Wednesday, June 03, 2009

New Series: Helping Matthew Bellisario Do Research #1


Matthew Bellisario states, "Luther justified his terrible temper and harsh language against the Church by claiming that it was God inspired. "The "gospel", he now sees, "cannot be introduced without tumult, scandal, and rebellion"; "the word of God is a sword, a war, a destruction, a scandal, a ruin, a poison" (De Wette, op. cit., I, 417). As for pope, cardinals, bishops, "and the whole brood of Roman Sodom", why not attack it "with every sort of weapon and wash our hands in its blood" (Walch, XVIII, 245). This shows us the violent mentality of Luther. Some Luther fans have tried to downplay Luther's harsh temper and hate-filled words by claiming that this was common for the time period. We however know that this is not the case because the Church never stooped to this level in refuting Luther."

As to the quote from Walch, XVIII, 245, I did a three part entry on it:

Luther's Statement Concerning Roman Catholic Authorities: "Why do we not rather assault them with arms and wash our hands in their blood?" (Part One)

Luther's Statement Concerning Roman Catholic Authorities: "Why do we not rather assault them with arms and wash our hands in their blood?" (Part Two)

Luther's Statement Concerning Roman Catholic Authorities: "Why do we not rather assault them with arms and wash our hands in their blood?" (Part Three)

To cite the quote without explaining why Luther would've been provoked to such a violent outburst is to ignore history. It is to ignore the historical polemic context in which Luther found himself- in heated dialogue with high ranking Catholic apologists that could influence his very life or death. He was in a battle against those who simply declared and defended the power of the Pope. How could one engage in a life threatening situation against an absolute power that refused to even admit its wrongdoings and abuses with indulgences? Luther responds harshly that the Emperor, kings, and princes should treat such an abuse of power in the same way thieves and heretics are treated by the state. Keep in mind, the Catholic contoversialists would have no problem likewise having Luther fall into the hands of the state to be punished with the same severity.

63 comments:

Matthew Bellisario said...

Where can you prove that the Catholic Church called for Luther's blood?

Swan writes,
"Keep in mind, the Catholic contoversialists would have no problem likewise having Luther fall into the hands of the state to be punished with the same severity."

Luther stated, "As for pope, cardinals, bishops, "and the whole brood of Roman Sodom", why not attack it "with every sort of weapon and wash our hands in its blood."

I don't care what "Catholic controversialists" said or did. The Pope did not call for Luther's blood. They in fact called for a peaceful dialog until Luther acted like an fool and burned the first Bull and lead open rebellion. Where did the Papacy call for Luther's blood? Where? Tell us? Luther called for theirs, where did the Papacy call for his blood? We are all waiting. Tell us! Put your money where your loud, bombastic mouth is Swan.

Sorry the power that the Papacy had at the time does not justify your heretical hero Luther in calling for their blood. As usual you've come up with another lame reason to excuse Luther's lack of Christian virtue.

James Swan said...

Matthew,

The links were for your benefit....enjoy your studies.

Matthew Bellisario said...

I read them, and you do you prove that the Papacy called for the blood of Luther. Why do you excuse Luther's actions? Do you think it was perfectly OK for Luther to call for the blood of the Pope? Is that what you are saying? Yes or no?

James Swan said...

Go back and read them again.

Let Wikipedia help you as well:

Prince Frederick III, Elector of Saxony obtained an agreement that if Luther appeared he would be promised safe passage to and from the meeting. Such a guarantee was essential after the treatment of Jan Hus, who was tried and executed at the Council of Constance in 1415 despite a safe conduct pass.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Also in reading your posts, you also cannot prove Luther's intentions. You can only speculate on them. It is a fact that Luther called for the blood of the Pope. It doesn't matter the reasoning behind it. Also, even if Luther did it in a fit of rage as one of your sources said, that all the more gives us more ammunition as to Luther's instability and lack of Christian virtue.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Sorry, that does not mean the Papacy would have murdered him Swan. That is a ridiculous conclusion. Where does the Papacy call for Luther's blood?

Matthew Bellisario said...

I just published both Bulls by the Pope on my blog accompanied by my commentary. No place does the Pope call for Luther's death, only his repentance. Who is the example of Christian charity? I invite everyone to read the bulls, and then read Luther's foul mouthed garbage and compare who has the Holy Spirit and who does not.

James Swan said...

Question: Did the Papacy say they were going to kill Hus?

That's why Luther had to ensure he'd live by having himself kidnapped. "Safe Passage" didn't apply to alleged "heretics."

Really, Matthew, I'm just trying to help you.

James Swan said...

Hey, maybe you could ask DA or Sungenis for their opinions. That usually works in my favor.

Matthew Bellisario said...

I don't need anyone to tell me that Luther was a demonic instrument of the devil. The examples you gave give us more ammunition to see that he did not demonstrate Christian virtue. His fits of rage asking for the blood of the pope? Nice guy. A hero in everyone's eyes for sure. Your post is not helping your cause.

James Swan said...

Matthew,

I'm just trying to help you. You're defending a church that had Jan Hus executed, while attacking Luther who had nobody executed.

Matthew Bellisario said...

I thought we were talking about Luther and his writings here? Why are you changing the subject? Did Luther call for the Pope's blood or not? Did the Pope call for Luther's? Answer the question. You are not trying to help me, you are trying to defend your hero who deserves nothing of the sort from anyone who calls themselves a Christian. Did the Pope call for Luther's blood? Then why do you justify Luther's action?

This conversation is over since it is obvious you are not going to keep on the topic. I am not going to be lead over into another one of your side-circus clown shows here.

James Swan said...

You seem to missing the obvious fact that your church will kill people, even if they say they aren't going to.

Since they killed Hus while promising they wouldn't, why should their words be trusted? Even if they said, "Oh dear sweet Luther, we aren't going to hurt you, we promise..." Why should Luther have believed them?

