United We (Should) Stand

Red crosses

Red crosses (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

As Christians we have had it pretty easy for the last 500 years. Maybe we’ve gotten complacent. Since the Moors were driven from Spain in 1492, and the end of the Siege of Vienna in 1529, we haven’t had a major external threat to Christendom. That seems to be changing. The combination of Militant Islam fueled by petrodollars; and secular humanism, exhibited in the various form of fascism, are mounting an attack that could destroy Christianity as well as freedom. The two are very closely related, Christianity, and our  ally and predecessor Judaism, are the religions of the individual and his God. You will find many articles on this site, as well as others documenting this. The very foundations of America are laid in this bedrock truth.

The definition of Christendom I’m using here basically means all the churches that subscribed (there’s probably a better term) to the Nicaean Creed in 325. That would include the Anglican Church, the Church of the East, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, the Roman Catholic Church including the Eastern Catholic Churches, the Old Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and many Protestant denominations. I also note that this includes the Coptic church in Africa that spit off at Chalcedon in 451. That’s pretty all inclusive and they are all our brothers.

We’ve had our disputes and arguments but, we haven’t generated many martyrs. In America we know that “The Tree of Liberty needs to be watered with blood from time to time,” maybe that’s true for Christianity also. We are seeing now the assault on the Copts and the Syriacs, these are the opening battles on the outposts of our faith, how we respond will determine what happens next.

We are also seeing that the other force in opposition: secular humanism, has made deep inroads in Europe, leading to the collectivization which is its hallmark, and the accompanying lack of individual will, and the demands for birth control have made the native populations of most of Europe non-self-sustaining.  Thus we risk the loss of the heartland of Christendom and the Western Civilization which it built. We here in America are in the opening stages of what may well be the new equivalent of the siege of Vienna, can we hold against the modern equivalents of Suleiman the Magnificent? Only time will tell.

Many of you know that I am fond of saying that the foot of the Cross, is a junction as well as a destination. What I mean is that many roads converge there. I am not, nor is any human, competent to judge which are valid, although we all know that the new commandment:  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you … John 13:34 is the key. If a route doesn’t conform to this, it is a false route.

Most of you know that I’m Lutheran, My dear friend Jessica is Anglican, and another friend of mine is a very wise cradle Catholic named Kathleen,  we all comment and read each others posts, and in truth we find we have so much more in common than that divides us.

I also note that much of my readerhip, is overtly Christian, many in leadership roles, I can only ask you to join with us in rationally discussing what unites us, rather than endless pointing at the things, often minor, that separate us.

Jessica’s post this morning was on this subject as well, I’d like to share it with you.

So often, for me, one of the most wonderful parts of running a blog are the comments from you – they are never less than thought-provoking, and sometimes they are so profound as to make me glad to have such people with whom to converse through this strange medium.

Yesterday’s post on the ‘Beauty of holiness’ touch a chord with many, and set of some fascinating comments.  I was much struck with the conclusion to Kathleen’s comments:

I readily agree with you that in this, our secular age in the West, we live “impoverished times as Christians”…… and it is vital we should befriend our fellow Christians to stand shoulder to shoulder in the face of so many challenges of our day, rather than bicker, insult (and worse), which is what we have been doing since the times of the Reformation until fairly recently.
All denominations of true Christians hold and believe the most important thing of all: that Jesus Christ is the Saviour, the Only begotten Son of God, Who came to redeem mankind. Nothing is more important than this.

If I were able to sum up my credo it would be in these words. 

As anyone familiar with site on which Kathleen makes such distinguished posts, Catholicism Pure & Simple, will know, she is a devout and knowledgeable Cradle Catholic, so her comments come with even more weight, as they are not the product of some casual ecumenist gust of emotion.  They were matched by words from my dear friend NEO, who commented:

Lutherans, Catholics, and Anglicans, we have all, to a great extent anyway, thrown away the reverential awe of worship. We did this with the best of intentions, to attract new congregants but, as with so many things, we didn’t think it through. When we lower ourselves to attract people, we lower the standards of Christianity. Of what use are multitudes of half-Christianized pagans to God or church?

Continue reading United, and by all means read the comment stream as well, as is true here and on most good site there is as much wisdom in the comments as in the post itself.That’s why so often a post will be inspired by comments.

After a long respite, in which we built the modern world, Christianity is again under attack, will we respond, or spend our time fighting each other as we all go down?

