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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rome–4: Halloween, reminder of Pope; simple Gospel; Knights of the saddest figure

      This concludes from Part 3 (Table of Contents in Part 1) a translation of Franz Pieper's essay on the failure of the evangelical churches of Germany to fight against the Papacy in his day.
      The terms that Pieper uses against the Roman papal church remind one of the "entertainment" of the season popularly known as "Halloween".  But as Christians, we should look on the worldly notions of horror as not just "make-believe" or imaginary, but very real when we see the real atrocities done by the Chief Enemy of Christianity, the Pope.  So when I see all the "scary" things the world shoves in my face to "celebrate" Halloween, I rather see the Pope behind the mask.

Translation by BTL – Underlining from original  – Highlighting is mine – Hyperlinks added for reference.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The False Stance of Present-Day Evangelical Christianity Against Rome.
by Franz Pieper
Doctrine and Defense, (Lehre und Wehre), 1896, vol 42, pgs 289-297
--------   concluding from Part 3  ---------
[pg 295]
The writer in the Saxon Church and School Journal noted that the central press, particularly the Berlin Germania, leads a challenging language; however from the evangelical side was "avoided a long time ago with scrupulous care everything that would cause the least offense to the standing of the Catholic sister church".  What a pathetic state of affairs!  The Pope's disciples open their big mouth wide, and praise their anti-Christian master and his soul murdering doctrines and institutions, and blaspheme Christ, and the Holy Gospel.  But Christ's disciples will not open their mouths against these anti-Christian demonstrations to praise their dear Savior and His saving Gospel!  And why?  One wants to not cause the slightest "offense" to the “Catholic sister church”!   Is therefore the Christian church giving offense when it confesses the truth against committed enemies and blasphemers of Christ and his gospel?  If they thereby give offense, so that is the offense which it should give in the world; the offense of which the apostle says, "We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness," 1 Cor. 1:23; the offense, of which it stands written: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed”, Rom. 9:33; the offense of which the Lord says: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Matt. 10:34.  If you want to have absolute outer peace on earth, you must renounce your membership in the Christian church, since the Christian church is not for the concealment, but the confession of the Gospel in the world.  But the confession of the Gospel will always be exposed to the hostility of the world and the false church. —  Still another reason for the neglect of the struggle against Rome is stated by a writer in the Leipzig General Evangelical Lutheran Church Newspaper.  He says the following against Prof. Dr. Fricke, who struck a "slightly sharp tone" against the Roman Church at this year's meeting of the Gustavus Adolphus Union: "Who actually profits from such battle speeches?  But probably initially the Roman Church, which, as a glimpse of the ultramontane press amply proves, with pleasure widely occurs such occurrences to show that not Catholics, but Evangelicals are the disturbers of the peace, that therefore the Catholics had full rights to search out their great arsenal for not-so-clean weapons to inflict all possible damage on the Evangelicals."  Translated into simple German this means: "Let us avoid the struggle against Rome, because in such

[pg 296]
battles we yet only come out as losers."  Has the writer considered what a disgrace he is doing to the Evangelical Church?  On our side, the Evangelical side, (we speak in the name of all those who are truly evangelical) is the divine truth; on the side of the Pope and those under him is the lie.  We have God for us, while the Papists have God against them.  And we should avoid now doing battle, because we have to worry about yet only a defeat in the same!  Christ has therefore sat at the right hand of God, given his church the Gospel, promised her mouth and wisdom, as well as victory, so that they are dismayed and ask of the enemies of Christ and his Gospel for peace and good weather!  Truly, the voice of that writer in the Leipzig General Evangelical Lutheran Church Newspaper is not the voice of the evangelical church.  The truly evangelical church knows Rome far, far superior to this.  Rome comes out the loser in the battle every time when this Evangelical church fights it as she should fight, that is, if she leads a real doctrinal battle against Rome, when she opposes the Roman lies at all points with clear, certain truths of Scripture.  She is as much stronger than Rome as God is stronger than the devil and all accomplices of the devil.  Rome may open all its arsenals and all projectiles which are at its disposal, also shoot at us the most dirty things.  It can do nothing against us.  We have the arsenal of the clear, infallible Word of God, by which we break all the weapons of the enemy, throw him out of all his positions and completely beat down the line.  "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God”, 2 Cor. 10:4-5.  O, if today's so-called evangelical Christianity would yet again reflect on the invincible power of the simple Gospel of Christ!  With the simple Gospel of Christ we overcome sin and death, as well as the papacy and all satanic powers.  Dr. Hölscher from Leipzig quite rightly said, when giving the annual report at the meeting of the Gustavus Adolphus Union: "The only thing we have to oppose Rome is the Gospel of Christ.  A congregation collected by the Gospel is insurmountable.  Therefore fear you not, little flock!"
That most spokesmen of the present-day evangelical Christendom take such an unsatisfactory, yes, miserable stand against Rome, is because they do not live in the evangelical truth and are not certain of it.  
Indeed, they have through subversion of the divine authority the Holy Scriptures, so far as it is in them, taken the true weapon against Rome out of the hands of evangelical Christendom.  They have devoted themselves to “science”, which is just as incapable against the infernal power of Rome

[pg 297]
like all other human thoughts and instruments of power.  Would that it be known that modern theology has been entangled in a pitiful position on quite the wrong track especially against Rome.  One sees that they indeed neither teach Christianity nor can fight back its enemies.  They are Knights of the saddest figure, to the delight of the Pope and the great sorrow and dishonor of the Evangelical church.  Would that they remember from whence they fell!  If they return to the heritage of the Reformation, so would they soon take the right firm and certain stance in opposition to Rome and win one victory after another against it.
— Franz Pieper

= = = = = = = =  End of Essay  = = = = = = = =

I had private correspondence from a German layman some time ago noting that I wrote with "a passion".  Would to God that I had just a small portion of the passion that President/Prof. Franz Pieper had for the "simple Gospel of Christ"!
Dr. Wilhelm Hölscher

     Germany was not without some voices for the truth of the Gospel, and Pieper is happy to quote from them.  In particular Dr. Wilhelm Hölscher stands out as he spoke the following words:
"The only thing we have to oppose Rome is the Gospel of Christ.  A congregation collected by the Gospel is insurmountable.  Therefore fear you not, little flock!"
May his name be remembered in Germany today!  

Which was worse for you, Dresden Germany?(capital of Saxony)
(image sources Wikipedia leftright)

Priest/Prince Max preaching
in your royal chapel:
"Evangelicals: convert to Pope!"
Your bombing in 1945 which
"destroyed almost all of the ancient center of the city"


In the light of the true Gospel uncovered again by Martin Luther, the true horror is revealed – the Roman Papacy in your midst going nearly unchecked.  Germany, there is your real horror... not your defeats in 2 World Wars, but you rather gave away God's gift to you, your own Lutheran Reformation.
"O, if today's so-called evangelical Christianity would yet again reflect on the invincible power of the simple Gospel of Christ!"
                        — President Franz Pieper, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri
Romans 11:6 – "If by grace, then is it no more of works..."

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