You're very wrong to think Hus isn't relevant to this. I suggest doing a bit of research as to Luther and Hus, and Luther's fear of your church based on what they did to Hus.

James Swan said...

"side-circus clown shows here"

When did I ever go over to your blog, and say things like this?

EA said...

"...Luther's fear of your church based on what they did to Hus."

Mine's based on more recent history.

Cardinal Law anyone?

James Swan said...

EA,

Be patient with Mr. Bellisario. He's still in the RC Matrix. If we wake him up, perhaps he'll thank us.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Look, as much as I would like to continue, I have a game of Wii tennis to get back to. :)

Jerry said...

Matthew,

You maybe suffering and agonizing from some sort of a "reading miss-comprehension" type of illness.

The answers to many of your questions seems to just dance by your nose. I see that history and context are not your particular strength.

Matthew Bellisario said...

No Jerry, unlike you and your pals over here, I do not rewrite history and take things out of context to defend villains like Martin Luther. So far no one has answered my question. Where does the Pope call for Luther's blood? Or are you just going to assume that the Pope was plotting his murder without any evidence?

You see what we have is written evidence of your buddy Luther calling for the Pope's blood. All we have from your side is some unsubstantiated speculation as to his reasons for doing so. A murderous villain calling for blood, or a madman in a fit of rage; both attest to Luther's lack of Christian virtue.

EA said...

"Be patient with Mr. Bellisario. He's still in the RC Matrix. If we wake him up, perhaps he'll thank us."

Not counting on it; pigs, pearls, etc...

EA said...

"So far no one has answered my question. Where does the Pope call for Luther's blood? Or are you just going to assume that the Pope was plotting his murder without any evidence?"

This bit of rhetoric is an unconvincing contrivance. "Where do we have a writing from Leo X that states he wants Luther dead?" As if this argument from silence proves some charitable attitude on Leo's part towards Luther. The tradition of Renaissance political and ecclesial scheming extended Medieval scheming which inherited from a long history of Roman scheming. The most subtle of the schemers did not commit their true intentions to paper.

Leo encouraged the Emperor to root out heresy. Cardinal Cajetan's orders were to arrest Luther if he failed to recant.

Now we may not be able to forensically prove with a handwritten diary entry from Leo that he "wanted Luther dead". But we all know what Luther's fate would have been if those under Rome's direction had captured him. So did Luther. He had the example of Hus for proof.

Andrew said...

I don't understand alot of this stuff. Let's say that Luther was a tool of the Devil. Does that prove the RCC to be what she claims to be? Let's say Luther was an angel (something Mr. Swan has NOT claimed) does that prove the reformers case? I have come down on the side of the other Protestants on this issue of Luther and his alledged despair and etc..., but I wonder honestly, from both perspectives; what does it really prove to prove that Luther was this, that, or something else? Am I missing something?

James Swan said...

From: Theological quarterly By Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States
Published by Concordia Pub. House., 1915-

If Rome could have swayed the Emperor and the civil authorities of Germany in 1521 as it had done in 1415, the Diet of Worms would have been marked with an auto da fe as was the Council of Constanz, and Luther would have been the victim. In his bull Decet Romanum Pontificem, of January 3, 1521, the Pope had denounced Luther as "a declared heretic." Excommunication, the papal anathema, the eternal curse, the interdict, and every secular punishment which the canons of the Church decreed for heretics, had been denounced against Luther. Rome was preparing public opinion for its final blow. In his speech before the Diet of Worms, on February 13, the papal legate Aleander consumed three hours in explaining the dangerous character of Luther's teaching to the members of the Diet . The point to which he recurred again and again, and which he stressed to the utmost, was Luther's revival of Hussism. Like the Bohemians in a former age Luther had risen in rebellion against the laws of the Church and the Empire; he had summoned Hus and Jerome of Prague from hell back to earth; he was uttering blasphemies against the Council of Constanz, yea, he scorned all the holy councils, and, though appealing his cause to a council, he was determined not to submit to the council's decrees. Aleander protested against such a man being heard at all by the Diet, and against laymen sitting in judgment on his case. He demanded that Luther's writings be ordered burned, and with a discreet moderation, prompted by political reflections, refrained from saying what was to be done with Luther's person.

As regards the burning of Luther's writings, Aleander carried his point: on March 26, an imperial edict was published at Worms commanding all who possessed writings of Luther to give them up to the authorities. Luther's friends were thrown into consternation. They regarded this edict as a sure sign that Luther's destruction had been planned, and sent warnings to Luther not to come to Worms, as he had been ordered to do. One of these warnings reached Luther as he was leaving Frankfurt, and was within a few days' journey from Worms; it came from his trusted friend Spalatin, and asked him to remember the fate of Hus.

-continued....

James Swan said...

continued-

In his last defense before the Diet, on April 18, Luther was once more pitted against the man who, two years ago, had fastened the opprobrious name of "Hussite" on him: Dr. Eck. After Luther's famous oration before the Diet, and while the princes were deliberating on a proper reply to Luther, the Emperor directed Eck to address Luther. With haughty scorn Eck declared that there was no need to join with Luther in a debate on the correctness of his teaching, since all his teachings had been previously judged at the trials of Wyclif, Hus, and other heretics, and had on sufficient grounds been condemned at the Council of Constanz by the Pope, the Emperor, and the assembled Fathers. That was sufficient. Luther must acknowledge that God had not given over His Church to error all these years. If any person who contradicts decrees of the councils and of the Church, were to demand that he be refuted with arguments from Scripture, there would be an end of authority in the Christian Church and no basis for the certainty of any one's faith. If Luther should choose to recant such of his teachings as had been condemned at the trial of Hus, the Emperor might deal leniently with his other writings; if not, all his other writings, though they might be quite Christian in character, deserved no consideration. He demanded from Luther an answer "without horns and with no cloak thrown around." The world knows Luther's "unhorned" and "uncloaked" reply.

