CITY OF HEIDELBERG - click the British flag for English...
http://www.germany.info - Your German Information Source brought to you by the German Embassy , the German Information Center and the Consulates General in the US .
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/gm.html - CIA World Factbook: Germany
http://www.cometogermany.com/ - Website of the German National Tourist Office
Antichrist Family Photo Album
In Germany gas is about $6.00 a gallon
There are 86 million people squashed into the space of the Carolinas and Georgia or Wisconsin alone.
Baptists are usually considered a cult and often confused with the Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons but we have more liberty to evangelize than MOST Americans in America.
There is no speed limit on the autobahn
Religious classes are mandatory in German schools but because they're taught by unbelievers, they simply destroy the students faith in the Word of God. Another side effect by these religious classes is a sort of immunization the student gets by being exposed to the Bible stories but never really getting the real thing!
Still want more details? Here's a great site about Germany...Click here then go to "Facts and Figures" then to "Questions and Answers"
Practice Your German:
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Hello / Hallo, Guten Tag
Good Bye / Auf Wiedersehen, Tschuess
My name is... / Mein Name ist... (or) Ich heisse...
How are you doing? / Wie geht es Ihnen?
Nice to meet you! / Es freut mich Sie kennenzulernen!
Happy Birthday! / Alles Gute zum Geburtstag
Jesus Saves! / Jesus erloest!
The Bible is God's Word! / Die Bibel ist Gottes Wort!
Are you a Christian? / Sind Sie ein Christ?
We believe on Jesus Christ! / Wir glauben an Jesus Christus!
John 3:16 Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt, dass er seinen eingeborenen Sohn gab,
auf dass alle, die an ihn glauben, nicht verloren werden, sondern das ewige Leben haben.
John 14:6 Jesus spricht zu ihm, Ich bin der Weg und die Wahrheit und das Leben,
niemand kommt zum Vater denn durch mich.
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Churches Unite - Catholics, Lutherans End Doctrinal Dispute
AUGSBURG, Germany, Oct. 31, 1999 Four hundred and eighty-two years ago today, the blunt-speaking monk Martin Luther nailed his legendary attack on Catholic Church practices to a church door in Germany, an act of conscience that triggered the Protestant Reformation, the wrenching division of Western Christianity, and more than a century of religious wars that killed hundreds of thousands.
Today the heirs of that acrimony and fracture, the leaders of the modern Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches, signed a document that officially settles the central argument about the nature of faith that Luther provoked. The agreement declares, in effect, that it was all a misunderstanding.
"In the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Let us then pursue all that makes for peace and builds up our common life," proclaimed Catholic Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy, Pope John Paul II's emissary, as he signed the Augsburg accord on behalf of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide. All but 3 million of the world's 61.5 million Lutherans were represented by Bishop Christian Krause, president of the Lutheran World Federation, and by the Rev. Ishmael Noko, the federation's general secretary.
Hundreds of clerics and theologians, many in flowing robes of purple, white and black, trod quietly through the sunny streets of this old Bavarian city where Luther had two of his momentous confrontations in 1518 and 1530 with the Catholic hierarchy.
The church leaders moved from Mass at the Catholic Basilica of St. Ulrich and Afra to the blessing and signing of the accord in the Lutheran Church of St. Anna. Cross-faith services around the world today echoed the Augsburg ceremony.
The agreement is significant beyond the dispute over doctrine that it resolves. It has deep implications for future relations among Catholics and Protestants, said theologians and church leaders. Many said this accord gives added promise to the ideal their denominations champion of full communion, or merger, between the churches.
"This is a critical breakthrough: It's the first major step toward reconciliation between the two churches since the Reformation," said the Rev. H. George Anderson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and one of the negotiators and signers of today's agreement.
"Now we understand we have creeds in common, and that removes the taint of heresy from both sides," Anderson said. "It's the difference between handling each other as if we were prickly sea urchins, and being able to shake hands."
The broader movement toward Christian reunification, called ecumenism, has inspired extraordinary dialogues and built bridges across ancient ecclesiastical and theological canyons especially as the calendar has moved toward the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus. They have gone hand in hand with a loosening and even reinvention of church traditions of worship, of language, of music, of ministry from the dropping of Latin in the Catholic Mass to the ordination of women in most Protestant denominations.
Now, as the Augsburg accord suggests, the value of separate denominations is under question.
The Lutheran-Catholic concord "is one of the most important ecumenical moments of the century," said the Rev. Joseph Komonchak, professor of theology at Catholic University in Washington.
"This document appears to be saying that the doctrine that Luther thought was central to the Reformation, and which led him to undertake it, is not one on which there are serious enough differences between Catholics and Lutherans to justify the division of the church. And that is a pretty big statement," he said.
"If in Luther's time you had had a comparable willingness to listen and hear what the other side was saying, it's quite possible the break would not have been so severe," Komonchak added.
