--When the Church shirks its catechetical responsibility, the result is not that it goes un-catechized. Far from it. The result, rather, is that, by default, the Church comes under the tutelage of that unholy adjunct, the devil, whom Luther calls "a master of a thousand arts." No slacker himself, he is eager to teach where the Church is silent, with his own commandments, his own prayer, his own creed, and his own "good news." He is, in other words, a master catechizer. We labor under a false dichotomy when we ask whether or not the Church will be catechized. The answer is always yes. The question is not whether, but by whom?
--Martin Luther's prescription for pastors and preachers (including himself) who neglect the catechetical training of their congregation was characteristically colorful and coarse: "we deserve not only to be given no food to eat, but also to have the dogs set upon us and to be pelted with horse manure." Pelted with equine feces after the hounds have been released? Even if his prescription is not to be taken literally—although all bets are off with the cantankerous Reformer—Luther's zeal for the catechetical instruction of the Church is unmistakable. Those (especially pastors) who are ignorant of the basics of the catechism, or who despise it through negligence, thought Luther, "should not be numbered among Christians." They are "lazy bellies and presumptuous spirits," "completely unskilled and incompetent teachers" who "live like simple cattle and irrational pigs." Conclusion: "Shame on you forever!"
The above were quotes.
When I grew up the chatechism was neglected. My confirmation classes were useless in this regard, also. We took religion in school and what was good about it was the memorizing of the great hymns.
I have read that Mohammed grew up, or lived among Christians and Jews, that is why the Koran is full of passages regarding Jesus, and so on. The problem obviously was that the message did not really come to Mohammed. He got everything mixed up. Some have said that the Christians were lacking clarity in their message and teaching. Muhammad quite liked them as people, I think. But being nice does not equal catechesis and obviously the message got lost. What a tragedy.
Approach to Outreach
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