During the eight days until his departure from Worms on April 26, Luther was made aware that attempts were being made to annul the imperial safe-conduct, which guaranteed him safe passage to and from Worms. One day Cochlaeus, a Leipzig theologian, had approached Luther while he was engaged with a delegation of the Diet, and had proposed a joint debate on condition that Luther should forfeit his safe-conduct in the event that the judges for the debate should decide against him. The proposal exasperated a nobleman who happened to be present so much that he threatened violence to Cochlaeus. Chancellor Brueck of Saxony had during the Diet expressed the fear that Luther's safe-conduct might be withdrawn, and it is known that Charles V had been advised that he need not keep a promise given to a heretic. But the Emperor had too much regard for his personal honor and his conscience, and, besides, understood the temper of the German nation too well to act upon the suggestion. Rome's second goose-roasting was foiled; the eagle returned to his eyrie in the Thuringian Forest.

But even in his exile at the Wartburg the shades of Hus were hovering about him. Annually on Maundy Thursday there is recited at Rome the Bulla Coena Domini, which contains a catalog of all the principal heresies that have been condemned by the popes. Since 1521, Luther's name was inserted in the bull immediately after the names of Wyclif and Hus.

James Swan said...

From: History of the Christian Church By Philip Schaff-

"At the very beginning of the Diet a new papal brief called upon the Emperor to give, by an imperial edict, legal force to the bull of January 3, by which Luther was finally excommunicated, and his books condemned to the flames. The Pope urged him to prove his zeal for the unity of the Church. God had girded him with supreme earthly power, that he might use it against heretics who were much worse than infidels.2 On Maundy Thursday, March 28, the Pope, in proclaiming the terrible bull In Coena Domini, which is annually read at Rome, expressly condemned, among other heretics, Martin Luther by name with all his adherents. This was the third or fourth excommunication, but produced little effect."

snip

"At last Charles thought it most prudent to disregard the demand of the Pope. In an official letter of March 6, he cited Luther to appear before the Diet within twenty-one days under the sure protection of the Empire. The Elector Frederick, Duke George of Saxony, and the Landgrave of Hesse, added letters of safe-conduct through their respective territories."

snip

"It is to the credit of Charles, that in spite of contrary counsel, even that of his former teacher and confessor, Cardinal Hadrian, who wished him to deliver Luther to the Pope for just punishment, he respected the eternal principle of 'truth and honor more than the infamous maxim that no faith should be kept with heretics. He refused to follow the example of his predecessor, Sigismund, who violated the promise of safe-conduct given to Hus, and ordered his execution at the stake after his condemnation by the Council of Constance."

-snip-

"After Luther's departure (April 26), his enemies had full possession of the ground. Frederick of Saxony wrote, May 4: " Martin's cause is in a bad state: he will be persecuted ; not only Annas and Caiaphas, but also Pilate and Herod, are against him." Aleander reported to Rome, May 5, that Luther had by his bad habits, his obstinacy, and his " beastly " speeches against councils, alienated the people, but that still many adhered to him from love of disobedience to the Pope, and desire to seize the church property.

The Emperor commissioned Aleamler to draw up a Latin edict against Luther.1 It was completed and dated May 8 (but not signed till May 26). On the same day the Emperor concluded an alliance with the Pope against France. They pledged themselves " to have the same friends and the same enemies," and to aid each other in attack and defense.

The edict was kept back till the Elector Frederick and the Elector of the Palatinate with a large number of other members of the Diet had gone home. It was not regularly submitted to, nor discussed and voted on, by the Diet, nor signed by the Chancellor, but secured by a sort of surprise. On Trinity Sunday, May 26, Aleander went with the Latin and German copy to church, and induced the Emperor to sign both after high mass, "with his pious hand." The Emperor said in French, " Now you will be satisfied." — " Yes," replied the legate in the same language, " but much more satisfied will be the Holy See and all Christendom, and will thank God for such a good, holy, and religious Emperor."'

The edict is not so long, but as turgid, bombastic, intolerant, fierce, and cruel, as the Pope's bull of excommunication. It gave legal force to the bull within the German Empire. It denounces Luther as a devil in the dress of a monk, who had gathered a mass of old and new heresies into one pool, and pronounces upon him the ban and re-ban. It commands the burning, and forbids the printing, publication, and sale, of his books, the sheltering and feeding of his person, and that of his followers, and directs the magistrates to seize him wherever he may be found, and to hand him over to the Emperor, to be dealt with according to the penal laws against heretics. At the same time the whole press of the empire was put under strict surveillance."

James Swan said...

"Look, as much as I would like to continue, I have a game of Wii tennis to get back to."

Matthew, while this may not be important to you, I'd like you to at least look at the historical situation before you turn your mind off. Remember you wrote this:

I will readily admit that I am no scholar, and I do not have the tools to read Greek and expound upon the original texts and so forth. I do however cite my sources whenever I write an article and provide the sources that I used, so people can do their own research and verify what I have written. Sadly, we don't even have this in most of these modern Catholic apologetics books today. If I can't go to the source that someone is using or have any reference to at least go back and check on their work, then I personally have no use for it. Where are all of the real scholars in the Catholic apologetics world today? In the past we saw the Catholic Church produce great Scripture scholars and apologists, many whose works are now out of print. Yes we have a few gems to work with like the recently reprinted work of Lapide on the Four Gospels which are spectacular. When it comes to modern apologetics work however we are sadly lacking in material. Is all lost?

Matthew Bellisario said...

Look James, it is an erroneous conclusion to determine that Luther would have been murdered by the Pope. Do you not know that Hus was tried and charged for heresy at Constance 100 years earlier? It is not even the same Pope or the same papal commission.

We have written evidence that the Pope did offer him safe passage. We have written evidence that Luther rejected it, burned the first Bull, and also called for the blood of the Pope. If you think this is a great display of Christian virtue then I feel sorry for you.

Next I see that you found a nice historically unbiased source to use. (By Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States) Nice. :) Good job of finding a real historical source.

