Thursday, July 1, 2021
The Ominous Case Of Pastor Latzel
By Jonathan Cahn
Shalom, to you my Friend and Co-Minister in the Great Commission…
For years there had been warnings. For years it was said we were heading to it – but now it’s happened. It happened in Germany. It involved Pastor Olaf Latzel, a preacher in the Evangelical Church in Germany. A court in Bremen, Germany found Latzel guilty of ‘sedition.’ He was accused of “inciting hatred” against homosexuals. What exactly was this incitement? Latzel spoke of the biblical definitions of gender and sexuality. He spoke against the Berlin Pride March. He referred to gender ideology as an attack against God’s order and against the activists who advance it. It should be noted that Pastor Olaf’s services have in the past been disrupted by gay activists. His remarks were not given at a public rally but in his own church – and not even at a worship service, but to couples at a marriage seminar. And yet he was found guilty of a crime.
This has been a long time coming. First there was the movement for political correctness. Then came the ‘hate crime’ laws. And then came reports, particularly in Europe, of Christian street preachers being taken away by the police for speaking against homosexuality and disturbing the peace. But now a pastor in his own church, in his own seminar speaking, to his own people has been found guilty of a crime – and punished. If the ruling holds against appeal, it could lead to the punishing of German churches that refuse to bless homosexual unions. They could then lose their status as a charitable organization which can, in turn, devastate them financially.
What about Latzel’s fellow pastors? Seventy of them held a gathering for the purpose of denouncing him. What about his denomination? They initiated proceedings to discipline him. And the parliament of his region gathered to denounce him; the first time a minister had been denounced by a German parliament since the Second World War. But despite the ruling of the court, the condemnation of the parliament, the denouncement of his fellow pastors, and the rebuke of his own denomination, Pastor Latzel is refusing to back down.
If we have learned one thing, it’s that this movement to silence God’s word and God’s people is not going to fade away. If we seek to avoid dealing with it in the public square, we will surely find ourselves dealing with it when it comes to our front door, and to the doors of our sanctuaries. We must fight the good fight, always in love, always in truth, and always with courage.
And yet, this is as biblical a circumstance as we could imagine. It was the same for Elijah, for Jeremiah and Ezekiel, for Messiah, and for the apostles. We have long read of it. Now it is time to live it.
This month, make it your aim to live the Word without reluctance, hesitation, compromise, or fear. And may God greatly bless you as you do!
Your brother and co-laborer
in His love and service,