Friday, September 14, 2018

Benign Religion. . .

Strangely enough, the left has come to see Christianity as anything but a benign religion and as such has provided frontal assault after frontal assault against orthodox Christianity.  It began in a formal way, perhaps as a government agenda, with abortion and the labeling of the pro-life position as extreme.  It has certainly followed through which respect to Christian opposition to any redefinition of marriage to include same sex or other partners other than one man and one woman.  This has certainly manifested itself well in portraying the Christians as preoccupied with sex, prudish, or simply out of touch with the world.  It has gone so far as to label as hate speech any opposition to these sacred freedoms never enshrined in the Constitution and to limit the freedom of religion to a freedom of worship.

In contrast, these same people are radical supporters of dialog, conversation, and building bridges between culture and those once well known as enemies of Christianity and, indeed, the West.  So the folks who would label orthodox Christianity as a danger to freedom, find welcome for Islam and promote a warmer acceptance of Islamic neighbors and their religion all across America.  About 8 years ago it was revealed the Islamic adherents were seeking permission to build a facility near the site of the Twin Towers.  While some complained that this was offensive, the left insisted that opposition to such moderate Muslims was offensive.  About 15 years ago, Muslims began building a facility near the site of the great Battle of Tours when Charles the Hammer Martel defeated Islamic invaders on 25 October 732 AD.  Though the progress has been slow, the basic structure has already been built as a memorial to Muslim martyrs.

History has shown that Christianity is far from an enemy of cultural advancement.  In fact, the flourishing of the arts, musics, and science that we call the Renaissance happened under the tutelage and largely from the patronage of the Church.  The role of women, the toleration of other religions, the work of charity for the poor, and work to end slavery have all been profoundly advanced by and because of the Christian faith.  While there is no shortage of individuals who could be cited as enemies of these causes, they happened in large part because of the sanction of the Church.  They were slow causes, especially in comparison to the quick move made by the GLBTQ community from the fringes into the mainline of American acceptance and culture, but their progress was due in no small measure to Christians and the work of the Church.

On the other hand, Islamic history has not been one of progress but one of increasingly sectarian intolerance.   What we see in the Middle East today is in stark contrast to historical Islamic rulers and empires -- even ones known for violence.  Where is there as a benign form of Islam that eschews the violence and rejection of toleration which has become the hallmark of democratic society?  Yet the left continues to champion understanding and toleration for groups and individuals who offer little in return.  My point here is not to bash Muslims but to ask what is going on among the left leaning groups here and abroad?  What kind of myopia labels orthodox Christianity as hate speech for its rejection of killing babies, sanctioning suicide for those who believe life is too painful to live, defining sex and gender at will, and working to reshape so many millenia of understanding as to what constitutes marriage and family? 

Those on the left insist that the only good Christianity is one that does not really believe in its tenets while supporting Islam even in its most fundamental and threatening forms.  I really do not get it?  I am not trying to put down Islam; instead what I am trying to figure out is how in my lifetime Christianity became the enemy.  If someone can provide me an explanation, I would appreciate it.  In the meantime, Happy Holy Cross Day!


Ted Badje said...

The Left lost its argument on collectivism with the fall of the Soviet Union, and the decline of Socialism in Western Europe in the 70’s. They are using other tools to bash Christianity and Western Civilization by sexual issues, identity politics, and Islam.

Daniel G. said...

Pastor Peters,

I am with you on “not getting it” while at the same time I am not surprised by anything that is going on. Dismayed yes but not surprised.

The words of Christ echo in my head constantly such us, “They hated me and so they will hate you” or the words of one of the apostles, I think, “They will call evil good and good evil.” So we have arrived so to soeak.

I live in Boston where because I have SSA but yet accept the traditional definitions of marriage and family and refuse to acknowledge one who is clearly a man ad a woman, I am constantly attacked and on guard especially so since Ibwork in healthcare. I attend church and struggle constantly with carrying this cross. But, and as you know, Christ won the war. We should not despair.

Daniel G. said...

And while I'm thinking about it, because Christianity is at odds with the world, and the Cross flies in the face of everyone who wants the easy way out, and because we have a media system that tells us all that there is to hope for and want is in the here and now and emboldens all things antithetical to Christianity, that is why in our lifetime, Christianity has been made to be the enemy. Sorry if the sentence was a run-on.