"If Rome could have swayed the Emperor and the civil authorities of Germany in 1521 as it had done in 1415, the Diet of Worms would have been marked with an auto da fe as was the Council of Constanz, and Luther would have been the victim.'

That is certainly an untenable conclusion to come to. It is speculation. I just love how one can argue from the position of something that never happened. Nothing was written as to the Church going after Luther's blood was there? No, even your source says,"He demanded that Luther's writings be ordered burned, and with a discreet moderation, prompted by political reflections, refrained from saying what was to be done with Luther's person."

So you are going to assume something that you can't prove? Nothing was documented as being said, but they secretly conspired against him right? I see. I guess you think that burning his books is equivalent? I have no problem burning his work, and if there were not Luther works left in existence today the world would be a much better place for us all.

Your source says, "During the eight days until his departure from Worms on April 26, Luther was made aware that attempts were being made to annul the imperial safe-conduct, which guaranteed him safe passage to and from Worms."

That is funny, because the Pope in his Bull says that Luther had a safe passage arranged that was also fully paid for by the Holy See. "We have even offered him safe conduct and the money necessary for the journey urging him to come without fear or any misgivings, which perfect charity should cast out, and to talk not secretly but openly and face to face after the example of our Savior and the Apostle Paul." (Exsurge Domine) I wonder who I am going to believe? The Pope (Written historical evidence) or some guy from the Lutheran theological synod who is rewriting history speculating on what may have happened?

Matthew Bellisario said...

Finally it is also safe to assume from historical record that Luther would not have been killed on his trip to plead his case. If anything, he would have been brought before a council later and possibly condemned to death if found guilty of heresy. Even Luther himself supported trial and execution of heretics. This however is not the same as Luther calling for the blood of the Pope.

Roland Bainton writes, "In 1530 Luther advanced the view that two offenses should be penalized even with death, namely sedition and blasphemy."

Trial and execution for heresy was an understood reality in those times. However, Luther's hate-filled, temper tantrums can hardly be considered warranted based on these understood norms of the times. It is untenable to prove that the Pope was after Luther's blood, or that he would have been murdered on the way to defend his teachings. In fact history tells us Luther did just that when meeting Eck.

Luther's words are yet another example of a man who found it very difficult to practice Christian virtue. It has never been my intention to prove that all of the Popes were "Saints". My point is that Luther built his religion on hate speech that was directed at the Papacy. He spent more time attacking the Papacy than trying to spread the Gospel.

That reminds me, lest I should fall into the same trap, I need to move on to more productive things than proving Luther's lack of Christian virtue. I have posted my series on the matter on my blog. Now I hope that people will consider the fact that Luther is not a person to be looked at with any admiration.

Erwin Fleischer said...

I have studied Luther my entire adult life. I have frequently visited this site and find myself agreeing with some of James Swan’s writings. I believe that all of you are missing the larger picture.

I must admit that Mr. Bellisario is absolutely right in his analysis of Luther’s character, and that really doesn’t matter when we examine what it means to be saved by faith alone. The simple fact is that no one can exhibit Christian virtue in the way the Papists demand of us.

Some people at one time or another can do virtuous things, but that really doesn’t matter in the final analysis of what it means to be a Christian. Was Luther a sinner? Yes, and so are all of us. If we were already holy, then we would not be in need of Christ’s blood covering our sins. What would Christ’s blood cover if not our sins? The Papists, have the absurd belief that we become holy in our interior as if once we take on Christ we would become Christ ourselves. This is outrageous! We remain the sinners that we were before, except now Christ stands in on our behalf, and once he does, who can take him away? Even our sins cannot take him away. No matter what we do, we cannot take away Christ’s mediation when we become his adopted. While Mr. Bellisario, papist as he is, is right in his analysis of Luther’s character, his analysis proves our Christian truth that Christ came to save the unrighteous, Luther being one of them.

Luther never claimed to be virtuous. The evidence of his life overwhelmingly proves that he was not. What is more beautifully glorious than seeing that Christ’s blood covered this disgustingly sinful individual? Luther never boasted in his righteousness. Luther suffered the condemnation of his sins in his life, but he received his glorious inheritance in Christ. As David suffered the loss of his first child due to his sin with Bathsheba, Luther also suffered his losses.

What are the facts? Luther committed adultery with a nun, and two of his bastard kids were slain due to his sin. Did God remove Luther’s inheritance? No! Why? Because Christ stands in on the behalf of the Saved. While the papists boast in their supposed righteousness, we the Saved boast in Christ.

Sola Scriptura
Sola Fide
Sola Christus
Sola Gratia
Sola Deo Gloria

Matthew Bellisario said...

Erwin, David actually later repented, Luther did not.

So we are to base one's salvation on words alone? They don't to have to bear fruit? This is absurd! This just shows us all how twisted Protestant theology really is.

As far as your comment goes, "Luther committed adultery with a nun, and two of his bastard kids were slain due to his sin.", I will let your Protestant bretheren address this.

bkaycee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bkaycee said...

Me thinks that since MB cannot rebut or even understand (1Cor 2:14) the Gopsel of Grace found in Romans, Ephesians, Galations, etc.. He must kill the messenger or messengers instead.

The parallels between the Pharisees and Rome are lengthy and obvious.

Jesus Christ is my hero, Luther was a broken servant saved by the King, as are all true believers.

bkaycee said...

Rom 4:4
Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.

5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,

6just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

7 "BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED.

8 "BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT."

GeneMBridges said...

I thought we were talking about Luther and his writings here? Why are you changing the subject?

Matthew, you have a penchant for mirror-reading. The subject here isn't what Luther said and did, the subject of this thread is your ongoing ineptitude with respect to handling your sources.

Here's the point, given the historic practice of your communion at the time, it is no wonder that Luther said what he said and did what he did. Not the same Pope? So what? The most obvious predictor of his actions would be the practices of the previous administration.

