…the Turk’s Koran, or creed, teaches him to destroy not only the Christian faith, but also the whole temporal government. His Mohammed, as has been said, commands that ruling is to be done by the sword, and in his Koran the sword is the commonest and noblest work. Thus the Turk is, in truth, nothing but a murderer or highwayman, as his deeds show before men’s eyes…
…Who would not rather be dead than live under such a government, where he must say nothing about his Christ, and hear and see such blasphemy and abomination against Him? Yet it takes such a powerful hold, when it wins a land, that people even submit to it willingly. Therefore, let everyone pray who can pray that this abomination may not become lord over us and that we may not be punished with this terrible rod of God’s anger…
…I think…that neither emperor nor princes believe themselves that they are emperor and princes. For they act as though it lay with their own judgment and pleasure whether they would rescue and protect their subjects from the power of the Turk or not; and the princes neither care nor think that they are bound and obligated before God to counsel and help the emperor in this matter with body and goods. Martin Luther, “On War Against the Turk”
LONDON | Thu May 23, 2013 6:58am EDT
LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron said the brutal killing of a soldier who was hacked to death in London by two men shouting Jihadist slogans was a betrayal of Islam….
“This was not just an attack on Britain and on the British way of life, it was also a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country. There is nothing in Islam* that justifies this truly dreadful act.”
(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton, editing by Stephen Addison)http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/23/us-britain-killing-cameron-islam-idUSBRE94M0EZ20130523
Really, who gave political officials the authority to pronounce judgments on what is or isn’t an authentic expression of a religion’s piety or theology?
How did David Cameron get to be an authority on Islam?
How did newspaper columnists and TV anchormen become trusted authorities on what is permitted by Islam and what is a betrayal of it?
Many Muslims think it is a betrayal of Islam if a Muslim taxi driver permits someone into his taxi with alcohol; others think it is a betrayal of Islam if a woman fails to wear a hijab in public (i.e. cover her hair.) Could you ever imagine David Cameron, President Obama, or Bill O’ Reilly or whoever going on the record to declare that failures to wear a hijab are a “betrayal of Islam?”
No, they only make these statements when Muslims give incontrovertible evidence that Islam, or at least quite a few of its adherents, are implacable enemies of Western values or virtues like religious tolerance or non-violent resistance to injustice. These values and virtues are often either explicitly Christian or have roots in Christian doctrine and morals.
Cynicism suggests that this is because Western leaders in government and media hate their ancestors and Christianity and want to destroy every memory of either.
“All Mankind Fell in Adam’s Fall”
But that’s probably not right. It’s probably more that, no longer rooted in Christianity, the West has forgotten (or rejected) the doctrine of original sin, although we have not completely forgotten some Christian virtues–mercy, love for enemies, etc. But virtues without Christ are like chips of stained glass broken out of a pane.
Believing that people are basically good at heart, or at least not believing that they are born evil, the West finds it too painful to distinguish between good and evil. Because Europeans have frequently done evil or killed the innocent because they were sure that they were in the right and that God was on their side, they now are unable to bring themselves to fight against a foreign culture and religion that has no such doubts.
Spiritual and Temporal Authority—the Lost Protestant Doctrine
This self-doubt and willingness to turn the other cheek is part of Christ’s teaching. But the Protestant Reformation–particularly the Lutheran Reformation–rightly recognized that while this is appropriate for private individuals, it is disastrous for rulers and governments (and probably for any calling God gives Christians on earth.) If the Reformers and the princes who accepted the Reformation had allowed Jesus’ commands to love our enemies, turn the other cheek, not judge, and so on, to prevent rulers from fighting wars, executing criminals, and maintaining courts of law, the Reformation (along with society in those regions that accepted the Reformation) would have collapsed. Princes in Protestant lands had to maintain armies and fight for the right to proclaim the pure Word of God in their churches–whether against “the murderous Pope [or] Turk”. If instead of executing or otherwise punishing those guilty of capital crimes they simply absolved them, the states in which the Reformation was introduced would have quickly collapsed.
I think that’s what’s really behind our political leaders’ and media’s insistence, in the face of massive evidence to the contrary, that every act of jihadist terrorism is a “betrayal” of Islam, the “religion of peace.”
It’s not that they are purposely trying to pull the wool over our eyes. I think it’s because the vestiges of Christian faith and morality remaining in the Western cultural psyche, being isolated from the other articles of the faith and thus perverted–make our leaders just as blind as they try to make us. Read more…