I am disappointed that the Protestants did not do more to crush the Turks

Discussion in 'General discussions' started by Pergamum, Oct 7, 2018.

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  1. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    One of the strangest historical providences of God for me seems to be that at the height of the Ottoman Invasion of Europe God began to sow the seeds of the Reformation and to split the Church.

    Would there been any way in which Europe could have posed a united front against the Turks even after the Reformation?

    The Catholics seemed besieged on two fronts, the Muslims to the South and the Protestants to the North. And even as a Protestant I celebrate these Christian victories against the infidel such as Malta and Lepanto. And Catholic apologists often speak of the great weakness caused by some nations defecting from a united Europe at the time of its greatest need. The Protestants were traitors in the great civilizational war that was being waged.

    Then, even into the 1800s the Protestant nations sided with the evil Turks against Russia in conflicts such as the Crimean War. Russia should have been helped to protect the "Holy Places" but many Europeans, instead, sides with the Turk. Even to this day the evil Turk is accepted into NATO....what gives?

    Martin Luther protested against Rome from a position of safety from the Turk in Northern Europe, but this sort of Reformation would have never happened, say, if Luther had been born within the Gates of Vienna.

    During the Crusades the Germans did wondrous feats in defeating the Saracen. But why was there little defense of Europe by the Protestants once the Reformation happened? Did they delight to see the infidel and the Anti-Christ fight it out and was there no sympathy for the true believers who might have still been within the walls of the Catholic Church? I still believe that it is possible for some Catholics to be saved despite their errors due to a pure love of Jesus and would believe that aiding Catholic countries against a Muslim invasion would be a just war.


    Were the Protestants opportunists who were glad for the evil Turk to take some of the pressure off of them? For while Catholic armies were arrayed against the Turk they could not have helped crush the Reformation in Northern Europe. While there were Muslim threats to their south and east, Rome could not crush the Protestant threats to their north

    I hate being helped by the devils' hordes.
  2. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    One thing that I have been struck by of late is just how often our Reformed forebears refer to the menace of Islam in their writings. In early 18th-century Scotland, for instance, which was about as far away from Islam as you could be in Europe, the likes of Thomas Boston and Thomas Halyburton were warning about the threat of Islam. I realise you are referring to an earlier time-period, but there is plenty of material from the Reformation itself on the subject.

    To cut a long story short, the Reformed were definitely not glad for the evil Turk. Indeed, the Westminster Assembly's Directory for the Publick Worship of God says that we are to pray for "the deliverance of the distressed churches abroad … from the cruel oppressions and blasphemies of the Turk". We should also note here that those in confessional Presbyterian circles who argue for open-door immigration from the Muslim world today are advocating something contrary to the Westminster Standards. If we are to pray for deliverance from Islamic oppression, we should not be inviting it into our own borders.
  3. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Yes. The open borders folks should suffer church discipline. We are witnessing a suicide of our own culture and heritage. Christianity has equaled weakness now since the advent of feminist power within the church where it is somehow now considered "Christian" to give up your land and heritage to those who have ruined their own countries due to their destructive ideologies and are now fleeing to our relatively well-ordered havens of freedom.

    Lord, deliver us from the Turk! And give us back Constantinople!
  4. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    Which Protestant power had the wherewithal to prosecute any sort of war against the Turks? The strongest of them, such as England and Germany, were always in danger of siege by the Papist nations who were the military superpowers of the age. With their meager ability to render foreign aid, their first priority was the weaker Protestant nations and fiefdoms. The wars of aggression were virtually always prosecuted by the Papists--they cannot blame the Protestants for separating Europe when they were the ones to war against the spread of the Gospel.

    There is little doubt that Protestants saw the menace of the Turks, in turning the Papist armies attention away from themselves, as a blessed providence--the full strength of the armies of of the Papist powers could have annihilated them--but by no means did they then regard the Mohammedans as anything but evil.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  5. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Good points. I do wish that things had been different. A united Christendom could have completely crushed all of Islam, except for the divisions in the Church at that time.
  6. Alan D. Strange

    Alan D. Strange Puritan Board Junior

    It is clearly the case that the threat of Islam occupied the Holy Roman Emperor and other RCC powers, not permitting them to crush the Protestants. Were it not for Islam, Rome would have been able to extirpate Protestantism.

    Opportunists? What a bizarre way to look at this or history more broadly. "Hate being helped by the devil's hordes?" I accept God's providential overruling so that what men mean for evil (and Islam is evil), God means for good. He is such a great and good God that not only does evil not defeat Him, but He uses it to bring about the greatest good. Witness the cross. Witness the use He made of Islam to keep Rome from wiping out the great Reformation.

