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The Real Luther

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Lepanto, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Lepanto

    Lepanto Newbie

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    Luther himself recognized the devastating effects of such admittedly insincere preaching: “The Gospel today finds adherents who are convinced that there is nothing except a doctrine that serves to fill their bellies and give free reign to all their impulses” (Werke, 33, p. 2, in ibid., p. 212).

    As for his evangelical followers, Luther added that “they are seven times worse than they were before. After preaching our doctrine, men have given themselves over to stealing, lying, trickery, debauchery, drunkenness, and every kind of vice. We have expelled one devil (the papacy) and seven worse have entered.” (Werke, 28, p. 763, in ibid., p. 440).

    “After we understood that good works were not necessary for justification, we became much more remiss and colder in the practice of good … And if we could return today to the prior state of things and if the doctrine that affirms the necessity of doing good works could be revived, our eagerness and promptness in doing good works would be quite different” (Werke, 27, p. 443, in ibid., p. 441).

    All these insanities explain how Luther reached the frenzy of satanic pride, saying of himself: “Does this Luther seem to you an extravagant man? As for me, I think that he is God. Otherwise, how could his writings or his name have the power to transform beggars into lords, asses into doctors, swindlers into saints, and slime into pearls?” (Ed. Wittemberg, 1551, vol. 4, p. 378, in ibid., p. 190).

    At other times, Luther’s opinion of himself was much more objective: “I am a man placed and involved in society, in dissolutions, carnal actions, negligence, and other wrongdoings, to which are added those of my office itself” (Briefe, Sendschreiben und Bedenken, 1, p 232, in ibid., p. 198). Excommunicated in Worms in 1521, Luther gave himself over to idleness and sloth.



    (excerpted from: Luther Thought He Was Divine, by Professor Plinio C de Oliveira)
     
  2. Annolennar

    Annolennar Exsiste Caritas Christi

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    I don't think Luther was fundamentally a bad man. He certainly had a head for theology, and some good intentions. Sadly, he got caught up in politics and no small amount of ego, I suspect.

    If he had made a few (albeit significant) different decisions, there is every likelyhood that he would be a canonized Saint today, as have been many other reformers throughout the history of the Church.

    Sadly, things went horribly, horribly awry.

    Certainly a man worthy of our prayers, for both his good and bad qualities.
     
  3. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Staff Member Administrator Supporter

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    What's the deal with all these bash Luther threads; feeling threatened?;):D^_^
     
  4. Lepanto

    Lepanto Newbie

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    I just thought the article is interesting and is worth reading.
     
  5. Lepanto

    Lepanto Newbie

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    The incitement to sin given in a letter to Melanchton ... is perhaps even more categorical : "Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice even more firmly in Christ..."

    This doctrine is so bizarre that even Luther himself could scarcely believe in it :
    "There is no religion in the whole world that teaches this doctrine of justification. I myself, even though I teach it publicly, have a GREAT difficulty in believing it privately." (4)


    4. Werke XXV, p.330; Franca, p.158

    (Excerpted from: Luther thought he was divine, by Professor Plinio C. de Oliveira)
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  6. mg0086

    mg0086 Prospective Doctor of the Church

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    Oh you know us Catholics^^

    We get it from your side, too :D. So it's not all us, hee hee
     
  7. catholicbybirth

    catholicbybirth St. Louis, pray for me.

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    No, we are not feeling threatened. I, for one, can not understand how someone can follow a man who could not even follow his own teachings.

    Tell me, how much of what Martin Luther originally taught the Lutherans still believe? Does it depend on the Synod to which a Lutheran belongs?

    Janice
     
  8. Needing_Grace

    Needing_Grace Chief of Sinners

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    To be honest, I believe that Martin Luther had a terribly advanced case of OCD and scrupulosity. I can totally relate to him as I suffer from a similar case of scrupulosity. Confession is pure torture for someone like me. Actually, all of the sacraments become occasions of terror as I wonder whether I've done it right for God to accept me or whether I'm unknowingly making a bad confession or eating and drinking to my own destruction. "I absolve you" and "given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins" aren't words I take comfort in because I have doubts that the Word is "for me" (hope is lacking)...because I am scrupulous. Luther suffered this greatly. Just read up on what he did in confession and you'll see it. I know where he was, very well. I'm there all the freaking time.

    Unfortunately medieval society tended to dismiss such folk as being willful and wicked, especially when they become troublesome due to their issues. I think that's what the carnal Medici Pope ("God gave Us the Papacy, We might as well enjoy it!") did when he wrote up the excommunication of Luther, who was hurting his money collection campaign selling corrupt indulgences.

    I do believe that the whole affair could have been handled in a better way, but the medieval Church didn't know about scrupulosity and the underlying psychological causes thereof, so they just did what medieval folk did...they chalked it up to willful malice and tried to get rid of the "troublemaker."

