Thursday, November 6, 2008

History Repeats Itself: Martin Luther "on war against the Turk"

On Monday I was made aware of a fascinating aspect of history I had been somewhat ignorant of. Our world has already faced one round of the "war against terror" and it happened about 500 years ago! We forget that Muslims came very close to totally conquering Europe then.

Martin Luther wrote that "the Turk is the rod of the wrath of the Lord our God", punishing Europeans for their polluted Christianity (sound familiar?).

Here's where you can read his full treatise, "On War Against the Turk".

So many fascinating lessons for our generation:
  • Because of the great turmoil, he thought that the coming of Christ must be very near.
  • Homosexual "marriages" were taking place in Italy (the homeland of the Roman church)
  • He urges serious repentance among Christians as the first step in winning the war.
  • Secondly, he gives advice on how military action should be undertaken against the Turks. He had a very balanced perspective which recognized the dual need for both prayer/repentance as well as military action--neither alone.
The parallels are simply stunning. It is interesting to note that as the theology of Luther (and other Christian reformers) gained ascendancy in Europe, the influence of Islam waned in Europe.

Bottom line: if we are going to avoid becoming Islamized we must be truly Christianized. We need another Reformation, starting with real repentance.

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