    I agree with all that Daniel and Chris say, and we must pray always for the conversion of the Muslim and the defeat of his military might. I also praise God for His use of devil to achieve His purposes: the Devil is God's devil and I would urge you to rethink your lamentation on history, which is frankly misguided and wrongheaded. You need to submit yourself to the Lord in His gracious providential deliverance of our Reformational heirs.

  7. Alan D. Strange

    Alan D. Strange Puritan Board Junior

    This is completely misguided, brother. The Reformation of the Church was much more important and just what was needed at the time, more than the crushing of Islam. How can you not see that?

  8. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    I am not sure David would share your feelings (1 Samuel 23:26-28).
  9. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    There wasn't too much they could do. They didn't share any common border and many of the Protestant nations didn't have a sufficient navy to reach the Turkish lands.

    Cromwell's navy did bloody the Turks a bit, if that helps any.

    As to being helped by the Devil's Hordes, one of the reasons the Muslims didn't overrun Europe in the Middle Ages was that Genghis Khan's Mongol armies appeared out of nowhere and put enormous pressure on the Muslims from the East.

    When Timurlane sacked Baghdad he put Muslim civilization back a few centuries, which helped Christendom.
  10. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

  11. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    It's a meme on social media. Constantinople was a historic Christian city. And Turkey has routinely genocided a lot of Christians in that city.

    Unfortunately, to whom would Constantinople go? I wouldn't want it to go to the Freemasons in the Phanariot (Greek ruling elites).

    Russia seems the logical choice, but that would give Russia control of one of the most important port cities in the world.
  12. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    This has descended yet further into the absurd.
  13. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    "Christian city"? Only in the loose sense of broader Christian culture. The Byzantines, you'll remember, persecuted the iconoclasts to extinction. The Eastern Orthodox Church has shown itself to be no friend of Protestantism.

    So you want Constantinople, the fallen Eastern Orthodox bastion. But what about Geneva, today in the grip of godless secularism? Or London, or Edinburgh? Huge swathes of France and nearly the whole of the Netherlands once professed the Reformed faith. I look at my own country and see godlessness run rampant. How about Pyeongyang, which only a century ago was known as the Jerusalem of the East for all its steeples. Meanwhile, much of the world has still not heard the gospel.

    A cry to reclaim Constantinople is far too small.
  14. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm fairly certain I never said that.

    As to Christian city, I meant in the sense that it gave us authoritative creeds (381), theologians, etc.
  15. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    What was absurd about it? Please give examples. I merely explained what others thought. I didn't say what I wanted.
  16. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    That Constantinople fell to the icon-worshippers long before the Turks. Why are the Turks alone in getting all the hate?
  17. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    Actually, you said you wouldn't want it to go to Freemasons, or to Russia. Unless I means something other than I, you did make it see like you were imagining some fantasy of your own of reclaiming Constantinople.

    That's where I'll stop.
  18. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    And America fell to Nativity scenes. Icons, while grievous sins, did not unchurch the East any more than crucifixes did the West. There is no equivalency between them and the infidel Turks.
  19. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    Not equivalency, no. (Although I do think the Eastern Orthodox are no friends, as I have said.) My point is that what some long for is something long passed. It seems to me a foolish exercise.
  20. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Martin Luther in 1518 wrote an Explanation of the Ninety-five Theses, and actually argued AGAINST resisting the Turks, "whom he presented as a scourge intentionally sent by God to sinning Christians, and that resisting it would have been equivalent to resisting the will of God."

    That is a pretty despicable attitude given the looting and stealing of European children as future janissaries and all the evils of the Ottomans. That is sort of like letting your unkind neighbor get robbed by thieves just because that unkind neighbor cheated you in the past. A reformed form of schadenfreude that the Catholic lands are finally getting what's coming to them.

    Later he modified his position and wrote the treatise On War against the Turk and in 1529 gave the sermon Against the Turk, encouraging the German people and Emperor Charles V to resist the invasion. This is much better.

    Here is an interesting article:

    "Luther also advised the political elite of his time. He began by urging the princes of Europe to unite so that they would confront Suleyman with a massive force, rather than engaging him single-handedly. He reflected on the disaster at Mohacs on August 29, 1526, in which Suleyman obliterated the army of King Louis II, wiping out the Christian kingdom of Hungary. The fundamental problem at Mohacs was that the Hungarians were outnumbered three to one. Suleyman had at least seventy thousand men, while Louis fielded a much smaller force of some twenty-four thousand men. The approach of meeting Suleyman one king at a time was not working. “The Turk devours them one after another,” observed Luther (202)."

