R5882-110 Interesting Items

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::R5882 : page 110::



All the nations now at war seem possessed of the thought that they are fighting God’s battles and that He is leading them on to sure and great victory. We quote the following from The Record of Christian Work:

“The leading Church weekly of Germany, the Allg. Luth. Evang. Kirchen Zeitung, prints a parallel between the experiences of the German nation in 1914-1915 and our Lord’s passion, which recalls the pathological misuse of religious symbols, etc., in French decadent literature.

“The article opens with the words of a Kempis, ‘No one feels the sufferings of Christ so deeply as he who has passed through similar sufferings.’ Germany is the suffering servant who must bear the sins of many, for it is very clear that we fight for the continuance of genuine Christianity. As Israel was the earlier type of Christ, so Germany is the succeeding one. On the other hand, all the figures of the Savior’s tragical trial and death-day reappear in the present world conflict. The types are so clear that no one can mistake the resemblance. The Czar plays the sad role of Pilate acting against better knowledge and conscience, surrendering the innocent in anxious fear lest he lose his own power. Serbia is Barabbas, who has committed murder. Vain and frivolous France recalls the picture of Herod Antipas. Autocratic, orthodox Russia and atheist, republican France are made friends, as were the two rulers of Christ’s day. The active agent in Christ’s passion was the Sanhedrin. The evangelical story repeatedly affirms that it sought Jesus’ death out of envy. Is there aught else save envy which has made England the driving force in the war upon Germany?’

“The writer then indulges in characteristic flings at ‘England’s Sabbath-keeping, mission fanaticism, and general Pharisaism. The power of the Sanhedrin was exerted over the Jews of the dispersion, as England’s is over her over-seas colonies.’ In the United States, the writer sees ‘Judas, the great betrayer,’ and quotes the words of Ezekiel 22:12, ‘They have taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors by extortion.’ The thirty pieces of silver have become thirty milliards. The false witnesses are ‘the international press and telegraph agencies.’ ‘The students and musicians who warmed themselves at German Universities and Conservatories, and who now deny Germany, figure as Peter. Also the poor little Waldensian Church to which, it seems, German Protestants formerly made contributions.

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” ‘The penitent thief who redeemed a bad past by a good deed in his last hours and who suffered the same sorrow as the Lord is the type of the Turkish people who now put to shame the Christianity of Europe’—’apart from the Germans,’ the writer is careful to explain.

“The publication of this paragraph in cold type in a Christian paper in the period of the worst excesses which Turkish anti-Christian fanaticism has ever perpetrated gives a pretty good measure of the moral and intellectual aberration into which German Christianity has fallen. There are other parallels, some trivial, where Sven Hedin is compared with the centurion at the Cross; others blasphemous, in which the dry period preceding the last German harvest is related to the ‘I thirst’ of Christ.”



The Sentimental, a Jewish weekly (Chicago), says: “The return of Turkish authority in the Balkans must be welcomed as a result of the war. The sentimental love of nationality cannot be encouraged when the fact of nationality imperils the peace of Europe and the world. The Turk has shown that he is a friend of peace and humanity and only the intolerance of Christianity and the cupidity of the adjoining kingdoms make him appear “terribly” otherwise. The German haters, of course, will point to Turkey’s recent announcement of equal rights to Jews as inspired by Germany for effect and as resembling the liberal grants of the Czar, but the fact of the matter is that the Turkish government is not the Russian government, for nothing is more certain than that a pledge with Mohammedans is sacred, however the Greek Orthodox conscience may construe its own promises. We would rather deal with the Turk than with any other power except our own free nation. But if anything else is certain, it is the Kaiser’s sincerity in preaching equal rights for our people, where at present these are denied them. But even if it be granted that the concession is inspired solely by the average statecraft ethics, both by Turkey and by Germany, the move must add momentum to the advance of the liberal spirit, so that when peace is discussed, the opponents of equal rights for our people will themselves realize that in urging the status quo for their Jewish subjects they are flying in the face of the moral judgment and the enlightened will of Europe and civilization, and must therefore yield. If this definite result comes out of the war, all the sufferings of our brethren and even of the millions sacrificed by the war’s ravages will have been offered for a moral gain worth even more.”


— April 1, 1916 —

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