    As to Luther's "sin boldy and go to the cross and boldly confess it" was intended to knock Melanchthon out of his neurotic navel gazing asking whether he had "enough" faith in Christ to save. The point was that the facts of the Gospel are outside of one and that's where one is to look and trust for everything, especially cross.
     
  9. MKJ

    MKJ Contributor

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    You can proof text anyone to make them look bad.

    I could find plenty of examples of saints complaining that their flocks or other Christians were going out and doing bad things, despite being taught well, for example.
     
  10. MikeK

    MikeK The dress is blue and black.

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    I don't think you understand what Lutherans are or what they, varried as their beliefs may be, believe about Mr Luther.
     
  11. mark46

    mark46 Active Member

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  12. catholicbybirth

    catholicbybirth St. Louis, pray for me.

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    That is correct, and that is what I am asking.

    Janice
     
  13. WisdomTree

    WisdomTree Philosopher

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    I reckon he was a well intended reformer who took it too far where everything went wrong.
     
  14. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Staff Member Administrator Supporter

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    See Needing_Grace's reply below... (I'm not sure about the OCD though;))

    Confessional Lutherans (like myself) hold only that which Luther taught which is taught also in Scripture. We fully subscribe to our Confessional Documents which are contained in the Unaltered Book of Concord, 1580 Edition; which contains very little actually written by Luther; but does contain first and foremost, the Three Ecumenical Creeds; Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian. We hold the BoC not as doctrine, but as an exposition of doctrines contained in the Bible.

    There are liberal, non Confessional Churches that carry the name "Lutheran", but without subscribing to the BoC, they are really no different that other reformed protestant bodies who strive towards a "politically correct" social gospel, unionism, syncratism and ecumenism.

    Be mindful also that Luther, like me and everyone else here was just a man and a poor miserable sinner. So was St. Augustine, and later in his life, his writings known as "The Retractions", are employed by some groups of Reformed protestants to support their teachings, and to counter orthodox catholic (small "o" and"c" intentional) doctrine and practice.

    No doubt, but I'll bet most of it comes from the liberal non confessional types, not so much from us.;)

    Pax Domini.
     
  15. Needing_Grace

    Needing_Grace Chief of Sinners

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    Scrupulosity is also known as spiritual OCD. The descriptions of Luther's life in the monastery and his tendency to "overconfess" indicates a rather severe case of scrupulosity.

    One thing that helps me, actually, is the Lutheran practice of focusing on one's baptism and seeing that one's life of grace flows from the graces of baptism which are strengthened in the Eucharist and reinforced (and more often than not restored) in Reconciliation. Since baptism is something that was done to me by another and for me by the Word joined with the water (I like the way he phrased that) I have a real touchstone that proves that I am included in the covenant, adopted and have full access to the promises of the sons of God, particularly the forgiveness of all my sins in Reconciliation upon hearing the words "God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of His Son has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the Church, may God grant you pardon and peace and I absolve you from your sins in the Name of the Father and + of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

    I really need to go to Confession so I can hear those words spoken to me. :crossrc::liturgy:

    If I understand correctly, the only thing Luther wrote that ended up in the Concordia were the Small and Large Catechisms.

    I could never get calling one's self "Lutheran" and not actually believing Lutheran teachings. It's like saying one is Catholic while denying the Sacraments or the Creeds. It makes no sense to me.

    "Poor, miserable sinner" is a saying that Lutherans frequently employ (p. 15 liturgy, red hymnal...I didn't even have to look that one up) that I love. We're all poor, miserable sinners in utter need of Christ.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  16. Lepanto

    Lepanto Newbie

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    If a reformer who was well-intended could do so much damage, I can't imagine what would those who are a bit less well-intended be like...

    He advised followers to sin, to sin boldly, even adultery; he blasphemed against God; he insulted the pope and reckoned the pope should be killed, he said of himself "to me he is God", etc.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  17. Needing_Grace

    Needing_Grace Chief of Sinners

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    May I present Jean Calvin?

    A text without a context is a pretense.
     
  18. Lepanto

    Lepanto Newbie

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    I'm glad that you have the great wisdom to discover the "real hidden Holy" meanings behind those statements of Holy Luther.
     
  19. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 Theology Category Supervisor Staff Member Supervisor Supporter CF Ambassador

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    History is not as one-sided as you seem to think.
     
  20. Needing_Grace

    Needing_Grace Chief of Sinners

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    Wha...? :confused:

    Dude, calm down. Sit back, take a breath and relax for a moment.

    No need to get all dramatic and such.

    I never called Luther a saint. I think he was a tortured soul who had a severe case of scrupulosity that the medieval Church was obviously not equipped to handle and the situation flew out of control. I think that what he wanted to do was to give a much needed wake up call to a Church that seriously needed reform. Fortunately, the Church responded with the Council of Trent which corrected many of the errors Luther pointed out.

    Unfortunately, Luther went too far in his theological musings to the point of heresy. It's actually a tragedy and I'm not going to impute evil intent because I understand where Luther started out...a place where confession is torture, not comfort, and holy communion is an occasion for terror, not hope because of severe scrupulosity.