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45 Responses to United We (Should) Stand

  1. Great…great.. GREAT POST..Long Time I’m Waiting To read Something like that ! It was in my heart..but not in words ! You did it ! NEO !
    Something like this.. In Hoc Signo Vinces.. that EVERYONE can relate to.
    Or also..what I call The People Who Have Cross The Water One Way Or An Other..
    HIS : Passover-Easter-Organized-People-Liberty-Eh ..

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    • Thanks so much Wil.

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  2. JessicaHof says:

    Thank you my friend. Yes, your warning is timely. We’d do well to recall that the original heartland of our Faith was in the Mddle East, all areas now under Muslim rule. There is no guarantee which says that Europe will remain Christian. I have a suspicion that here, as in so many other areas, the baton has been passed to the Great American Republic.

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    • I believe it may have been, Jess. Again we come back to the Founders here, they spoke truly and well, thus reminding us, much like our church founders, of who and what we are. I think continental is lost but I would have believed that before the battle of Tours as well. All is not lost for Europe but, Europe need to grow a spine, as we need to stiffen ours again.

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      • JessicaHof says:

        Oddly, I think Europe may yet be saved by immigrants from places such as Nigeria and Uganda, which have produced some outstanding Christian leaders. Let us hope for it :)

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        • I hadn’t thought of it but, it’s certainly possible. They are much like the Christians from half a millennium ago, with the first hand knowledge of persecution that we have for the most part forgotten.

          That’s true, what I have seen of the African Episcopalians is very encouraging. If so, it will certainly shine a different light on colonialism won’t it.? :-)

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        • JessicaHof says:

          It will indeed. Archbishop Sentamu of York would be an excellent choice for Canterbury, and he’s a Ugandan refugee. But I suspect he’s a little too outspoken about our Faith for the secular powers that be.

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        • You’re likely right about the secular powers, that’s the advantage the Catholics have, and when they do it right, they make such formidable foes. Our Anglicans if they don’t get some proper leadership soon will be mostly a memory, too sad.

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        • JessicaHof says:

          Yes, I fear that last is true. You got it right yesterday – if offer nothing more than what social services offer, why would any body bother with us?

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        • Yes and your link on LCWF shows that the Catholics are on the ball finally. Now if your, and my churches would figure it out.

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        • JessicaHof says:

          I do wish they would – but there is not a great deal of sign of it, alas.

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        • And my ELCA is even worse, I don’t think they know they have a problem.

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        • JessicaHof says:

          That’s the real problem of course.

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        • And will they figure it out before the church is merely a social group.

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        • JessicaHof says:

          At the current rate of progress, possibly not.

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        • I think much the same and it worries me.

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        • JessicaHof says:

          That’s a large part of my unease with my own Church.

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        • I understand, Jess, and have no answer, I can easily change synods in mine, to the LCMS which is quite conservative, but as I’ve said I like the people where I am and the local church is not that bad, although complacent, which is understandable out here, most churches of all denominations are. If you’re not all that aware, like we are. But still, unease is a good word for it.

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        • JessicaHof says:

          That is so similar to my own situation. – so I empathise deeply :)

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        • Yeah, it will work out for both of us, not necessarily as we want but, we are not in control, after all. But we will carry on with our duty as always. :-)

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        • JessicaHof says:

          Spot on my friend :)

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        • I know, I tend to be a control freak! I have a lot of trouble with “let go and let God.” maybe I’ll learn someday, I doubt it though. :-)

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        • JessicaHof says:

          I think so many of us do, my friend :)

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        • I think you’re right. We work so hard to make everything right, and don’t delegate well, even to God. Hope he understands

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        • JessicaHof says:

          I am sure He does – a shame about us though :) xx

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        • Indeed, it is :-)

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    • I can give an image.. a kind of old military trick.. You Sponge a Society..meaning that from its very Foundations.. Dig.. Excavate.. Replace.. and when the time is right…ALL Claps..

      And That’s Europe Reality Today.. on the top it look like business as usual.. so that every “mention” is straight put down..by..the.. top view of things.
      But under that..there is a lost of control.. EVERY day !
      Well last night..a nice town in France..

      http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/International/2012/08/14/004-violences-france-amiens.shtml

      But that just one little.. stuff.. Spain..Italy.. The U.K. and so on..
      Insecurity.. Jobs, Living place, School, Every day life.. Who Cares ? No One..
      So.. its free market for all.. help yourself.. European Population..or what use to be the European Population is hand over by their very governments.. Under The Blessing of The European Union..
      And it is not a political talk of my part..it is just A Pure Letdown..

