Quote of Interest

Something to contemplate along the way

Situation of Germany & Europe

Alexander Garth is pastor of a Lutheran church (State Church) in Luther City Wittenberg. He has written a book: Untergehen oder umkehren (Cease to exist or repent/turn around). I have not read the book but in Idea (35.2021) magazine, I read an interview with him. I have chosen a few quotes from this interview (my translation).

"As the State Lutheran Church is now positioned, it is not sustainable. One reason: They miscommunicate right past the reality of society…. Often the message is proclaimed that is noticeably not believed by those proclaiming. Because the key subjects - Sin, Redemption, Sanctification, Eternal Life - do not really have much place. "

"In our church there is a continuous reduced theology in which Jesus and the Holy Spirit have been lowered to a humanly understandable dimension. That has no power, no authority and leads ultimately to a boring, irrelevant church."

"Europe has become a Christian "state of emergency" region. Whoever is not anchored in Christ will be swept away by secularisation."

"Worldwide Christianity is growing on an unimaginable scale. Only in Europe is there a demise. That is mostly the fault of the State Church model that we have inherited. In the future the church could find a new dynamic when she can get loose of the chains of the State Church past and concentrate on the actual task and learn from the world wide rise in faith, as one grows in the power of the Holy Spirit and becomes a missionary church.

The city of Wittenberg where the Reformation and Luther started is now only 12% Lutheran and over 80% Atheists.

Robert Lowery on Biblical Models of the Church

I just finished reading Evangelicalism & the Stone-Campbell Movement. One of the essays was by Robert Lowery on Biblical Models of the Church.

We must both embrace and engage culture, respecting and using those features that help us accomplish our mission. But we must not deny core principles (1 Cor 9:23). We must engage culture to evangelize people. If we view culture as the enemy, then we will tempted to withdraw. Just as dangerous, if we view culture as our friend, we may be tempted to compromise. Paradoxically, then, Christian communities are both cultural and counter-cultural, accepting the positive and the good while rejecting the bad and unhealthy. (p.218)

I think 1 Cor 9:20 is also fitting. We seem to always go to one of the extremes.

Newspaper Quote

In the Süddeutsche Zeitung (as reported in IDEA 43.2021) there was a quote:
Every where in the world people are turning their backs on the mainline church denominations. But while Europeans are trading attendance in worship services for a secular and individualistic lifestyle (preferably in the gym or Yoga courses) people in other regions of the world are streaming to Pentecostal and Evangelical churches.

Mao Tse-Tung (1893-1976)

A quote found in IDEA 28.20121 from the communist leader of China. It points out what we as Christians have to offer - Love! It is a shame many who want no part of communism or socialism want a hammer to smash them instead of love.

Der Kommunismus ist nicht Liebe, sondern der Hammer, mit dem wir Feinde zerschlagen.

Communism is not love, instead it is a hammer, with which we smash enemies.

Luther Quotes

While in Wittenberg we saw a couple of quotes from Martin Luther which are good for us to think about, 500 years later!