2 Ik zeg tot de HEER: ‘U bent mijn Heer, mijn geluk, niemand gaat u te boven.’
3 Maar tot de goden in dit land, de machten die ik vereerd heb, zeg ik:
4 ‘Wie u volgt, wacht veel verdriet.’ Ik pleng voor hen geen bloed meer,
niet langer ligt hun naam op mijn lippen. (Uit Psalm 16)
What history teaches!
History teaches that men will tolerate, if not practice, all manner of idolatry and abomination but become bitter and blasphemous when Christ and the Gospel of God’s love are preached.
(De geschiedenis leert ons dat de mens van alles verdraagt en tolereert, zo niet zelf(s) praktiseert, aan afgoderij en aan kwade leer en praktijk, maar dat men spot en nijdig, afkerig en godslasterlijk wordt wanneer en waar Christus en het (zuivere!) Evangelie van Gods Liefde en Genade worden verkondigd…)
In 1538 appeared the Reformer’s comments on the three Ecumenical Confessions of Christendom. Luther points out that in their age the divine intolerance of the Gospel was naturally accused of being divisive and disturbing by a syncretistic paganism – and, adds the Reformer: again the enemies of the Gospel are advancing the charge:
(…) The Christ of the Gospel is an Offense! Before the coming of Christ the world was already as full of all sorts of idolatries as a dog is full of fleas on St. John’s Day (June 24). Every place swarmed and teemed with idols. Yet no devil then cast out the other; no idol placed his foot on the other’s head – nor did any one of them bite the other’s heel. They could well tolerate and bear one another’s company, so much so that the Romans even gathered the idols from all the world and built a church, calling it the Pantheon, the church of all the gods. For the worldly-wise lords wanted to have all the gods in their city.
But when the true God, Jesus Christ, came, they would not tolerate Him. Is it not a remarkable thing to welcome all the other gods but to exclude and persecute only this One? All the others are quiet and keep peace among themselves, but with the coming of this One the sport and discord begin. Then all the gods threaten to become frantic, together with their servants, the Romans – they club to death apostles, martyrs, and all who dare call upon the name of Christ. Servants of other gods they do not injure but give them all honour and homage.
But if Christ had also been a devil, as the other gods, how gladly and gloriously would the devils have permitted Him to be welcomed and worshiped by their side! But now that they all rant and rave against Him, they confess thereby that He is the one true God, who bruises their heads and storms their palaces, conquers them and confiscates their holdings.
So they scream and bite His heel. They accuse Him of disturbing the peace of Rome and of the whole world and imagine that they are rendering God a great service by persecuting Him so violently and shedding so much blood. Yes indeed, if we do the devil’s bidding and let go of Christ, we shall have a solid peace from the devil. He can afford to let us enjoy all sorts of idolatry and falsehood, but this Bruiser of his head he cannot tolerate.
Maarten Luther: Dr. Martin Luthers Werke (Weimarer Ausgabe) WA 50, 271, 11 – 272, 2
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Bron afbeeldingen: Stream en Wikimedia Commons
De profetes Hanna (Lucas 2 : 36-38) – Schilderij van Rembrandt