Very Disturbing: By Betraying The Christian Cross European Church Leaders Have Become Like Judas
Posted by addisethiopia on November 28, 2016
Any Christian who knows much about Christian history or have even read through the Book of Acts, then he or she is aware that saints have shed their blood, spent time in prison and/or died for the cause of Christ as martyrs. The truth is, even in our time, there are Christians suffering and dying like this, especially in the Middle East and Africa. Such a mentality of commitment to death is virtually lost in today’s church world of ease, comfort, pleasure, ear-tickling sermons, entertainment, amusements, softball ministries, the ecumenical movement, rampant lukewarmness and Scriptural ignorance.
All Christians are called to be martyrs.
When the Lord Jesus openly told people they would have to take up their cross to be his disciple and to be worthy of him, they understood the cost could and would often mean physical death. They also knew to be the Lord’s disciple and to be worthy of Jesus is the language of salvation:
And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:27)
Also, the Lord also often spoke of persecution and suffering that his followers would face. It is clear that suffering to the point of physical death goes with being his disciple and if you are not his disciple you are on the road to hell.
Why am I writing this? I am writing this because I am still infuriated, angry and shocked to learn that something disturbing and despicable occurred last month:
An “ecumenical” delegation of Roman Catholic and Protestant bishops and church leaders made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in mid October. During a visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Chairman of the Council of the Evangelical (Protestant) Church in Germany, Bishop Bedford-Strohm and his Catholic colleague, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Chairman of the Catholic Bishops‘ Conference, REMOVED their CROSSES while visiting the Al-Aksa Mosque — they removed their pectoral crosses due to respect to the Muslims. Imagine, it was particularly wrong for them to remove their Crosses, because this place, according to Jesus „will be called a house of prayer for all peoples” [Mark 11:17]
When they were criticized afterwards Bedford-Strohm explained that they didn’t wear it at the Jewish Wailing Wall too, as they were also asked by Israeli security officials.
The Israeli side denied their claim in a letter addressed to them:
“It is embarrassing enough you are bent before the radical Arab-Muslim hosts on the Dome of the Rock (which certainly would have given their symbols for a visit to a holy Christian faith ‘out of respect for Christianity’ !!!) But then also to assert that similar claims were expressed by the Jewish hosts for ‘security reasons’, almost borders on *******. “
In Luke 22:31-34 Peter is Warned of a Coming Trial:
Simon Peter burst into tears when he was got with the lie. Jesus had said him that the Satan has required that the disciples are sieved like the wheat and that Peter would deny him three times before the cock crows. Isn’t it bitter for Bishop Bedford-Strohm to fall for the tricks of calculated on a pilgrim’s trip to Jerusalem of the Satan.
The mother of one of the 21 Egyptian Copts killed by Islamic State (IS) in Libya last year said that she is thankful her son “died for The Cross”. Compare that to the two heretic modern-day pharisees!
“Where Is The Courage To Witness For The [Christian] Faith Of The German Church Leaders?”
The two most prominent representatives of German Christendom – Catholic and Protestant alike – caused a national debate by hiding their own distinctively Christian symbol and Sacred Sign – the Pectoral Cross – while they were both visiting the Jewish Wailing Wall as well as the Muslim Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount.
Kath.net, the Austrian Catholic news website, has amply reported on the developments after the release of these pictures showing the two Church representatives without their visible and publicly worn Christian symbols. Major national newspapers such as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Welt, and the more populist tabloid Die Bild, have reported on this disturbing fact and have thus allowed further criticism of this obvious submission to the preferences of the two other world religions.
One of the regular contributors to Kath.net, Peter Winnemöller commented on this incident with the words:
“Certain pictures should not exist.”
In the newspaper Bild am Sonntag the author Miriam Hollstein says that, after Jesus picked up His Cross 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem, the bishops now laid it down there. A symbolic gesture of infidelity or dishonorable obsequiousness.
Winnemöller himself calls this “ecumenical” episcopal gesture a “bowing down before a dishonest request.” He continues, as follows:
A good collaboration between the religions cannot only demand a yielding from one of the sides. Something more is needed here. However, one also needs to have a certain stamina which our “Church leaders” have lacked.