The ironic thing is that in going after Luther, you're drawing an implicit argument, namely that the behavior of a particular man is reflective of the validity of the theology of another.

(A) Apparently, you're too stupid to recognize the genetic fallacy when it stares you in the face.

(B) For every Luther, we can name an unvirtuous Pope, bishop, Cardinal, etc. So if Luther is a problem for Protestants, these men are equally a problem for you.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Gene says, "(B) For every Luther, we can name an unvirtuous Pope, bishop, Cardinal, etc. So if Luther is a problem for Protestants, these men are equally a problem for you."

Not so, my religion is not based on a man as yours is. The post was on what Luther said. Read it. Also your logic is faulty. You assume that since one Pope allegedly did something 100 years before Luther that the Pope 100 years later is going to do the same thing? You are really out to lunch.

I also find it interesting how you just avoided what your fellow Protestant is saying about Luther and the death of his child. You guys are all off the reservation as usual.

GeneMBridges said...

Not so, my religion is not based on a man as yours is.

Since I'm not Lutheran, no it isn't. I'm a Reformed Baptist. Please demonstrate, Matthew how Reformed Baptists are related to Luther.

Here's Mathew's logic: Luther bad, therefore Protestant theology false.

Matthew gets an F in basic logic. That's called the genetic fallacy.

Luther doesn't function for the Reformed the way that he functions for Lutherans. You give too much credit to Luther with respect to Protestantism as a whole. Indeed, I suspect you wish to talk about Luther because you know you can't stand toe to toe with any one of us in a discussion about the Bible and what it actually says.

Indeed, here's a classic example of your mirror-reading. It is you who invest your time in what men say and do. What you're doing is taking your own standard, imputing it to us, then castigating us for not measuring up. Ergo, you're mirror-reading, yet another logical fallacy.

The post was on what Luther said.

Which James only invoked because of your inept and incompetent handling of historical sources. Try to keep up.

You assume that since one Pope allegedly did something 100 years before Luther that the Pope 100 years later is going to do the same thing? Given the tenor of the times, that's an altogether appropriate assumption. This was the age of burning of heretics and Machiavellian politics. Again, try to keep up.

And remember, it's your side of the aisle that likes to talk about the consistency of faith and practice through the ages. How quickly you abandon that when it doesn't work in your favor.

I also find it interesting how you just avoided what your fellow Protestant is saying about Luther and the death of his child . I could care less about what my fellow Protestants say about that. How is that germane to anything I wrote to you? Besides, all that would do is make me an enabler of you as you trade further in the genetic fallacy. My concern here is your inept handling of sources, not what Luther did or didn't say. So, now you're changing the subject to Luther's children, again. We've already discussed that.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Gene you are an intellectually dishonest man. All of you here flew off the handle when I wrote about Luther's children, yet a fellow Protestant comes on here and says that his children were bastards and died because of his sins and you say nothing??? You are really a sick, twisted, two faced individual. Thats it defend the statements of Protestants at any cost, yet if a Catholic would have written this you would have gone off the deep end like usual.

"Gene says, "Given the tenor of the times, that's an altogether appropriate assumption."

Uhh, no that is your unsubstantiated assumption. The sources I quoted were correct in what Luther said. You can come up with all of the half-witted ideas as why he went off the deep end, but the fact remains the Papacy never called for his blood, and he did call for the blood of the Pope.

Do you today call for the blood of the Pope, Bridges? After-all the Catholic church executed Hus, based on your half-witted conclusions they must be coming after you next. After-all it is safe to conclude that since a Pope acted a certain way, we can all conclude that all of them after that will also act in the fashion. this shows everyone how moronic your conclusion is.

Just like your incorrect statements on the Catholic Church and contraception (which forced you to flee from the internet for while), this subject hasn't revealed that you have any more sense now than you had then. So much for your sabbatical. It was nice and quiet for awhile anyways.

Erwin Fleischer said...

While I appreciate Mr. Bellisario’s efforts, he continues to confuse himself over what the real issues at stake are. Christ gave his life for the unrighteous. As a good papist, Mr. Bellisario assumes that Christ’s righteousness must be infused into the person for them to be godly. This is a matter of justification. The papists believe that the sinner must be sinless in order to have salvation. The absurdity resides in the fact that if the person were sinless, then Christ’s sacrifice was needless. We are frail, sinful, and prone to offend God. That is precisely why God looks at Christ’s work instead of ours. Luther knew this. Luther knew that Christ covered his sin, and didn’t commingle with it in an infused way.
Where there is God, sin is naught.

If we were not concerned with the injunction against idols, an icon of Martin Luther would be entirely appropriate. We are not to worship people as the papists do, but we can all agree that Luther is indeed the model Christian. He was vile and despicable, yet Christ’s blood covered him. It is not man’s work that saves; it is God’s perfect atonement that saves. Instead of fornicating with a nun, Luther could have picked up all the hobos off the street like not-my-Mother Teresa did, but salvation doesn’t consists in man’s work. Sure, it is a good thing to do, but it doesn’t save you like the papists believe.

Martin Luther is a model Christian in that Christ saves the ungodly.

Matthew Bellisario said...

So Erwin, you do not have to be Christ-like? Did Jesus waste his breath when he said, "Not everyone who says Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but rather he who does the will of my Father" (Matthew 7:21) That means you must do something to demonstrate your faith. You can shoot your mouth off all day long and say you believe, but if your actions speak otherwise then you are not doing the will of the Father.

GeneMBridges said...

Just like your incorrect statements on the Catholic Church and contraception (which forced you to flee from the internet for while),

1. False statements? Anybody can read that discussion on TF's blog to see who knew what he spoke of, and it clearly wasn't you.

