Archive for November 17th, 2018

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Quote by HERMANN SASSE, Luther Theological Seminary,Adelaide, Australia, from his article, “CONFESSIONAL CHURCHES IN THE ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE LUTHERAN WORLD FEDERATION” in the Spring 1967 Edition of The Springfielder, Concordia Theological Seminary (now located in Ft. Wayne, IN)

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6: 12).This is what the Apostles knew when they warned their churches against Satan and his angels. What a tremendous superhuman spiritual power must have stood behind Mohammed if it was possible to wrestle away from Christ within one century the vast majority of Christians in the Year East and make them Mohammedans(i.e. Muslims)! Our Fathers were always shocked by this destiny of the Church in the countries which were the earthly home of the Church. They were trembling before this mystery of the “Oriental Antichrist”. And we think today as the bishops of the Second Vatican Council did, that we can bring back to the church by way of a harmless dialog with these nice people—there are, indeed, very nice people among them whom we honor—the millions of adherents of Islam which at present is one of the fastest growing religions in the world!

We all, Catholics and Lutherans, Anglicans and Presbyterians, could learn from Luther what it means:

“The old evil foe/ now means deadly woe/ Deep guile and great might/ Are his dread arms in fight/ on earth is not his equal.”

And if our ecumenicity has not yet reached that stage where we can sing this together and ponder over Luther’s profound doctrine on Antichrist, the religious man who puts himself into that place which belongs to Christ alone—whenever and wherever that may happen—then let us turn to the Bible and hear the warnings of our Lord Himself (Matt. 24:4 and 15) and the holy apostles Peter (I Peter 5 :8; Paul (I1 Cor. 11 :13ff.) and John (I John 4: Iff.) The history of the Church cannot be understood unless one knows of the Antichrist who appears again and again in many forms in the Church of Christ. He loves church offices and other holy places. Synods are his delight and theological conferences the places of his greatest triumphs. He preaches pious sermons from our pulpits and teaches in theological faculties. Proudly he marches in our colorful processions. He writes in theological journals and inspires “creative” book authors. None of us is safe from his persuasive power, unless we use the weapons of which St. Paul speaks, Eph. 6: 13-18, and pray with our Fathers:

Lord Jesus Christ, with us abide,
For round us falls the eventide;
Nor let Thy Word, that heavenly light,
For us be ever veiled in night.

In these last days of sore distress
Grant us, dear Lord, true steadfastness
That pure we keep, till life is spent,
Thy holy Word and Sacrament.

(LSB #565)

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