Islamization: Martin Luther On Islam, Muslims, And Jihad

In light of yesterday's post on the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, France, I went searching for some Confessional Lutheran apologetics material in response to Islam and Muslims.

What I discovered was that Martin Luther actually had quite a bit to say about the "Turks" (a.k.a. "Muslims") in his day-and-age that deserves our attention and prayerful consideration, IMHO.

So, consider this my humble contribution in sharing what I found that Martin Luther had to say about Islam, Muslims, and Jihad.

One secular blog I came across published this back in 2007...


 
[NOTE: I am unfamiliar with the website referenced on the above image so please do not take my inclusion of it here to mean that I tacitly approve of the website and it's content. I simply found this to be the most appropriate image I could find online to go with this piece. Thanks!]

Martin Luther On The Jihad 
In the early 16th century, nearly a hundred years after the conquest of Constantinople by the Turkish Sultan, the Turks had overrun much of the Balkans and recently subdued Hungary. The Germanic principalities in Central Europe were threatened by the Turkish advance, but their customary fractiousness — and the advent of the Protestant Reformation — had made it that much harder for Christendom to unite and repel the invaders. 
In 1528, Martin Luther had no way of knowing that a century and half later the Christian states of Europe would unite long enough to drive the Turks back from the Gates of Vienna. In his day, Europe was up for grabs. 
Here are some excerpts from what Luther had to say about Islam, and the necessity for a robust military defense of Christendom, from Vom Kriege wider die Türken (On War Against the Turk):


I have some pieces of Mohammed’s Koran which might be called in German a book of sermons or doctrines of the kind that we call pope’s decretals. When I have time, I must put it into German so that every man may see what a foul and shameful book it is. In the first place, he praises Christ and Mary very much as those who alone were without sin, and yet he believes nothing more of Christ than that he is a holy prophet, like Jeremiah or Jonah, and denies that he is God’s Son and true God. Besides, he does not believe that Christ is the Savior of the world, Who died for our sins, but that He preached to His own time, and completed His work before His death, just like any other prophet. 
On the other hand, he praises and exalts himself highly and boasts that he has talked with God and the angels, and that since Christ’s office of prophet is now complete, it has been commanded to him to bring the world to his faith and if the world is not willing, to compel it or punish it with the sword; and there is much glorification of the sword in it. Therefore, the Turks think their Mohammed much higher and greater than Christ, for the office of Christ has ended and Mohammed’s office is still in force. 
From this anyone can easily observe that Mohammed is a destroyer of our Lord Christ and His kingdom, and if anyone denies concerning Christ, that He is God’s Son and has died for us, and still lives and reigns at the right hand of God, what has he left of Christ? Father, Son, Holy Ghost, Baptism, the Sacrament, Gospel, Faith and all Christian doctrine and life are gone, and there is left, instead of Christ, nothing more than Mohammed with his doctrine of works and especially of the sword. That is the chief doctrine of the Turkish faith in which all abominations, all errors, all devils are piled up in one heap.

- - - - - - - - - -

[…]

In the second place, the Turk’s Koran, or creed, teaches him to destroy not only the Christian faith, but also the whole temporal government. His Mohammed, as has been said, commands that ruling is to be done by the sword, and in his Koran the sword is the commonest and noblest work. 
Thus the Turk is, in truth, nothing but a murderer or highwayman, as his deeds show before men’s eyes. St. Augustine calls other kingdoms, too, great robbery; Psalm 76:4 also calls them “fastnesses of robbers,” because it is but seldom that an empire has come up except by robbery, force, and wrong; or at the very least, it is often seized and possessed by wicked people without any justice, so that the Scriptures, in Genesis 10:9, call the first prince upon earth, Nimrod, a mighty hunter. But never has any kingdom come up and become so mighty by murder and robbery as that of the Turk; and he murders and robs every day, for it is commanded in their law, as a good and divine work, that they shall rob and murder, devour and destroy more and more those that are round about them; and they do this, and think that they are doing God service. Their government, therefore, is not a regular rulership, like others, for the maintenance of peace, the protection of the good, and the punishment of the wicked, but a rod of anger and a punishment of God upon the unbelieving world, as has been said. The work of murdering and robbing pleases the flesh in any case, because it enables men to gain high place and subject everyone’s life and goods to themselves; how much more must the flesh be pleased when this is a commandment, as though God would have it so and it pleased Him well! Therefore among the Turks, too, they are held the best who are diligent to increase the Turkish kingdom and who are constantly murdering and robbing round about them.