2. No, Matthew, I "fled from the internet" because my uncle has terminal brain cancer. My grandmother, his mother, who just died last week, had Alzheimers and lung cancer, and I was the one helping my grandfather care for her on a day to day basis. I'm also HIV positive and deal with increasing neuropathy on a daily basis. You have NO IDEA what you're talking about (and that too on a day to day basis). I suggest you stop the psychobabble now. When I stop posting on the net, it has reason's that are not related to your overinflated ego. If you'd like to verify those statements, do yourself a favor and email Steve Hays, Patrick Chan, Pete Pike, Paul Manata, or Jason Engwer. They'll be happy to corroborate them.

3. Speaking of Triablogue, why is it that you don't head over there to go toe-to-toe with us? After all, I would think a man of your obvious intellectual acumen would be able to handle somebody like Steve without much difficulty at all.

All of you here flew off the handle when I wrote about Luther's children, yet a fellow Protestant comes on here and says that his children were bastards and died because of his sins and you say nothing?

Why should I? You've not yet demonstrated that I should. One more time...I'm not a Lutheran, ergo I'm not invested in Luther. Why should I, a Reformed Baptist, answer charges against Martin Luther? You're just mirror-reading. You invest your faith in men, so it's important to you to demonstrate the problems with a man, and then you use that to impeach "Protestant theology."

a. That's a classic example of the genetic fallacy.

b. There's an entire thread on Luther's children - this is one is about your mishandling of sources, not Luther's children.

c. I am not going to be an enabler for you as you mire yourself further in the genetic fallacy.

Uhh, no that is your unsubstantiated assumption.
Uh, no, I have a degree in European History. Of the two of us, I think I'm the one qualified to make that assumption. If your communion didn't have that track record, then there wouldn't be a problem. But if you'd like to go there, perhaps we should chat about Rome's support of Queen Mary of England. Perhaps we should chat about the treason against Queen Elizabeth, which included her demise. I believe Pope Pious had something to say about that in the Bull of Deposition. It opened the way for any Catholic not only to depose her, but assassinate her. You can scream "Not the same pope" all you want, but the fact of the matter is that this was the age of subversive politics. Heretics were to be assassinated or executed. Luther is no exception.

After-all it is safe to conclude that since a Pope acted a certain way, we can all conclude that all of them after that will also act in the fashion. this shows everyone how moronic your conclusion is.

No, that's not what I've argued. What I've argued was during that era of European history that was the way of things. Rome was not excepted. That age and this age are not convertible. So, all you've done is demonstrate how unable you are to keep track of an argument.

You are really a sick, twisted, two faced individual.

a. Yes I am. Praise God for the Gospel of Grace and the transforming power of it. I merit nothing without Christ.

b. As usual, Matthew, you substitute a slurry of adjectives and insults in lieu of an argument.

c. One wonders if he who likes to point out the lack of Christlikeness in others should be using this sort of insulting language himself. Pot meet kettle.

Erwin Fleischer said...

Christ’s finished work is not in need of your cooperation. You could be the friendliest, kindest person in the world yet still find yourself in hell because you trusted in your good works and not Christ’s atoning work alone. A true Christian only trusts in Christ’s finished and perfect work. Do you understand what finished means? Do you understand what perfect means? God does not need your involvement.

As I had already mentioned, doing good things does not save you. They are nice and laudable, but you should only boast in Christ’s work. The biggest pedophile can find salvation in Christ. A sodomite like Calvin was claimed to be can and does find salvation in Christ. Who are you to deny sola fide? Papist idolater! You are ignorant of the human psyche and our compulsion to sin. Who are you to deny Christ’s work? Hitler himself could had trusted in Christ’s work and found himself among the elect.

steve said...

Matthew Bellisario said...

“I don't need anyone to tell me that Luther was a demonic instrument of the devil.”

Seems a bit redundant, if you ask me.

Also, I’m a bit disappointed. Here I always thought Luther was a diabolical instrument of the devil, and now you’ve downgraded him to a merely demonic instrument of the devil. Well, I guess that’s better than calling him an instrument of the devil, without any infernal, albeit rather redundant, adjectives.

“I invite everyone to read the bulls, and then read Luther's foul mouthed garbage and compare who has the Holy Spirit and who does not.”

I think Bellisario should acquaint himself with the psychological phenomenon known as transference.

Beyond that, I don’t believe that Catholic moral theology has a problem with obscenity–only profanity. That’s why Dante, to take one example, feels free to use obscenities.

If Bellisario is going to take the position that obscenities disqualify someone from being a Christian, then he’s just disenfranchised a vast number of pious Catholics.

Traditionally, it's Protestants, and not Catholics, who disapprove of obscenities. But, of course, Luther was an ex-Catholic, so that rubbed off on his linguistic usage.

For example, I once had a conversation with a Dominican priest who used obscenities. But I doubt he’d use profanities.

In fact, there’s a case in which Pope John XXIII instructed a carpenter in the right swear word to use (the Italian word for excrement) when the carpenter accidentally smashed his fingers with a hammer. The carpenter let out a string of profanities in the company of then-Cardinal Roncalli. Roncalli corrected his use of profanities by suggesting a substitute obscenity. Cf. Nino Lo Bello, The Incredible Book of Vatican Facts and Papal Curiosities (Liguori 1998), 59.

Since, however, Bellesario regards blue language as evidence that the individual in question is utterly graceless, that would make Bellesario a sedevacantist, since he’d have to classify John XXIII as an anti-Pope on the basis of his naughty tongue.

Richard said...

It seems to me by reading the post that foul language was not the issue being discussed. It was the fact that Martin Luther called for the Pope and all of the bishops and Cardinals blood my non-attentive blogger.

Dozie said...

The more it becomes clear the character of the founder of Protestantism, the more the adherents sink into denials. How many match strikes does it take to burn down a gasoline doused house? How many times do we catch Luther saying things even Bill Maher would not say? But, the man has his justifiers.

Jerry said...

If reading historical documents is not your cup of tea then falling into a trap of losing your way around the real meaning the events happens pretty quickly especially if you do not care to take your RC glasses away.

The phrase in question from ML when placed 'sitz im leben' was not a call to arms or to assassinate the pope and the clergy.


