I used to teach a class on myth, a term that can have different meanings for various people. A fairly neutral definition would be "a compelling idea that shapes the thoughts and actions of large groups, whether it is true or not."
I found a high school production of Les Miserables, which I prefer in many ways over the bombastic movie production. This Victor Hugo novel was one of my first big reads, many years ago, probably in high school. I found a used book store where I could buy classics for very little. They are still in business in Davenport, Iowa - The Source.
But there is a vast difference between the modern treatment and the novel. In the original, the future son-in-law Marius Pontmercy is tricked onto the barricades, looking for Valjean's daughter. There he almost dies from a wound, but is carried to safety through the sewers of Paris.
In the movie, the same man is now one of the revolutionary leaders, who is willing to set aside his romance to kick some royalists around. He even shows up after the carnage and bawls about his friends and what they died for. True, there is some debate about the meaning of violence, but the overall effect of the movie is to extol revolution and praise its martyrs. The ending makes revolution jolly good fun because the entire cast, living and dead, sings "One More Day." Yes, revolution is just around the corner but it will not be as pleasantly tuneful as the movie.
|This graphic is from Dr. Lito Cruz, math and logic expert, Lutheran pastor.|
The myth of evolution has displaced the doctrine of Creation. Everything is 455 millions years old or developed 300 million years ago, and so forth. I keep thinking, "But I read the original."
In our limo I carry Zion on the Mississippi, a carefully researched early history of the Missouri Synod. The person who bought it said of the gift to the younger generation in a signed inscription, "We are from the Buenger and Stellhorn families."
Stellhorn was a key figure in The Error of Modern Missouri. Ludwig Fuerbringer wrote favorably about him as a respected leader and teacher. Did everyone agree about Stephan and Walther's UOJ? Certainly not, but Missouri began kicking out those who dissented, losing the Lenski family in the split caused by Walther's false doctrine.
And to make everything look nice for the innocent - and those unlikely to read more than Christian News - the Missouri Synod has erased its early history as a sex cult following a bishop with syphilis. Everything about the early years is recast into the myth of Walther as the savior of Lutheranism in America, not the truth about Walther and the clergy leaders backing Stephan 100% until they found an excuse to threaten his life, rob him of everything (rescuing them from insolvency), and kidnap him at the point of a gun to Illinois.
The myth is cast in stone and the myth-keepers guard it with ever-vigilant eyes, like the Watchers at the gates of Mordor.
- If someone questions UOJ, "you have criticized Walther, Pieper, the Brief Confession, and our Beloved synod."
- If someone teaches justification by faith, "you have criticized Walther, Pieper, the Brief Confession, and our Beloved synod."
- If someone mentions the strange conflicts between the historical record and the Missouri Synod version, "you have criticized Walther, Pieper, the Brief Confession, and our Beloved synod."