Randy and Katy Smelser

Americans living in Germany but citizens of heaven

Confused State Church II

Recently a conservative Lutheran preacher, basically the Billy Graham of Germany right now, was banned from preaching in a main Lutheran Church in Berlin because of his stand that homosexuality is a sin (ideaSpektrum 11.2013). It went back and forth on whether he should be allowed to preach there or not. Yet the Church has no problem with Muslims preaching in the churches, even though they too consider homosexuality to be wrong and in most Muslim countries the homosexuals die for their life style.

A main candidate for the “Green Party” is also President of the Evangelisch Church of Germany Synod. The Greens have called for a law to forbid therapy- treatment of minors for homosexuality, even if the minor wants it. The Synod backs her and the Greens but church counseling organizations (such as Wuestenstrom and OJC) along with the German Evangelisch Alliance is against the plans of the Greens.

The big “Church Congress” forbade a mission working with Jews to bring them to their Messiah (Jesus Christ) to set up an exhibit (ideaSpektrum 17 + 19.2013). The question is then would they allow the apostle Peter or Paul to come because that is exactly what they did – namely expect Jews to come to Jesus the Messiah. This is the “Year of Tolerance” in the Church and preaching Christ to Jews is considered intolerant; it might offend someone. Yet a Palestinian exhibit was allowed to present a very one-sided view of the Jews and Israel as aggressors. This offended the national Jewish organization in Germany. (ideaSpektrum18.2013)

Because of this same reasoning a church of Christians from Muslim backgrounds were not allowed to use a church building for services in Frankfurt. (ideaSpektrum 20.2013). The pastor was accused of coercing Muslims into converting to Christianity. This is a bit confusing since the Muslims usually expect to be rejected by family or worse for conversion. Who is coercing?

Also at the Church Congress an Islamic Imam sing-song prayed Sure 2 from the Koran and received massive applause although in this passage the command to kill the “unbelievers” (that would include most of those at the Church Congress) is cited (ideaSpektum 19.2013).

This would not be such an important topic if “Free Churches” (churches not bound to the government and evangelical) were strong enough to offer an alternative. But 56% of the county of Peine (Pop. 130,000) is Protestant and less than 1% is from a “Free Church”. Thus this spiritual indecisiveness is spiritually killing. Without the Bible as a standard man will be tossed to and fro, which is exactly what is happening the Protestant Church.

Confused State Church I

The State Protestant Church (Lutheran + Reform = Evangelisch Church) has been struggling for years not really knowing what direction to take. When you cut the line (the Bible) to the Anchor (Jesus), it is not surprising. This swinging in all direction has intensified in the last couple of years with extreme positions being taken in this church organization. A couple of examples:

A woman pulled out of the Church in Saxony because they started allowing practicing homosexual pastors and their mates to live in the parsonage. Her husband is a pastor. Now he is not allowed to give her communion. Yet the Church has been having/trying to have communion services with Muslims and Buddhists. And I, as a member of “Free Church”, or even an atheist can take communion. Yet she is forbidden because she stood up for the Bible’s position and opted out of the Church.

Baptism is another confused subject. A Lutheran kindergarten teacher can be an atheist or Buddhist but if she is immersed as an adult(“re-baptized”) she will lose her job. Yet recently I read of a Lutheran preacher who was traveling in the Mid East and spontaneously decided to be immersed in the Jordan River, “just like Jesus.” That was okay and a great idea.

In Jena, in the former East Germany, research was done and it is reported that the “nonbaptized” pray more than the “baptized” children in schools. 25.9% of the male non’s said they pray often. While only 17.2% the male baptized could say that. (ideaSpektrum 9.2013)

In the homeland of Martin Luther in Eastern Germany, the Lutheran church is still the “People’s” church (Volkskirche) and has special privileges. And yet 68-81%, depending on the area, are not members of any church. The people are no longer with the church.