Thursday, December 17, 2015

Luther on false gods

A god means that from which we are to expect all good and to which we are to take refuge in all distress, so that to have a God is nothing else than to trust and believe Him from the [whole] heart; as I have often said that the confidence and faith of the heart alone make both God and an idol. If your faith and trust be right, then is your god also true; and, on the other hand, if your trust be false and wrong, then you have not the true God; for these two belong together faith and God. That now, I say, upon which you set your heart and put your trust is properly your god. God says to us “See to it that you let me alone be your God, and never seek another,” i.e.: Whatever you lack of good things, expect it of me, and look to me for it, and whenever you suffer misfortune and distress, creep and cling to me. I, yes, I, will give you enough and help you out of every need; only let not your heart cleave to or rest in any other.”—Martin Luther, Larger Catechism as quoted in America and Its Guns: A Theological Expose, pages 22–23

<idle musing>
That's a mouthful there, isn't it? Not just the gun culture fits it, but many other things as well: Nationalism, Materialism, Capitalism, etc. come immediately to mind.

By the way, there's a good post about how guns make you stupid. This post is by an expert marksman and former Army counter-terrorism guy, so he knows of what he speaks. Give it a read; here's a snippet to whet your appetite:

As someone who used to carry, I can say that - when I was armed - I would go anywhere I wanted, whenever I wanted, respond to anyone any way I wanted, be as rude as I wanted, as inconsiderate as I wanted, and meet those little non-verbal challenges that strange men throw at each other because it's a man-thing any way I wanted, and respond to rudeness and idiocy (to which I could choose not to respond) . . . because I could. There it is! The criterion for stupid. I have a damn gun, and I know how to use it. I can put two rounds in your thorax in less than a second. I can erase you.

I used to claim it was for self-defense; but for quite a few years now, I've gone unarmed and miraculously survived. I do avoid certain people and places, i.e., drunk people (the most dangerous of animals) and places with a lot of drunk people. These were the people and places that most often put me at risk back in the day. I don't do that any more just 'because I can.' I am also deferential, courteous, and friendly (when possible) with strangers; I don't do the dominator-stare-down thing with other men. Common decency/common sense stuff, that you can abandon - stupidly - when you pack heat. (emphasis original)

With thanks to Jim Eisenbraun for the link.
</idle musing>

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