More from the same article. Interesting stuff. In Luther, the answer to who causes the suffering depends on your perspective.
When looking at the phenomenon of the suffering and persecution
of the church from the perspective of the theologia crucis, the cause
It is God who has ''appointed that we should not only believe
in the crucified Christ, but also be crucified with him. .." It is God
who allows the godly to become powerless and suferr. It is God who
imposes death on the church and lays the cross of Christ upon it.
It is God who covers Christ's holy people with "slander, bitter hatred,
persecution, and blasphemy" from its enemies and "ontempt and
ingratitude" from its so-called followers. rom the perspective of
the theology of the cross, God wants the church to suffer so that the
people of Christ can be identified as Christ's and God causes persecution
to come as a gift of His grace so that His Word is revealed according
to the paradigm of the cross.
Looking at the phenomenon of the persecution and suffering of
Christ's people from the perspective of the distinction of two kingdoms
gives a very different picture. From this perspective the cause of
the church's suffering is Satan, the world, and all those forces that
oppose the Gospel. When the Kingdom of Christ enters the kingdom of the world, it exposes the inherent contradictions in the creature's
claim to lordship, and so Satan fights against the Gospel with all his
might. Since the true church is the body Christ has created to preach
the Gospel and destroy the power of Satan, sin, death, and the law,
the church takes the brunt of his opposition.