      And more you live near …the “Foundations” more you see and live that reality..until..some part of the Foundations are not even allowed to you.. and as the top is far away from you.. well you crushed.. and for most silently.. as there are no voices !

      And that it is by itself quiet dangerous as well .. because who is smart enough.. can create more trouble.. so much more trouble..
      And Yes I believe like a Wind it has already come to you..The Desert “Soul” Storm !
      ..It may sound pessimistic … but pessimistic I’m not !
      +NS+

      Wil.

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      • JessicaHof says:

        Thank you my friend. That is a pessimistic vision in some ways, but I share your ultimate optimism. We should not be as attached as we are to the things of this world, for assuredly, they are passing away – and the lust thereof.

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      • Yes, we also, have some mines sunk under our foundations, we tend to follow Europe, and its not always wise. But our watchmen are awake and in the Lord. We will fight the battle as we always have, I mentioned to Jessica that it was very dark in Europe before Tours, so it is again. Jessica and I often quote Chesterton to describe the situation:

        “And this is the word of Mary,
        The word of the world’s desire
        `No more of comfort shall ye get,
        Save that the sky grows darker yet
        And the sea rises higher.’

        Be of good cheer, Wil. The battle though hard, is merely begun.

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  3. I’m preparing for the reblogged.. just did find that you can delete..after watch..no prob.

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    • I like it, Wil.

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  4. Pingback: Victory in Christ,..and the Spirit and the bride say, Come! « swissdefenceleague

    • Thanks, Wil.

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  5. kathleen says:

    Just got home an hour or so ago after having been out with all the family, and saw your promised post.
    Many thanks NEO; it’s really good and thought-provoking. I agree with everything you say…. (except where you call me “wise” ;-), but I thank you all the same for the flattering compliment.)

    There’s no doubt about it: worldwide Militant Islam and secular Humanism (the latter being far more widespread in western Europe than in the US I believe) are indeed the two greatest threats against our freedom. It’s truly quite eerie how both have spread in my lifetime – I’m what you’d call middle-aged I suppose – and already we are reaping the first fruits from both of them.

    Except for Traditional Catholic families who are still open to life, millions of innocent lives in the West are lost every year to abortion or aggressive contraception practices. Meanwhile the Muslims that keep pouring into our western European countries (sorry can’t talk about the US here, as I don’t know your statistics) – or those who are now second or third generation immigrants – all have enormous families. They are literally out-breeding us! It’s truly frightening. We won’t need an army or a Crusade to keep them out of Europe next time, as they will be ALREADY HERE !!
    (Of course most Muslims in the West are not Christian/Jew-hating murderers…… that would be a entirely false image of many law-abiding citizens……. but let’s be honest, we all know the islamic religion is a dangerous one; its sole aim is to conquer all lands and submit them to Islam!)

    We are all well aware of the very real problems secular Humanism brings with it, so I’ll leave that one for another day. :-)

    Hope this doesn’t sound too gloomy. There’s still time to do something about it if only we could pull ourselves together and get back to living our Christian roots, as Pope Benedict XVI is constantly reminding us. :-)
    Wow, look at the time….. it’s after 1am on this side of the pond! Good-night and God Bless.

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    • But, Kathleen, of course you are wise, You agree with me! :-)

      We are somewhat behind on both, We’re getting our share of Militant Islamists, and our government is doing little to stop them but, that’s an overt threat and relatively easy to deal with. the secular humanists, well there aren’t all that many of them, the problem is who they are. They tend to be educators, the media people, and government at all levels, the so-called elites in all areas, and the idealistic young. So if we don’t recover soon, we may never, the occupy movement in all its incoherence is a good example. That’s why this election is so important, Romney’s nobody’s idea of a great conservative but, he’s a religious, moral man of character, our real task is to regain control of Congress, which I also believe we will do.

      That’s part of the trouble with what some call the “culture of death”, here it seems to be a eugenics program in part designed originally to eradicate American blacks. I believe I saw that Europe is producing 1.7 or so children per couple, not enough to maintain the population. If what I read is accurate, your Muslim immigration is much like our Hispanic with the difference that Hispanics assimilate, slowly to be sure, but so did my Norwegian ancestors, and they are Christian, largely Catholic in fact. They are actually quite conservative but they are low information residents and the liberal propoganda has reached them.

