I sometimes get new responses from older blog entries. Comments from “Kimberly” were offered to the entry A “Roman Catholic” Martin Luther Quiz (originally posted February 11, 2006). This blog entry was one of my favorites, as it covered a wide range of the usual Catholic opinions and misinformation on Martin Luther.
Kimberly responded to the link by saying:
“Why is there an argument about what Martin Luther believed. Who cares what Martin Luther thought?!!!!!! Our only concern is what the Bible teaches. He is dead. He is not God! He has done what God has told him to do. He was a faithful servant to the end. This is why he didn't what a church to be name after him because people seemed to be concerned about what he did and said rather than what God said. If Luther were alive today, he would have a fit because people are spending most of their time arguing and dividing themselves even more about his words. He said himself, Who is Luther? I have not died for anyone. The word is not his, but God's. Christ is the only one who deserves praise and recognition. He died for your sins. Luther is only a faithful servant of God. The only thing we should be doing is modeling our Christian walk after him and doing what Jesus told us to do, which is to love and serve others. Something everyone suppose to be doing anyway, Catholic or Protestant, not picking out the differences of each demonation, and certain not arguing about the beliefs of a dead theologian who has already completed his course and receiving his just reward.
I'm not saying that Luther's works are not important. I came to know the Lord through reading his work, but I did not consume myself with comparing his beliefs with other denominations. I took what I learned from him and applied to MY Christian walk in order to become closer to God just as he was.When will Christians learn to come together and do what Christ commanded us to do instead finding fault with other Christians? I believe when Christianity finally wakes up and does what Jesus said, Jesus will finally a unified Church to be proud of.”
There’s a certain ambiguity to Kimberly’s comments. Is she chastising Roman Catholics for focusing on Luther? Is she chastising me for responding to Roman Catholics? Is she chastising both Roman Catholic polemics against Luther, and my responses? I suspect it’s the last of the three choices.
In one important way, I completely agree with Kimberly: Who cares about Luther? He was just a man. He is not to be worshipped. He was not a “Protestant Pope.” He was not infallible. I feel the same about Calvin, Melanchthon, Zwingli, Beza, or whomever. If I rest my faith in any man other than Jesus, I am lost. Guest blogger Frank Marron provided some insight on this as well, found here:
Guest Blog: The Word Of The Lord Endures forever, Not The words Of Martin Luther!
I think if Kimberly takes the time to read through this blog, she will probably come to understand why I write about the Reformation. There is a tendency to vilify Luther and the Reformation from Roman Catholics. They use him as a polemical tool against sola fide and sola scriptura. Now, many capable and godly men defend the real issue of sola fide and sola scriptura. I applaud my fellow Protestants for spending the majority of their time defending the Bible rather than the man, Luther. This is indeed the main battlefield. On the other hand, I think it necessary to at least provide historical answers to the Reformation when they arise. In this, I think Protestant apologetic sites could do much more.
My work on the Reformation grows out of a frustration with knowing that cogent answers have existed for quite a long time- but have not been disseminated down from the ivory towers of academia. Catholic apologists do a much better job of putting forth mis-information about the Reformation than Protestants do in responding to it. I see the same questions and comments from Catholic laymen over and over again- but just try going to some of the more popular Protestant apologetic sites to find responses about the charges against Luther. It is not an easy task to find answers.
So, one of my “hobbies” has been trying to fill a need, so to speak, in cyber-space. I’ve tried to pick out those aspects of Luther brought up by Catholics, and present the other side of the story: the side that great Lutheran writers had presented decades ago.
I say its a "hobby" because I don't think its as important as other things worthy of discussion- like "faith alone" or sola scriptura. Unfortunately, when one engages Roman Catholics on these subjects, a digression is sometimes put in play that seeks to link Luther's life with these subjects. It is sometimes argued: "Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura cannot be what the Bible teaches, because Luther's personal life was so sinful."If by some chance, any of my research can put a discussion of these important subjects back on track, I will feel as if i've done some good.