Archive for March 12th, 2016

St. Matthew 24: 23-25:

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.  See, I have told you beforehand.

This article first appeared in the Detroit Free Press, August 14, 1970 and is cited by Dr. Edwin Weber in a book of reports of the Lutheran Congress in that  year.  In my opinion, this could have been written today-Pr. Schroeder

THE WORLD YEARNS FOR FALSE MESSIAH People keep saying “We need a leader” or “We need better leadership,” but that is not what they really mean. What most of them are looking for is not a leader, but a Messiah.

            They want someone who will give them the Word. And the Word would be one that is agreeable to them, that appeals to their preferences and prejudices, so that they can follow it whole-heartedly.

            But this is not what a true leader does – a leader tells people hard truths, gives them a difficult path to follow, calls upon their highest qualities, not their basest instincts. A true leader does not tell us what we WANT to hear, but what we OUGHT to hear.

            Indeed, this is the difference between a false Messiah and a true one. A false Messiah – such as Hitler, in our time – caters to and inflames the fears, hates, angers and resentments of his people, and drives them to destruction rather than to salvation or self-realization.     

            A TRUE MESSIAH – such as Jesus, even taken on the worldly plane – rebukes his people, shows them their errors, makes them want to be better, not stronger or richer, and asks them to make sacrifices for the common good and for the good of their own souls. He is never followed by very many, usually killed by the majority, and venerated only when he is safely dead and need not be taken seriously.

            What we are looking for, I am afraid, is neither a true leader nor a true Messiah, but a false Messiah – a man who will give us over-simplified answers, who will justify our ways, who will castigate our enemies, who will vindicate our selfishness as a way of life, and make us comfortable within our prejudices and preconceptions.

            We are seeking for leadership that will reconcile the irreconciliable, moralize the immoral, rationalize the unreasonable, and promise us a society where we can continue to be as narrow and envious and short-sighted as we would like to be without suffering the consequences. In short, we are invoking magic, we are praying for the coming of the Wizard.

            But there is no Wizard. There are only false prophets – and they come equally from left, right, center, and below. Wherever they come from, no matter how they differ, they can all be distinguished by the same sign: those we like make us feel better, instead of making us feel worse. We want to follow them because they “understand” us.

            But all the true prophets, from the Old Testament through Jesus, made us feel worse. They knew, and said, that the trouble wasn’t with our enemies, but with ourselves. They demanded that we shed our old skin and become New Men. And this is the last thing we want to do. What we are looking for is a leader who will show us how to be the same old men, only more successfully – and his ancient name is Satan.

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