      Your right of course, most Moslems, are good people for all that their religion is still rooted in the 9th century, many of their traditional rules were current in Jewish, and Christian life in the early days as well. We have progressed, especially in our treatment of women, which is why I think that our culture, in the long run will start to assimilate them, if we steadfastly prosecute their abuse of women and children.

      This is a very long-winded way of saying I agree with you completely. I too think we can win this battle, this isn’t Caesar’s Rome were fighting after all, and we won that one. Pope Benedict is a good man and a good leader for us all, he is and will remain in my prayers.

      And now it’s midnight in the middle of the US, and I haven’t prepared a post for tomorrow, so good morning and have a great day. :-)

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  6. J.G.Brown says:

    Enjoyed the post but would like to point out most Germans of pre world war two were good people,so as they moved through the war they considered themselves good people and after the war they felt they had done no wrong what so ever, They blamed the acts of the few not on the in action of the many,but simply said I could do nothing, I was only one ;what would you have me done, So all are guilty in the destruction of the few yet we justify their guilt and forgive them to an extent. There is one driving force in Islam that is the destruction of Israel and the death of every Jew next is the assimilation or subversion of all western religions not taught by the holy Prophet Mohamed. Christianity and Islam are not the same they are very very different those who assume to place a square peg in a round hole are doomed to failure, Christ is my God the son of the living God, to Islam god has no son except the hoy prophet M. For me this defines why I can not nor will I ever receive instruction from or enjoin myself to a Muslim cleric. to conclude good is a relative term when we speak of man and his relations to another.a smile a nod of agreement is not always what it may seem, the first explores to the inner parts of New Guniee found this out as they became dinner….

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  7. I’ll have to disagree, in Christianity we talk about sins of omission and commission. And Christianity is the religion of the individual and his God. They were enablers, accessories to the crime. Each was one but, there were many ones. Pastor Bonhofer was exactly correct. If you don’t stand to correct injustice, and I don’t stand to correct injustice, who will? Is it hard? Yes. Does one risk sharing his fate? Yes. Our duty is to do the hard right, not the easy wrong.

    Luther said “Ich kann nicht anders” he did not say: the bishop did it, and I did what I was told.

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  13. mtsweat says:

    Working my way through all of these articles friend, and thought I’d stop a moment and leave a word or two. It’s encouraging to see there are those who grasp the significance of division. I agree with the many here who acknowledge we are not going to resolve most of these differences, and honestly, I’m quite confident it’s not my responsibility to do so… at best, I’m merely a make-believe theologian (kind of like when we were kids with bathroom towel capes).

    I like the approach you and others take here. It’s not beyond our ability to respect and work beside and fellowship with those we disagree with. It’s not even beyond our ability to change “You’re wrong!” to “I think you’re wrong.” It was definitely not beyond Paul’s ability to be in disagreement and yet reserve the optimistic courtesy of “Brother, sister, you are wrong here” (1 Corinthians). In his 15th chapter of this letter, he stressed what he termed as matters of first importance… “Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected according to the Scriptures.”

    From the evangelical community, I personally believe a lot of stuff that is commonly taught among our little group (or not so little). But at the end of the day, “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

    If we’re not willing to find this common foundation, I fear your concerns are legitimate. Divided, the body is no longer the body… hands are really useful tools, but not if disconnected from the wrist.

    Unfortunately, I recently found that much grief can be brought on by simply sharing of an experience where two unlike entities attempt fellowship. That’s where I think we keep messing up. We’re looking for the areas of disagreement instead of identifying what unifies… which must always be Christ.

    I look forward to working through this series and those associated with it through their own articles. Who knows what may become of it? God has accomplished mightier things with much less. Blessings

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    • Yes the differences run to deep but that can change as we work together, and I’m not sure it matters. I noticed you took a bit of heat from your friends, and gave a bit of a history lesson, maybe a few will read. The strange part from where I sit is that the Evangelicals and the Catholics are closer on positions than most of the rest of us. In the last few years, I have found the Catholics to be far more welcoming to us protestants, while the will never change their doctrine, they are thinking and caring friends. Anything I or we of this group can do, will be done of course. I think we have a good group here as well. Have a great dat.

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