As ML it explained it in the post: But since I dislike burning heretics, or killing even a single Christian, and since I know full well it is against the gospel, I merely indicated what they deserve if heretics deserve the fire. Nor is it necessary to attack you with the sword. Luther's Works (39:173).

No doubt ML used strong and sometimes harsh words against those who oppose him and this is one of them. This was used to combat evil and abuse in his time. The RC Erasmus described him as “A Harsh, Severe Physician” for an ill world.

While I disagree with the way he puts his thoughts into words, I believe they serve a purpose in a very different world and age as I live in.

Richard Longshanks III said...

A tragedy of tragedies I'm afraid..

"Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee."

Isn't it funny how so many lives fall into a well written tragedy?

bkaycee said...

MB, your reference to Matt 7:21 misses the point altogether.

In context, starting at verse 15, we have false prophets who look like the real deal.

Good trees produce good fruit, bad trees produce bad fruit.

The identity (good, bad), is revield (to humans) by the fruit.

Bad/Neutral trees don't try to become good trees by producing better fruit.

Regenerated believers WILL produce good fruit. False prophets produce bad fruit.

The type of fruit is evidence of identity, not done to produce identity!

Regeneration, Saving Faith, produces good fruit, not the other way around.

Do babies produce good works to earn family membership, or to remain in the family?

The good trees are the only ones who CAN do the will of the Father who is in heaven.

The good works done in verse 22 DO NOT produce salvation as is plainly seen.

John 6:28 Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" 29Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."

God shows mercy only to those who come to Him with empty hands.

Luke 18:10
"Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

11"The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

12'I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.'

13"But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'

14"I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Matthew Bellisario said...

Bkaycee says, "MB, your reference to Matt 7:21 misses the point altogether.

No it does not miss the point. If one does not exhibit Christian virtue then one does not have the Holy Spirit. That is plain and simple and is exactly what Jesus is saying in Matthew. You must do God's will in order to be saved. Talking a good game by saying that you are saved is worth nothing. You can tell me all day long that you are one of God's elect and that you are saved, then go pew jumping at one of your churches and still go to hell. You can talk the talk but if your actions do not follow then your faith is dead. From the way Luther acted, you would never know he had any faith. Faith and true works in Christ Jesus can never be separated.

GeneMBridges said...

No it does not miss the point. If one does not exhibit Christian virtue then one does not have the Holy Spirit. That is plain and simple and is exactly what Jesus is saying in Matthew.

Actually, when one looks closely, the people to whom He was speaking are said to do more than just say they are saved. No, they cast out demons and all sorts of things. So, the emphasis isn't on works in a meritorious sense or virtue in a meritorious sense.

Indeed, one of MB's persistent problems, as Steve noted, is his inability to comprehend the psychological phenomenon known as transference. On the one hand, he castigates Luther,on the other, MB feels quite free to go out of his way to insult his adversaries.

Remember, MB is castigating Luther's use of blue language within the culture of his day...but Catholic moral theology isn't necessarily opposed to the use of blue language. It's Protestantism that is so opposed, but he's not mounting an internal critique of Protestantism, rather he's mounting an external critique.

bkaycee said...

If one does not exhibit Christian virtue then one does not have the Holy Spirit.

OK so far.

That is plain and simple and is exactly what Jesus is saying in Matthew. You must do God's will in order to be saved.

Whoooaa. Are'nt the works in verse 22 part of God's will?

'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'

Why are those doing God's will in verse 22 not then saved?

Talking a good game by saying that you are saved is worth nothing. You can tell me all day long that you are one of God's elect and that you are saved, then go pew jumping at one of your churches and still go to hell. You can talk the talk but if your actions do not follow then your faith is dead.

I totally agree! Fairly good paraphrase of James! Certainly no one will follow perfectly, but the general trend of a Christian will show a marked change.

Faith is clearly first, then works show the evidence(to humans)of True Saving Faith.

Does a bad tree produce good fruit to become a good tree?

From the way Luther acted, you would never know he had any faith.

WOW, that's kind of an unfair blanket statement. Do you give him any credit for railing against Tetzel and the system that was happily profiting from the sale of Indulgences for sale?

How bout the myriad volumes of commentaries, treatises, hymns, liturgical texts, exegetical writing, devotional writings, and ecclesiastical writings that he produced? Does that not show Christian Virtue?

Do you treat the many degenerate Popes with the same brush?

Faith and true works in Christ Jesus can never be separated.

Certainly true, but you have the cart before the horse. Works do not appropriate or mattain salvation. Works are evidence of True Faith/Salvation.

It is clear in the book of Romans.

Rom 11:5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice.

6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.


Grace is undeserved favor, not Rome's redefinition to reward or merit.

Biblical grace is destroyed (in terms of salvation) if works are added to it. Biblical works are evidence of salvation!

Read Romans, Ephesians, Galations, John, etc..

L P said...

James,

This is again the typical Theology of Glory in expecting Luther to have acted like a saint who should not even hurt a fly.

It also misses the idea that the very example of the life of Jesus, our Lord, is the very thing that condemns us. We are never like him.

1 John 1:8.

The defenders of Mother Church have no clue as to what Law and Gospel is.

LPC

Andrew said...

"there is no quality in my heart at all, call it either faith or charity;
but instead of these I set Christ Himself before me,
and I say, “There is my righteousness.”
--Martin Luther

There it is right there.

Matthew Bellisario said...

bkaycee says, "WOW, that's kind of an unfair blanket statement. Do you give him any credit for railing against Tetzel and the system that was happily profiting from the sale of Indulgences for sale?

How bout the myriad volumes of commentaries, treatises, hymns, liturgical texts, exegetical writing, devotional writings, and ecclesiastical writings that he produced? Does that not show Christian Virtue?"

