But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corinthians 1:23-25
Olaf Latzel is a pastor who works in the German city of Bremen. In many circles Latzel is not very popular. In the last few years, he ...
1. has been denounced by 70 German pastors who marched behind a banner celebrating "diversity";
2. was investigated by the community public prosecutor for having committed the crime of "hate speech" (he was found innocent of that charge);
3. was the subject of a State Parliament resolution passed against him. Those who know, say it is the first time that has happened since World War II;
4. has been condemned as being "bigoted, hateful and un-Christian."
Now when I heard about all those negative comments being directed against Pastor Latzel, I simply had to see what terrible things he had been saying. I was shocked to find Latzel believes "the God of Christianity and Islam are not the same." Now I know no one in Islam would ever say such a thing, but in Germany such an idea is not out of line for many Christian pastors.
Talking to a news crew, Pastor Latzel said, "If you speak out loud and clearly about the truth of the Bible -- that there's only one way to heaven and this way is Jesus Christ -- there is only one God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and there is no other god beside Him, then you have a problem."
Well, I didn't have a problem with that. Indeed, I thought Preacher Latzel was pretty much right on the money. I kept reading. After all, I thought, there has to be something wrong here.
I discovered Pastor Latzel had said, "The Bible is the Word of God; it's our law, chapter by chapter, book by book, sentence by sentence, letter by letter." The pastor also commented, "If you preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and everyone is clapping his hands, then you have a problem. Because, if you're telling the truth from the Bible, then the devil will come and he will fight against you in several ways; he will fight against the Word of God."
That's the way it is in Germany today. And, folks, it's getting that way in our country too.
In 1680 Joachim Neander served at the same church where Pastor Latzel is today. Neander wrote the familiar hymn, "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty." The sixth verse to that hymn reads "Praise to the Lord, Who, when darkness of sin is abounding, Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding, Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night, Saints with His mercy surrounding." Today we pray that verse may prove to be true and the Lord will protect all who preach God's Word, God's truth.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Satan attacks Your message in many different ways. Grant that Your pastors and people may stand firm and share the Savior's story of salvation so sinful souls might be won and granted eternal life in heaven. This we ask in the Name of our Savior. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries