Luther seems to have a one note Charlie attitude towards the bad things that happen
in the world. It seems that when he viewed any catastrophe whether it was natural or
man-made he had his usual response handy and that was that Christians should repent
and pray. Luther was convinced that the rise of militant Islam in his day, was a
direct result of Christians and their lack of thankfulness and faithfulness in
response to everything that God had done for them. He is very specific that he
believed the Muslim armies they were marching into the heart of Europe, were a “scourge
and the rod” that God had sent to punish the un grateful hearts of Christian people.
He also found ample opportunity to use the Muslim invasion as an opportunity for
Christians to become missionaries. He says it is very possible Christians would be
captured by Muslims and held hostage or in slavery. He says that they should not
fight against their captors, but submit to their will, and generally speaking do a
good job at whatever they were told to do. At the same time he said that Christians
should exercise themselves in memorizing the second article of the apostles Creed,
so that they could give an account of who Jesus Christ was to their Muslim captors.
They have a knowledge about Christ, Luther said. They just don’t have the true
knowledge of Christ and it is the Christians duty to share it with them.
“Many events in the world have turned out to be a blessing in disguise . Therefore,
the church in the world must be alert and learn to listen to the events of the
times, lest she miss important opportunities to share the gospel with others. For
even in such adverse times, God has not turned his back on his people in this world.
He has elected them from eternity and called them in time through his means of grace,
in which the gospel certainly resides. He is a God who does not for sake those who
have rejected him, and he points his church to reach out to the most hardened
unbelievers.” Detlev Schulz in Mission from the Cross – Available at CPH