    So Luther tempered his own views and his later comments are pretty fascinating. His former comments not so good. And there WERE German soldiers at Vienna eventually to see the Turk turned back.

    And I am sure some of those disagreeing with me on this post still feel pride swell in their hearts when they hear of the brave defense of Malta by the Knights of Saint John and of Lepanto. These also are our victories.
  21. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    At the root of our disagreements here is this question: Which is worse, the Roman Catholic/Orthodox Church or Islam.

    It is little surprise that on the PB some would say the Catholic Church is worse because it is Anti-Christ. But I do not buy that Catholicism is worse than Islam. We share the early creeds, and it is possible for some Catholics to be saved through faith in Jesus despite the system of Catholicism. The system is damning but many of the foundations are saving.

    To prefer to see European lands fall to the Turks rather than fall to the Catholics is idiocy, for the very culture of Europe would then die and the foundational truths of the early creeds would be forgotten. Luther's 1518 declaration was idiocy, which he later modified once we saw the nature of the Turk.

    We now regularly unite with Catholic in Pro-life causes and consider them co-belligerents. We should have done so hundreds of years ago to defend Europe.
  22. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior


    You are attacking in all directions at once. It's impossible to reply.
  23. Alan D. Strange

    Alan D. Strange Puritan Board Junior

    Not at all, brother. I agree with you that even the Christianity of Lateran IV and Thomas was not the sort of error that Mohammedanism was. I am sure that everyone else here does as well and it seems preposterous to suggest otherwise.

    But the most immediate threat to the newly burgeoning and rather fragile Protestant faith was not the Turk but Rome, with which our Protestant forbears most pointedly contested. The sacerdotalism of the Roman Catholic Church was a denial of the gospel, salvation being seen as participation in the essence of God, particularly in the Eucharist. The recovery of the gospel was essential and necessary. I don't doubt that you believe this.

    It so happens that in those circumstances the most immediate threat to the Reformation on the continent and England was that of Rome, which condemned the Reformation at every point and, if it had had its way, would have wiped out the Protestants even at the cost of imperiling the battle against the Saracens. It was only the wisdom of rulers like Charles V and other RCC monarchs that realized that a war on both fronts was untenable and some peace needed to be made with the Protestants, although there was plenty of war as well.

    Had there been no Muslim threat, however, the Roman Catholic civil leaders could have made total war against Protestantism (as the papacy wanted and urged them to constantly) and wiped it out. It seems an odd and even churlish attitude for a Protestant not only to recognize this merciful Providence but to bitterly argue against it. It frankly puzzles me. There's no schadenfreude here. Just thankfulness that God, in his customary wisdom, brought about this Reformation at a time when it could not be as fully opposed (it certainly was opposed--witness the Religious Wars of the 16th and 17th centuries!) as it would have been absent the Islamic threat.

    Your diagnosis of this is curious and off, brother. I can't believe that you really mean it.

  24. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    LOL. No. I was doing a geopolitical analysis. My point was that retaking Constantinople is fraught with problems.
  25. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Probably because of all the genocides they have carried out through history, along with their imprisoning Christian pastors today.
  26. Alan D. Strange

    Alan D. Strange Puritan Board Junior

    To lay this at the door of beleaguered Protestants is remarkable. Rome was not interested in making common cause with Protestantism. Co-belligerency? Read the papal decrees calling for the destruction of those who tried to Reform the church (it was Leo X, after all, who split the church; not Martin Luther) and tell me whether Rome was interested in co-belligerency. This is anachronistic in the extreme. Rome wanted to shut down this Reformation and would have had it not had other things occupying it at the same time.

  27. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Both Rome and Turks slaughtered millions. Why choose between them?
  28. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Rome slaughtered her thousands, the Turks her tens of thousands. There was still a chance of salvation within the Church...but none within Islam.

    Those who would chose to side with the Turk over the Roman is a traitor to their people, their heritage, and to their historic common creeds.
  29. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    Perhaps we can keep the LOLs to a minimum while you work on rephrasing your "geopolitical analysis".
  30. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    If I am not mistaken many of the Reformed accept a Catholic baptism as valid. And many of the Catholic Church Fathers are counted as our own, even when they believed in such things as transubstantiation. And yet to take a stand with Rome against the Turk is high heresy? I believe that is highly inconsistent.
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