Trinity 18 2010 – What Do You Think about the Christ?


Sermon by Rev. Christian C. Tiews – 10/03/2010

“What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” (Mt 22:42)

 

 

Today, October 3, 2010, is the twentieth anniversary of the reunification of Germany.

 

On this day two decades ago, former West Germany—a free country allied with the United States—and East Germany—a Communist country allied with the Soviet Union…

 

…were officially reunited after the Berlin Wall had come crashing down only eleven months earlier.

 

In the years immediately following German reunification, many observers assumed that Christianity would once again flourish in that region because the people now had free access to the Gospel.

 

But with very few exceptions, their optimistic predictions proved false….

 

You see, what these observers underestimated was how radically Christianity had been purged from the very same region in which Martin Luther had rediscovered the Gospel some five hundred years earlier.

 

How had eastern Germany lost the Gospel—the very message of the Christ?

 

During that region’s atheist Communist era from 1949 to 1989, the government managed to infiltrate and crush from within—churches that had already been seriously debilitated after two hundred years of Rationalist liberalism and twelve years of Nazi neo-paganism.

 

Whether out of fear of the authorities or perhaps because they were beholden to Communist beliefs, most East German pastors essentially gave their congregations the wrong answer to the question posed in our sermon Bible verse this morning:

 

“What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”

 

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