Daily Archives: 2 Nov 2018

Quote of the Day

If You Think ‘Welcoming the Foreigner’ is Liberal Ideology…

You’ve never read the Bible.  And if you have, you’ve never paid attention to what it says.

Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a foreigner and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” 

Then the upright will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a foreigner and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you? When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?” 

And the King will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.” (Matt. 25:34-40)

What Happens When Fear Takes over A Church?

This.  This happens.

Matthew 16:18 reads, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

For one Iowa pastor, this verse may ring true in the sense that he has taken precautions against any attack that may occur in his church by rigging it with a bulletproof pulpit, a magnetic gun mount, and multiple medical trauma bags.

Mike Demastus, pastor of Fort Des Moines Church of Christ, tells local Des Moines, Iowa, news outlet WHO-TV that the precautions are because “[the congregation loves] each other. We love each other enough to make sure that we’re gonna be safe.”

Demastus told the outlet that he wants his congregation to take all measures necessary. He added that he thinks the steps his church took to improve safety are simple.

“We stopped advertising where our nursery is,” said Demastus. “We just want that to be something we can escort people to, instead of advertising where that’s at because they’re our most vulnerable, the children that are in our nursery.”

The security measures don’t stop there. According to Demastus, there are five people on the church’s safety team that hold different posts and responsibilities every Sunday. Security cameras are positioned around the church, and there is a medical trauma bag, should anyone be injured. The pastor is also armed.

“Right here, I have a spot where I can put my gun,” Demastus told WHO-TV, gesturing to his pulpit. “It’s got a magnet, just literally sticks on there. In the front, we have bulletproof plates that literally, I can’t remember what the strength is of the plates, but they’re steel plates that are in the front of this thing, makes it really heavy. You know, if there was ever a thing, I can just duck down, you know, and be safe behind this thing.”

Jeremy Sroka, with Iowa’s Department of Homeland Security, told the TV station that the pastor is on the right track. “We recommend people to remain vigilant, to be aware of their surroundings at all times,” said Sroka. “Whether at a mall, at a house of worship, or grocery shopping, and then if they see anything that looks suspicious or odd, that they report activity to local law enforcement.”

Look, on one hand I understand this.  But on the other I think it is unbelief and regrettably so.  Where is their faith?   Bad stuff happens all around us and it’s vile.  But that shouldn’t mean that we turn our places of worship into hardened bunkers.  And is he planning on hiding behind his pulpit and shooting around the corner blindly as his flock is slaughtered?  What on earth is this?

We live in sad, sick times.  We should be prepared, and it makes sense to have medical supplies on hand at any rate.  But such fear as this?  How is it Christian?

Von Erasmus bis zum Sonderbundskrieg: Grundlagen und Wirkung der Schweizer Reformation

Das Gebiet der heutigen Schweiz war für die Reformation und ihre weltweite Ausstrahlung von grosser Bedeutung. Ein personelles Geflecht von Humanisten und Pfarrern, unterstützt von Bauern, Zünften und Stadträten, gab der Bewegung im 16. Jahrhundert nachhaltigen Schwung – und wirkte bis weit über die Landesgrenzen hinaus. Zentrale Protagonisten waren der Basler Humanist Erasmus von Rotterdam, die Zürcher Pfarrer Ulrich Zwingli und Heinrich Bullinger sowie Johannes Calvin in Genf, dessen Einfluss insbesondere in den USA bis heute spürbar bleibt. Vom verheerenden Dreissigjährigen Krieg blieb die Eidgenossenschaft grösstenteils verschont, die Konfessionalisierung war aber auch hierzulande kein konfliktfreier Prozess. Den Abschluss dieser Auseinandersetzungen bildete der Sonderbundskrieg 1847, der – zumindest indirekt – die Basis für den Schweizer Bundesstaat legte.

Mit Beiträgen von:  Christine Christ-von Wedel, Josef Lang, Thomas Lau, Peter Opitz, Jürgen Overhoff, Andrea Strübind

A Sense of Guilt Is What Drives Fear

Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God. We have recognised for ourselves, and put our faith in, the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. Love comes to its perfection in us when we can face the Day of Judgement fearlessly, because even in this world we have become as he is. In love there is no room for fear, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear implies punishment and no one who is afraid has come to perfection in love. Let us love, then, because he first loved us. Anyone who says ‘I love God’ and hates his brother, is a liar, since whoever does not love the brother whom he can see cannot love God whom he has not seen. Indeed this is the commandment we have received from him, that whoever loves God, must also love his brother. — (1 Jn. 4:15-21)

In short, if you weren’t so terrified of facing punishment for the wrongs you have done, you would treat other people better.   A sense of doom, however, gives birth to anger, and anger gives birth to hatred.