The author admits to having had a sense of shame and a feeling of shock, and “the urgent wish that, at best, nobody had even seen it.”
Even the liberal journal, Der Spiegel, published an article whose author admits to have been “speechless” in the face of such a pandering “docility” toward their Muslim and their Jewish hosts who apparently – according to the visiting German representatives – had both asked them to remove their sacred Christian symbols out of respect for the “tense situation.” Even for the secular journal Der Spiegel, this is “a denial of the Faith.” There are “many people in the history of Christianity who have died because they had exactly refused to do that,” and we are now being reminded of this loyal fact even by this atheistic journal. “Today, they [these earlier faithful witnesses] are being revered as saints and martyrs.” Persevering endurance is what especially impresses the faithful, “not capitulation toward alien powers.”
Die Bild, a more populist, and popular, newspaper, surprisingly published an article written by the well-known Jewish historian, Professor Michael Wolffsohn, who also criticized the Christian Church leaders, even in the very title of his article: “Cardinal and Bishop Eschewed the Cross.” Wolffsohn points out that “many Christian representatives have visited the Temple Mount. To wear the cross has never been a [contentious] topic.” For him, this recent ecclesiastical gesture “is hard to believe.” The Jewish author then concludes his candid article with these words:
The conduct of the cardinal and the bishop gives alarming hints at their understanding of tolerance. It is obvious that they think that tolerance means something like submission or self-denial.
While Wolffsohn stresses, especially, the fact that the German Church leaders submitted themselves to the inordinate demands of the Islamic representatives, both Church leaders still insist that the Jewish representatives had also asked them to remove their public Christian symbol. It is still contested, however, whether these claims are solid facts or not.
Petra Heldt, a female Protestant pastor and representative of the association “Ecumenical Fraternity” in Jerusalem, moreover, has offered some very clear words herself when asked to comment upon this recent craven incident involving Cardinal Marx and Bishop Bedford-Strohm. She said: “When you come to the [Temple] Mount in Luther’s garment or in an episcopal garment, you have to keep your Cross. Otherwise, when rebuked for it, you just leave.” She reminds the readers that “here in the East of many religious wars, Christians would rather die than deny the Cross.”
Finally, once again, on 14 November 2016, Michael Wolffsohn redoubles his earlier critique of the German Church leaders, Marx and Bedford-Strohm, in an open letter addressed to both of them by saying: “just as you are tolerant toward Muslims and Jews, you may expect vice versa such a tolerance from Muslims and Jews.” He now asks: “Where is the Courage to Witness for the [Christian] Faith of the German Church leaders?”
Indeed, it seems that there is no excuse for this recent Catholic and Protestant conduct and implicit gesture of an evasion or denial of Christ – at least not in the eyes of some secular and Jewish, as well as Protestant and Catholic, commentators in Germany.
It also seems to show the limits of any ostensibly ecumenical attempt that leads to a watering down of one’s own Christian Faith and one’s own public Christian witness. Instead, one is to foster and to strengthen that Faith and Witness, certainly as a Catholic prelate.
In Catholic terms, this incident is very troubling. Cardinal Marx is a member of the Council of Nine, and one of the closest collaborators of Pope Francis. Not long ago, Francis himself had shown a certain inclination to water down the Catholic Faith for the sake of ecumenism when he visited Sweden. Only upon strong request did he consent to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass while still in Sweden, but not without also stressing that “Proselytism is the most potent venom against the ecumenical journey.” And already earlier, in 2014, he came under criticism for seemingly hiding his own pectoral cross when meeting with a group rabbis in Jerusalem.
To what extent will these Church leaders receive God’s blessing when they show embarrassment about Christ and the Sacred Sign of their own Redemption, especially when they act in such an obviously disloyal way toward Christ? Do they – do we – even adequately now remember Christ’s own trenchant and warning words: “But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33)?
This entry was posted on November 28, 2016 at 20:56 and is filed under Ethiopia, Faith, Infos. Tagged: Al-Aksa Mosque, Betraying Jesus, German Bishop, Holy Land, Islam, Jerusalem, Temple Mount, The Bible, The Cross. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.