The impact of the accord will be gentle if not imperceptible to American Lutheran and Catholic churchgoers, although clergy in Augsburg said the two flocks are likely to see much more of one another in joint occasions, exchanges and fellowship. Strains on Catholic-Lutheran marriages, too, may be eased.
There are 61 million Catholics in the United States and 5.2 million American Lutherans whose churches belong to the worldwide federation; 2.6 million other Lutherans belong to the Missouri Synod, a branch that rejected the accord.
The argument that has preoccupied Lutheran and Catholic negotiators for more than 30 years involves what is called the doctrine of justification.
lutherans have believed that faith alone, an acceptance of God renewed every day, ensures eternal salvation. The Catholic Church has long taught that salvation comes from the sum total of faith and good works that a life of devotion and service on Earth earns the faithful the key to heaven.
The key language of today's Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification appears to give decisive weight to the Lutheran position on salvation through faith, while embracing an ethic of earthly service championed by Catholics.
"There are no winners and losers," Augsburg Bishop Viktor Josef Dammertz said. "We are Christians of different backgrounds but we are all on the same path seeking the truth of God."
Anderson, the American Lutheran leader, said of the protracted negotiations in which he participated, "We realized we were not as far apart as we thought, that we were just using different vocabularies."
Luther's teachings on "justification by faith" drew him a succession of ecclesiastical confrontations, denunciations and bans. Ever since the 1545-1563 Council of Trent, the Catholic Church's official condemnations of Luther's teachings have stood on the books, as have Lutheran condemnations of Catholicism's "justification by works."
Reformation wars over the churches' influence and the murder and persecution of Protestants and Catholics raged until the mid-17th century. Among many Christians around the world who inherited the divisions, bitterness and mutual suspicion still linger. With this accord, the official condemnations have been lifted deemed not to apply to the two churches' new understanding of justification.
Does the doctrine have any contemporary relevance?
"Far too many Christians today, I believe, are tempted to think that they are justified not so much by faith as by material success, or by political correctness, or by charismatic experience, or by pious acts, or by good deeds of a humanitarian nature," said the Rev. J. Robert Wright, a church historian at General Theological Seminary in New York and an ecumenical leader in the Episcopal Church.
"These are cheap and inadequate substitutes," he said, for "the basic truth of the gospel that it is by faith alone, by grace through faith, that we are set right with God."
Conspicuous among the mostly conservative Lutherans not subscribing to the accord are those who belong to the Missouri Synod. According to the Rev. A. L. Barry, its president, the Catholic Church has "not budged" since the Council of Trent's insistence on justification by works.
John Wilson, editor of Books & Culture, a magazine of ideas that circulates among evangelical Christians, said, "Many people see this as a desperate gesture that confirms that all established historic church bodies have lost their distinctive faith commitments."
But, Wilson said, "others have a more hopeful perspective: that we have finally left behind the flabby ecumenism of the '60s, which was more about social issues, and that Protestants and Catholics are having serious talks about doctrine and healing their divisions."
Staff writer Hanna Rosin in Washington contributed to this report.
Some of Hitler's elite... saved?
Last Encounters in the Face of Death
In August 1943, I entered the active service. After participating in a mandatory training class, I was stationed to work in a big hospital. From March 1944 on, we cared for the wounded and sick for 14 months. In June 1945, we crossed the English Channel to France and arrived in Germany on July 15th. Several months later, I was assigned to be the chaplain to the high Nazi personnel during their trial.
When I was introduced to the Nazi leaders in their cells, I asked myself, “How must I greet these people who have brought such unspeakable sorrow over the world?” My own two sons also had become victims of these villains. How should I speak to these men and sow the seed of God's Word into their hearts, without closing the door right from the start?
First, I was brought into Goering's cell. The imprisoned former leader immediately stood to attention, clacked his heels and offered me to shake his hand. Then I paid a short visit to the rest. This happened November 20th; right before the court sessions began. I spent the night in prayer, asking God to give me a message for them. From that moment on, God gave me the grace to follow Jesus' example by hating the sin but loving the sinner. These men should hear about a Saviour who suffered and died for them as well.
There were 21 accused. Six of them chose the Roman Catholic Church as spiritual help, fifteen preferred counseling from the Protestant side. Streicher, Jodl, Heß, and Rosenberg never visited a service, even though they professed belief in God.
A double cell on the second floor was turned into a small chapel where services could be held. A former SS-lieutenant was our organ player, both at the Catholic and at the Protestant gatherings. At the end of my stay he found Christ and participated in the Lord's Supper. The simple gospel of the cross had changed his heart.
Frank, Seyß-Inquart, Kaltenbrunner und von Papen attended the Catholic meetings. Keitel, von Ribbentrop, Raeder, Dönitz, von Neurath, Speer, Schacht, Frick, Funk, Fritzsche, von Schirach, Sauckel and Goering were in my audience.
