refused to call fire down on towns that rejected him even after his disciples requested it. Thanks for your question, and I've always enjoyed reading your notes on this blog.

In Wyoming

David Gray said...

We just read this morning in Ephesians of the need to reprove false teaching. I think it is a grand hyperbole to confuse burning a book of lies with bombs or calling down fire on entire towns.

Carl Vehse said...

Where does Scripturet forbid Christians from burning the writings of false teachers? Martin Luther burned the papal bull along with other Romanist books in a bonfire on December 10, 1520, outside of Wittenberg. The Koran deserves no less.

Anonymous said...

Hello again,

Sorry I misspelled your name Mr. Gray, and hello to you Mr Vehse,

I am sorry but I don't know anyone who would equate reproving false teaching with burning the books. Does this activity advance God's Kingdom? Will people just abandon Islam, become disciples of Christ because I burned their holy books? I would use scriptures and preaching, and leave the bonfires to others. I guess we will just have to disagree Mr. Gray.

Great example with the Papal Bull Mr. Vehse. I will give that more thought. Sure, nothing the text about what not to burn or burn. I agree with you. I don't think ML was trying to convert the Pope to his position by burning his decree. He was just trying to defy him. Should we only try to defy Islam, or should we advance Christ's kingdom in the manner prescribed by Paul? That would be preaching and teaching Christ and Him crucified. Thanks for your thoughts gentlemen. Have a good day!

Carl Vehse said...

Again, where does Scripture forbid Christians from burning the writings of false teachers?

And it is a false dilemma to claim that Christians may either burn false teachings or preach and teach Christ and Him crucified. Certainly Martin Luther did both.

Pastor Peters said...

Fight is a word that is used in many contexts. Troops on the ground is but one. For my part the fight does not begin with weapons or boots on the ground but with other Islamic leaders who will stand up to those who use their Islamic faith as a weapon, with political leaders who will not shrink from confronting the enemies of freedom as real enemies that we dare not accommodate, and with religious leaders who will challenge the wasting of our liberty upon vulgarity and sensuality instead of virtue and goodness. For what it is worth, the burning of the Quran may be symbolism but it is provocative symbolism that does little to really address the Islamic jihadists and only convinces the moderate Muslims that we in America really mean freedom only for Christians.

John J. Flanagan said...

Muslim refugees can be helped without resettling them into Christian countries. Safe havens can be established in Islamic countries. We need not feel guilty as Christians simply because we do not want violence in our lands from a religious and political system which teaches contrary to our faith and civil laws. It is not the so called moderate Muslims who will save us from the extremists and Jihadis among them, we must do this ourselves and protect our children, our families, our neighborhoods from potential terrorism. We can extend the love of Christ and aid the refugees but Christ does not command us to invite them into our homes. Those who despise our faith and our laws will destroy us in spite of our good intentions.

Pastor Peters said...

"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." —G.K. Chesterton, January 14, 1911

David Gray said...

Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
(Psa 139:19-22)

Anonymous said...

Europe will eventually turn into a police state. The elites in Europe (the wealthy 1% of Europe) are truly evil and believe that Europe would be easier to control if it were NOT Christian. Hence the flow of Muslims into the European Union. They wish to rule like greedy sultans.