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Friday, May 4, 2012

Pieper's report of a "new religion" (Humanism & "sin")

In the 1930 issue of Concordia Theological Monthly, volume 1, pages 221-222, is an article by Franz Pieper about a "new religion":
Richly deserved mockery of a "new religion".  In a St. Louis political newspaper is a report that a new religious society has been formed in New York under the name "First Humanist Society of New York."  The new society will be further described as follows: "It is up to date.  It has up to now 106 members. There is no God, no heaven, no sin, no redemption, no prayer in the new religion.  It is intended for those people who 'do not consider themselves held to any church.' . . .  It is strange to talk about religion without having 'sin' mentioned.  But to ignore sin is one of the peculiarities of our day.   Rev. Dr. Shelton, who is the head of the National Bible Institute, makes the remark that he had found in 41 New York Sermons only once preaching the word 'sin'."
There is a Wikipedia article on the society – click on the title "First Humanist Society of New York". There is much information there about "Humanism" - and very notable people were associated with it: Julian Huxley, John Dewey, Albert Einstein, and Thomas Mann.  And so Pieper's comments about this are all the more significant for today:
We do not believe that much is different in other cities.  Unitarianism, which knows no sin and no wrath of God upon sin in the sense of Scripture, and therefore rejects and mocks the satisfactio vicaria Christ (vicarious satisfaction of Christ) as unnecessary, has well become the dominant religion in the country.  Also it is not superfluous if we remember that there is still a hesitancy in our flesh to report in relation to the public, and especially preaching, that the wages of sin is eternal damnation. This weakness is helped by the reminder from Ezekiel 3:17-19: "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.  When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul."   Walther says in his Pastorale, p 83: "So necessary is the application of the Word of God to punish false doctrine, even so necessary is the application of the same also for the punishment of sin or the epanorthotic use of the Word of God. Of these, Luther writes in his  Preface to Church Sermons from 1543: 'Whichever pastor or preacher does not reprove sin, he must take other men's sins to the devil; if half of his own sins are forgiven him, he is a child of blessedness.'"  F.P.

  • Pieper refers to 
    • Walther who refers to 
      • Luther who refers to the 
Word of God
Who are you going to believe: God or Humanism?

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