We would sing three songs, read the scriptures, have a short sermon and close in prayer with benediction. We never had any interruptions.
Sauckel was the first one to open his heart to the gospel. He was the father of 10 children and had a believing wife. After a few visits, we knelt by his bed and prayed the publican's prayer: “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” I know that he meant it,
Then Fritzsche, von Schirach and Speer requested to be admitted to the Lord's Supper. I was deeply moved when I saw those three men kneel before me to receive bread and wine. God worked mightily on their hearts through His Word and His Spirit and as penitent sinners they could receive forgiveness for Jesus' sake.
Raeder, head of the German navy, was a zealous Bible student, who always came to me with Bible passages that were not clear to him.
Keitel, head of the German armed forces, asked me to express his gratitude to those who had thought of bringing spiritual help to these villains. With tears he said, “You have helped me more than you can imagine. May Christ be with me!”
With Ribbentrop I didn't find an open door first, but later he too began to read the Bible.
Then, the sentences were pronounced. Goering, von Ribbentrop, Keitel, Kaltenbrunner, Rosenberg, Frank, Frick, Streicher, Sauckel, and Seyß-Inquart were sentenced to the gallows. Heß, Funk, and Raeder received life imprisonment; von Schirach and Speer were sentenced to 20 years in prison, von Neurath to 15, and Dönitz to 10 years. Von Papen, Schacht, and Fritzsche were acquitted. The court chronicles record this day as the “Last Judgment”.
Most of the remaining time we now spent in the death chambers.
As a favor of the “Great Four”, the convicted men were allowed to speak to their wives one last time. Those were heavy moments for all of us.
I heard von Ribbentrop make his wife promise to raise the children in the fear of the Lord. Sauckel's wife also had to promise to raise their plentiful offspring near the cross. Goering asked what his little daughter Edda had said about daddy's sentence and had to hear that she hopes to see him in heaven. Even he was moved at that moment and for the first time I saw him with tears. Later he told me that he already died when the cell door closed behind his wife.
Day and night we remained with those whose souls God had entrusted to our care. With some we visited four or five times a day. Von Ribbentrop read in the Bible for the most part of the day. Keitel was moved the most by those passages that told of the redeeming power of the blood of Christ. Sauckel was mortified and sometimes he thought he would die before the sentence could be executed. Constantly, he prayed his favorite prayer in his cell: “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” These three had a final Lord's Supper in their cell. God had changed their hearts, and now, facing death, losing all material possessions, even their unworthy lives, they could take a hold of the promises of God for poor sinners; and may Jesus have received their sin-laden souls also.
At the evening before the execution, I had a long discussion with Goering. I pointed out the necessity to prepare to meet God. In the course of our conversation he ridiculed several Bible truths and refused to accept that Christ had died for sinners. It was a conscious denial of the blood of Christ. “Dead is dead”, those were approximately his words. When I finally reminded him of his little girl, who hoped to see him in heaven, he replied, “She believes in her way; and I in mine.” An hour later, I heard many excited voices and was told that Goering had taken his life. His heart was still beating when I entered his cell, but a question that I asked him went unanswered. A small empty syringe lay on his chest. This is how he passed into eternity.
And then the last hour started for the other nine. Now that Goering was no more, von Ribbentrop was the first to go to the gallows. Before he left his cell, he stated that he had put all his trust in the blood of the Lamb, which taketh away the sins of the world, and asked God to have mercy on his soul. Then the order came to go to the execution room. His hands were tied. He climbed the 13 steps that led up to the place of the execution and had to say his name. Then I was given the opportunity to say a last prayer and… he was no more.
Keitel also went into eternity trusting God's forgiving grace. Then Sauckel was brought in. with a last prayer he exchanged his sinful life with eternity.
Frick assured me just before his death that he, too, believed in the cleansing blood and that during one of our simple services he had met Jesus Christ personally.
The last one of our group was Rosenberg, who had always refused all spiritual support. My request to be allowed to pray for him, he refused smilingly, “No thank you.” He lived without a Savior and he died without a Savior. Sad lot!
I want to tell of Streicher's end. First, he refused to give his name, and when the moment of his execution had come, he gave his wife's name, and then with a “Heil Hitler” he entered into eternity.
It was now three o'clock in the morning, and we ended our work with several hours of thanksgiving and a renewed dedication to our Lord and His ministry.
Almost two thousand years ago, on Calvary, there stood three crosses. In the middle was Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world; to His right and to His left were two murderers. One of them showed repentance in the last moment of his life and asked forgiveness, upon which he was promised immediate entrance into paradise (Luke 23:43). The other one entered eternity unsaved.
The cross does not stand any more, but the fruits of the substitutionary suffering and death of Christ can still be seen and felt today.
Henry T. Gerecke (Chaplain of the US Army)
Found in “Zeit-Ruf” 3/1994