Carl Vehse said...

Christianity has been the enemy of Satan since the Fall. And for much longer than your lifetime, Satan has instilled in its minions that hatred of Christianity and the activities of Christians in both the Kingdom of the Right and the Kingdom of the Left.

As Lutherans recognize, Satan's opposition even includes setting up the Antichrist in the Roman Church. And one particular political party in the United States has demonstrated its loyalty to Satan in supporting for over forty years the slaughter of infants in the womb and in every other kind of Satanic perversion or ideology (e.g., Islam) opposed to God's law. Now, with about half the voters (along with the fifth-column media, many public school and university administrations) loyal to their demonic political party, these followers of Satan and enemies of the United States are even so bold as to oppose freedom of religion and speech, the Constitution, and anything that Christians may want to support or use in the lives within the Kingdom of the Left and in the Kingdom of the Right.

Anonymous said...

The Church....The Cosmos....They Clash

Carl Vehse said...

As noted last month in Pastoral Meanderings, Martin Luther stated:

"The world and its god cannot and will not endure the Word of the true God, and the true God neither will nor can keep silence; so when these two Gods are at war with one another, what can there be but tumult in the whole world?"

Carl Vehse said...

Make that note three years ago.

Daniel G. said...

And as you know, how can Satan cast out Satan lest his kingdom be divided? Antichrist will never be enthroned in the “Roman” church. That is sheer ignorance.

Daniel G. said...

Christians, orthodox believers, whether protestant or Catholic have to bind together and fight the common enemy.

Carl Vehse said...

Earlier I had referred to the Antichrist in the Roman Church. The Lutheran Confessions also state:

"This teaching shows forcefully that the Pope is the very Antichrist, who has exalted himself above, and opposed himself against Christ because he will not permit Christians to be saved without his power, which, nevertheless, is nothing, and is neither ordained nor commanded by God."

"Therefore, just as little as we can worship the devil himself as Lord and God, we can endure his apostle, the Pope, or Antichrist, in his rule as head or lord."

"Therefore, even though the bishop of Rome had the primacy by divine right, yet since he defends godless services and doctrine conflicting with the Gospel, obedience is not due him; yea, it is necessary to resist him as Antichrist. The errors of the Pope are manifest and not trifling."

"Thus the Pope has not only usurped dominion, contrary to Christ's command, but has also tyrannically exalted himself above all kings."

"And the marks [all the vices] of Antichrist plainly agree with the kingdom of the Pope and his adherents. For Paul, in describing Antichrist to the Thessalonians, calls him 2 Thess. 2:3-4: an adversary of Christ, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God."

LMMV (Lufauxran mileage may vary)

Anonymous said...

Vehse can always be counted on to post irrelevant and repetitive remarks, riding his favorite hobby horses and grinding the same axes. Would be laughable were it not just downright pathetic.

Carl Vehse said...

Rev. Peters: "Those on the left insist that the only good Christianity is one that does not really believe in its tenets"

This is verified by the ridicule the left anonymoously flings at Lutheran Christians who subscribe to the Lutheran Confessions.

Cliff said...

It is unfortunate that Christiania has taken the fall for the events of 9/11. "Islam did the crime, Christiania did the time".

And yes ALL Christians need to unite to fight the evil attacks of satan, despite what Carl says. He has no basis in scripture for his outlandish statements.

Carl Vehse said...

The quotes I posted earlier referring to the Antichrist were taking from Martin Luther's Smalcald Articles, Part II, Article IV, and well as Philipp Melanchthon's Treatise on the Primacy and Power of the Pope. There is scriptural support in the texts. Both symbols are part of the Lutheran Confessions. A summary of the statements along with various Scriptural support is also given in a Brief Statement of 1932, Of the Antichrist.

The reactions to such statements are more examples, as Rev. Peters noted, of the left insisting that the only good Christianity is one that does not really believe in its tenets.

Daniel G. said...

Cliff and Anonymous,

Thank you.

I think we should pray for this tortured man's soul.

Carl Vehse said...

Rev. Peters: "My point here is not to bash Muslims.... I am not trying to put down Islam"

Given what Rev. Peters said about Islam and Muslims earlier in his column, a Lutheran might ask, "What does this mean?"