Luther Confesses His Ignorance of Hebrew: January, 1522

Luther Bible, 1534

In a letter to Nicolas von Amsdorf Luther writes

… I shall translate the Bible, although I have here shouldered a burden beyond my power. Now I realize what it means to translate, and why no one has previously undertaken it who would disclose his name.

Of course I will not be able to touch the Old Testament all by myself and without the co-operation of all of you.

Therefore if it could somehow be arranged that I could have a secret room with any one of you, I would soon come and with your help would translate the whole book from the beginning, so that it would be a worthy translation for Christians to read. For I hope we will give a better translation to our Germany than the Latins have.

It is a great and worthy undertaking on which we all should work, since it is a public matter and should be dedicated to the common good.*

Worth noting is the fact that when Zwingli and the Zurichers translated the Bible, Zwingli was chiefly in charge of the Hebrew Bible.  The entire Zurich Bible appeared in 1531.  Luther’s, in 1534.   Poor Luther, he couldn’t read Jeremiah (or the rest) without help… like a little child led by the hand.

*Luther’s Works, vol. 48: Letters I, p. 363.

Today With Zwingli: Why He Wrote His “Suggestio deliberandi super propositione Hadriani Nerobergae facta”

zw.jpgA friend, writing from Ravensburg, in Wurtemberg, twenty-two miles east-north-east of Constance, had informed Zwingli, under date of November 2, 1522, that at the Imperial Diet at Nuremberg that year it was declared that the Pope had four plans in hand: “peace between Cæsar and Pompey [i. e., between the Emperor and the King of France]; the annihilation of the cause of Luther; the reform of the Church; and a war against the Turks.”

This was the occasion of Zwingli’s Latin pamphlet, hastily written as usual, entitled: “A suggestion of the advisability of reflecting upon the proposal made by Pope Adrian to the princes of Germany at Nuremberg; written by one who has deeply at heart the welfare of the Republic of Christ in general and of Germany in particular.”

It is characterised by Zwingli’s qualities of clear-mindedness, candour, modesty, and Christian zeal. It contains several skilful quotations of Scripture. It expresses great scepticism as to the reality of the alleged papal schemes except the crushing of Luther; and against that it utters an emphatic protest. No reformation could come from Rome.*

Zwingli concludes this little Flugschrift thusly:

Summa summarum: Nemo tam hebes sit, ut propter Romanenses, qui Germaniam tot sęculis riserunt, quicquam tumulti excitet etiamsi Christi causa non ageretur; iterum nemo tam servili ac abiecto animo, ut, ultro oblata libertate, nolit ea iuxta Pauli verbum potius uti, quam infructuosę imo detrimentosę, servitutis loris teneri. Esaię 8 [Jes. 8. 9f.]: Congregamini populi et vincemini, et audite universę procul terrę! Confortamini et vincemini, accingite vos et vincemini, inite consilium et dissipabitur, loquimini verbum et non fiet, quia nobiscum deus.

*Samuel Macauley Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (Heroes of the Reformation; New York; London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons; Knickerbocker Press, 1901), 176–177.

Laughable Stupidity

Literally anyone who is actually a Christian has done more for Christianity than Trump.

A Little Tale Luther Tells

In the year of our Lord 1510 (if I remember correctly) I was in Rome and heard tell this story: about seven German miles this side of Rome there is a spot called Ronciglione, where lived, at the time of Paul II (who reigned seventy years ago), a papal official who saw the blasphemous, devilish nature of the pope and his scum in Rome, and did not give the pope his annual tax from his office.

The pope sent for him, he did not come; and whatever the pope ordered him to do, he ignored. Finally the pope put him under the ban, but he did not care about this either. After this, the pope had him tolled out with bells and thrown out and damned with lights extinguished from the pulpit, as is the custom; this did not bother him either. At last, because such obstinate disobedience to the pope in his canon law must be called heresy, he had the official’s portrait drawn on paper, with many devils over his head and on both sides, and had it brought to court, accused, and sentenced to the stake for heresy.

Then straightaway he took the paper to the fire and burned it. The official also had a portrait of the pope amid his cardinals drawn on paper, with lots of devils above and around them, called a court into session, and the pope and cardinals were accused as the worst scoundrels living on earth, doing immeasurable harm to poor people; and if their leader were to die, they would diligently set in his place the very worst one they could find among themselves; they were surely worthy of hell-fire, and many witnesses testified to all this.

Then the judge, the official, and the plaintiffs stepped forth and declared that they should be burned; and quickly, in the name of a thousand devils, he put the picture of the pope and cardinals into the fire to burn them, until the pope forcefully drove him out.*

* Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, vol. 41, 278–279.