Thursday, July 21, 2011

Put not your trust in prince[esse]s

Lutheranism has an odd history when it comes to politics. We proclaimed the proper division of the Two Kingdoms forcefully against the papacy - only to fall into caesaro-papism and a shameful obeisance to the various princes of Germany which led to all sorts of messes when many of them decided they liked Calvinism. Then the forced unions and the emigration to these shores. Then a time of quietly keeping to ourselves and quite separate from Anglo politics. But then The War Against Prussian Militarism scared the sauerkraut out of us, the Battle Flag came into the Chancel and by the time the next war with Germany came, the requirement to be able to preach in German was withdrawn at CSL and we (LCMS and WELS) were as American as apple pie, part of the mainstream, including politics. Jack Preus (son of a governor) prayed with Nixon just as WAM wrapped up his career somewhere between Billy Graham and Father Coughlin. Today, the LCMS and WELS are reliably neo-conservative Red State Republicans - with plenty of exceptions to prove the rule, of course.

But if you really want to go somewhere, Lutheranism is a tad embarrassing. Did you know they believe the pope is the Antichrist? WTF? That nice man who kisses the Koran and prays with Buddhists, Jews, and Muslims? What jerks!

So what's a guy/girl to do? Here's an example from the recently ex-WELS Mrs. Bachmann:

During an appearance this week hosted by the Christian Chamber of Commerce in Columbia, S.C., she was asked about her personal faith.

"I'm a believer in Jesus Christ," Bachmann answered. "I was born into a family where we were Lutherans. I'm sure that the Gospel was preached from the pulpit. I just didn't hear it."

Bachman then went on to describe how at 16 she gave her heart to Jesus Christ.


Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

2While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

3Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

4His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

5Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

6Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:

7Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:

8The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:

9The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

10The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.



  1. When do you think Jesus will give her heart back? Or will she be just another heartless Republican?

  2. "I was born into a family where we were Lutherans. I'm sure that the Gospel was preached from the pulpit. I just didn't hear it."

    I have heard this from many other people in many other contexts... What does this mean? I don't understand how you cannot hear the Gospel in the Lutheran church, and how the Holy Spirit would lead you to hear it somewhere else? Since, in my experience this a common charge... Anyone know what gives?

  3. Ryan,

    I can see that you don't speak jive, let me translate.

    "Church wasn't fun, exciting, or emotional over there with the Lutherans. I went to a youth group gig with my Baptist friend when I was 16 and I got fired up for the Lord!"


  4. I see, I've never been 'hep', even as a teen. Still, the phrase itself is probably the most insulting or sad thing you could say to a Lutheran... I did not hear the Gospel. So, per your translation, when they say Gospel do they mean something different?

  5. I agree with Fr. Curtis' translation. Very often when the Gospel is sown, it is like the seed along the path that the birds come and snatch away. The Gospel was there all along but the devil snatches it out of people's hearts so that they never comprehend it. What they think of as "the Gospel" has little to do with the foolishness of the cross.

    Of course, a conscientious preacher still has to review his sermons and make sure that Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins is the focus and the goal. Not a few Lutheran preachers have adopted the how-to model of sectarian preaching, and also fail to preach toward the Sacrament. In those cases, parishioners may well come away saying, "I just didn't hear the Gospel."


Comments are moderated. Neither spam, vulgarity, comments that are insulting, slanderous or otherwise unbefitting of Christian dignity nor anonymous posts will be published.