Daniel G. said...


It means to not judge the person who, through no fault of their own, do not know the light of Christ because of the circumstances that they were brought up in. Does hate the sin not the sinner mean anything to you?

Carl Vehse said...

"The question, What does this mean?," also applies to displaying Charles de Steuben's painting of the 732 A.D. Battle of Tours captioned with "A Clash of Civilizations."

Anonymous said...

The institutional arrogance from the papists commenting on this blog comes as no surprise as does their blind loyalty to what they see as a monolithic structure that is undergoing a process of fracturing that hasn’t been seen since the 16th Century. Carl is a Lutheran and reminds us of the chasm that exists between Rome and the Reformation. It has always been Rome’s response to use invective against Luther and the Reformers in the face of correction based on Scripture. What Luther said isn’t pretty, it isn’t nice but it conforms to Scripture. Scripture (Christ’s very words) is the primacy and power of the Church with Lutherans and not subsequent papal proclamations that twist and pervert Holy Writ. How fitting it is that such laws based on fiat as an exercise of power are referred to as papal bull. Carl has struck a nerve and reminds us that the two sides are no closer to unity of spirit in the bond of peace and demonstrates why that is. Your fight is not with Carl but with the conservative Reformation and the Reformers who want to remain faithful to the Word of God. And, by the way, we will continue to pray for you papists, that the scales will fall from your eyes. With God, all things are possible.

Daniel G. said...

To anonymous who is Carl’s saviour,

Luther in his monolothic hubris started the whole mess of the protestant revolt which led to the monolithic fracture of the Body of Christ in the west. Luther should have taken his queues from St. Francis if Assissi who heeded the call from Christ to rebuild the Church; that is, from within with true reform. Luther thought he knew better that the faithful Christian priests, brothers, etc 1500 years prior to him. He had a point with indulgences and the abuse of them. Any informed Catholic would be stupid, to put it bluntly, to refute that. Lurher took it a step further in his attacks of the mass, etc and the novel idea of private interpretation of the scriptures which, btw, were private for him yet imposed in his followers as the only true interpretation. Then pandora’s box wax opened and Calvin and Zwingli come on the scene and behold don’t agree with your pope Luther.

Look, the reason I read this blog is because the pastor who runs it is a Christian who has a take on the current culture that is valid putting aside our theological differences. It’s amusing and annoying at the same time that all people like you and Carl do is to bash the “Roman” church and her congregants. Really? Don’t we, as believers have better things to do like unite wnd fight against this degenerate culture?

Give me a break!

David Gray said...

A call to repentance for sin is never amiss. Anyone who argues that Luther thought he knew better than all Christians in the previous 1500 years is either ignorant or dishonest. Ignorance doesn't have the same sort of moral culpability as dishonesty so let us hope that it is ignorance. If you wish to argue that Luther was in error that is one thing but arguing that he ignored the previous 1500 years of the catholic tradition is absurd. The question of the Reformation was who was being faithful to the catholic tradition; Rome or the Reformers?

Carl Vehse said...

The recent sex scandal revelations in the Roman Church, , "now reported to reach up into the Vatican, has been discussed in several Lutheran blog article, which also discuss other problems with the Roman Church:

"Lutheran dogmatician Francis Pieper wrote, 'Making the Law and the entire Scripture the object of justifying faith, the Papists, the Arminians with their followers, and the Unitarians no longer teach Christianity, but pagan works-righteousness.' (Christian Dogmatics II.424)

"Our fight is not with the members of the Roman church, but against the false teaching there found, and our prayer is that by the grace of God, many would be saved from heresy and false teachers."

Excerpted from a September 13, 2018, article, "How Should Lutherans Consider the Roman Church?," by Lutheran Pastor Johannes Nieminen.

There is also a September 14, 2018, article, "Don’t forget the real reason the papacy stinks," by Lutheran Pastor Andrew Preus.

Carl Vehse said...

Rev. Peters: "On the other hand, Islamic history has not been one of progress but one of increasingly sectarian intolerance."

Mohammedans settling in European countries also demonstrate their historical tendencies as described in a September 154, 2018, Voice of Europe article, "White British girl held prisoner by Muslim grooming gang for 12 years and forced to have 8 abortions."