[…]

All fanatics, as a rule, when the spirit of lies has taken possession of them and led them away from the true faith, have been unable to stop there, but have followed the lie with murder and taken up the sword, as a sign that they were children of the father of all lies and murder…

[…]

Summing up what has been said: Where the spirit of lies is, there is also the spirit of murder, though he may not get to work or may be hindered. If he is hindered, he still laughs and is jubilant when murder is done, and at least consents to it, for he holds it right. But good Christians do not rejoice over any murder, not even over the misfortunes of their enemies. Since, then, Mohammed’s Koran is such a great spirit of lies that it leaves almost nothing of Christian truth remaining, how could it have any other result than that it should become a great and mighty murderer, with both lies and murders under the show of truth and righteousness. As, therefore, lies destroy the spiritual order of faith and truth, so murder destroys all temporal order instituted by God; for where murder and robbery are practiced, it is impossible that there should be a fine, praiseworthy temporal government, since they cannot think more highly of peace than of war and murder, or attend to the pursuits of peace, as one can see in soldiers. Therefore, the Turks do not regard the work of agriculture highly. 
The third point is that Mohammed’s Koran thinks nothing of marriage, but permits everyone to take wives as he will. Therefore, it is customary among the Turks for one man to have ten or twenty wives and to desert or sell any of them that he will, when he will, so that in Turkey women are held immeasurably cheap and are despised; they are bought and sold like cattle. Although there may be some few who do not take advantage of this law, nevertheless this is the law and anyone can follow if he will. Such a way of living is not marriage and cannot be marriage, because none of them takes a wife or has a wife with the intention of staying with her forever, as though the two were one body, as God’s Word says, in Genesis 2:24, “The man shall cleave to his wife and they two be one body.” 

[…]

Now we have heard above what kind of man the Turk is, viz., a destroyer, enemy, and blasphemer of our Lord Jesus Christ, who instead of the Gospel and faith, sets up his shameful Mohammed and all kinds of lies, ruins all temporal government and home-life, or marriage, and, since his warfare is nothing but murder and bloodshed, is a tool of the devil himself.

[…]

Just so Mohammed treats the Gospel; he declares that it is indeed true, but has long since served its purpose; also that it is too hard to keep, especially on the points where Christ says that one is to leave all for His sake, love God with the whole heart, and the like. 
Therefore God has had to give another new law, one that is not so hard and that the world can keep, and this law is the Koran. But if anyone asks why he does no miracles to confirm this new law, he says that that is unnecessary and of no use, for people had many miracles before, when Moses’ law and the Gospel arose, and did not believe. Therefore his Koran did not need to be confirmed by wasted miracles, but by the sword, which is more effective than miracles. Thus it has been, and still is the case among the Turks, that everything is done with the sword, instead of with miracles.

We hear a lot these days about the necessity for becoming more educated about Islam, as if a fuller acquaintance with the Islamic faith would make the Legions of the Prophet seem less threatening and dangerous. 
We can see from these excerpts that the opposite is the case. Martin Luther was very well-educated in the scripture of the Mohammedans, and it only served to confirm to him that their religion was in fact demonic, a worldly manifestation of pure evil. 
We would do well to heed his words.


I couldn't agree more, but something tells me that our US President, Mr. Barack Obama, would disagree entirely since he infamously said, "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam..." on September 25th, 2012. Remember that one?

As one reader commented in response to that 2007 blog entry...


"Very telling...This observation of the 'prophet' is frighteningly true. Not even Lutherans are preaching this sermon. Yet. The P.C. cowards of every infidel doctrine are too busy gelding themselves, their faith and their Civilization to learn the history of the pedophile warlord, and arm themselves with the hard truth. The sword will have to get nearer their necks before they wake. 9/11 was the first cut. It didn't sting enough. The religion of the Muslims hasn't changed since the days of Luther. Terrorism and criminality speaks for itself. However, the religion of the Lutherans has changed. Our bishops wouldn't dare to express themselves as frankly as Luther did. They are timid like everyone nowadays and not to be sued for persecution of an ethnic minority they have to weigh every word. For some reason, Islam here in Sweden is looked upon not only as a religion, but also an ethnic minority. That's what threats can bring about -- you cannot find faults with Islam, but you can freely make fun of Christianity and Christendom. I suspect the purpose is Islamization, quietly and silently. This idea that theological criticism of the Koran is out of bounds or, only taken on by lunatics, is most absurd, and examples such as this are nice reminders to all of us that it is just not the case. At the siege of Vienna in 1683, Islam seemed poised to overrun Christian Europe. We are in a new phase of a very old war."


Poignant for sure, isn't it? And to think Luther wrote his words some 500 years ago and these comments in response to them were written some 8 years ago now. Wow! Ecclesiastes 1:9 in plain sight I suppose.

By the way, speaking of 9/11, you might want to look through our Archive and read the series we did a few months back titled "9/11 Through Martin Luther's Eyes" for a more comprehensive view of what the good Dr. had to say about the Christian perspective on fighting, revenge, terrorism, Turks, violence, and war and peace.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, while Martin Luther's words are just as relevant to us today as they were back then, let's all keep in mind that it's only God's Word that holds the cure for the sin of false religion, terrorism, violence, and war.

We need to see the Great "I AM" (Jesus) whenever we see "Je suis" messages and signs these days, because He is the Great Physician who can cure the world of the sin of false religion, terrorism, violence, and war unto salvation.


NOTE: I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or a Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this note, I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little over a year ago. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries. I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a dude's diary in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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