Me,
Not necessarily, one does not automatically have authority to compose one's own liturgical texts or compose their own Biblical interpretations and ecclesiastical writings. That resides in the Church. Luther developed his own doctrine based on his flawed understanding of Scripture, which is not virtuous, and followed in the footsteps of the heretics before him who thought they knew better than the Church.

bkaycee says on works, "Certainly true, but you have the cart before the horse. Works do not appropriate or mattain salvation. Works are evidence of True Faith/Salvation."

Listen again, you missed it. I never said works preceded faith did I? Then why do you act as if i did? Faith and works cannot be separated, quit trying to do so, it isn't Christian teaching. Works are not mere evidence, they are part of us working in the grace of God, which means that they are more than just "works". They are not mere human acts at that point. We are not meriting our salvation by our own works. The works are united in Christ. It is is not faith alone, but grace alone. No such thing as faith alone, quit trying to shoehorn your heresies into your flawed Biblical exegesis. It does not exist.

Faith and works together in Christ are a part of our salvation. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure" (Phil 2:12f) But the good news remains: "there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom 8:1), and in whom Christ lives (Gal 2:20). Christ's "act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all" (Rom 5:18).

The good fruit that faith itself becomes united to is the 'work' of God. You cannot have one without the other. Do not make an argument where there is none.

38.According to Catholic understanding, good works, made possible by grace and the working of the Holy Spirit, contribute to growth in grace, so that the righteousness that comes from God is preserved and communion with Christ is deepened. When Catholics affirm the "meritorious" character of good works, they wish to say that, according to the biblical witness, a reward in heaven is promised to these works.

bkaycee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bkaycee said...

John Gerstner gives a clear and concise summation of the Roman Catholic view of justification in contrast to the Protestant view in these words:

Some Romanists will say that they too teach justification by grace—by Christ’s righteousness, in fact. But the righteousness of Christ which they claim justifies is not Christ’s own personal righteousness reckoned or credited or given or imputed to believers. Romanists refer to the righteousness which Christ works into the life of the believer or infuses into him in his own living and behavior. It is not Christ’s personal righteousness but the believer’s personal righteousness, which he performs by the grace of God. It is Christ’s righteousness versus the believer’s own righteousness. It is Christ’s achievement versus the Christian’s achievement. It is an imputed righteousness not an infused righteousness. It is a gift of God versus an accomplishment of man. These two righteousnesses are as different as righteousnesses could conceivable be. It does come down to the way it has been popularly stated for the last four and a half centuries: Protestantism’s salvation by faith versus Rome’s salvation by works...The Protestant trusts Christ to save him and the Catholic trusts Christ to help him save himself. It is faith versus works. Or, as the Spirit of God puts it in Romans 4:16 (NIV), ‘Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace, and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring.’ It is ‘by faith so that it may be by grace...’ If a Romanist wants to be saved by grace alone, it will have to be by faith alone. ‘The promise comes by faith so that it may be by grace.’ You can’t be saved ‘sola gratia’ except ‘sola fide.’...We agree with Roman friends—salvation is by grace. That is the reason it must be by faith. If it is a salvation based on works that come from grace, it is not based on grace but on the Christian’s works that come from grace. The works that come from grace must prove grace but they cannot be grace. They may come from, be derivative of, a consequence of, but they cannot be identified with it. Faith is merely union with Christ who is our righteousness, our grace, our salvation. 1 Corinthians 1:30, ‘It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus who has become for us wisdom from God,’ that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Christ is our righteousness. Our righteousness does not result from His righteousness, it is His righteousness

Jerry said...

I was hoping in myself to tie the loose ends by stating something like this:

That since ML's controversial statement- "Why do we not rather assault them with arms and wash our hands in their blood?" was not of itself a call to arms, assassination or to a violent revolution or whatever; therefore, Matthew's charge that Luther has a violent mentality and the secondary assertion -- that RCC did not stoop to his level "Where can you prove that the Catholic Church called for Luther's blood?" loses its force as an argument and thus does not hold ground.

Any problem with winding this down with this note?

Matthew Bellisario said...

bkaycee says, "John Gerstner gives a clear and concise summation of the Roman Catholic view of justification in contrast to the Protestant view in these words:"

Look I don't care about John Gerstner, or what his opinion about Catholicism is. Read what I wrote to you, it came from an official Catholic document, not my private interpretation.

GeneMBridges said...

Read what I wrote to you, it came from an official Catholic document, not my private interpretation.

In other words, when MB's back is against the wall, he doesn't tell us what the problem is with Gerstner's words, rather he just repeats what he said earlier. That's like quoting the Bible for what it says but not what it means.

Of course, MB has to interpret the document in order to know what it means, so he has a pretty strong idea (in his mind) about what that statement means, even if all he does it quote what it says. But, in lieu of that one supposes we'll (yet again) have to do it for him.

In Catholic soteriology, faith is divided between the merits of Christ, one's own merit, and the merit's of the Church/saints.

Effectively, grace is a necessary, albeit insufficient condition of justification, for grace is infused and it is up to you to do something with it.

Compare this with Reformed theology. In Reformed theology, Sola Fide is a species of Sola Gratia. Grace is both necessary and sufficient to justify.

Catholicism is synergistic to a greater extent that Arminianism.

Reformed soteriology is monergistic from beginning to end.

Which of these is truly by grace ALONE?

I was hoping in myself to tie the loose ends by stating something like this:

That since ML's controversial statement- "Why do we not rather assault them with arms and wash our hands in their blood?" was not of itself a call to arms, assassination or to a violent revolution or whatever; therefore, Matthew's charge that Luther has a violent mentality and the secondary assertion -- that RCC did not stoop to his level "Where can you prove that the Catholic Church called for Luther's blood?" loses its force as an argument and thus does not hold ground.

Any problem with winding this down with this note?


Now, Jerry, let's not confuse Matthew with facts.

Jerry said...

Now, Jerry, let's not confuse Matthew with facts.

Oops. I think I know what your getting at :) spoon feeding and spelling out everything will not help someone do research.

or... not.

Erwin Fleischer said...

I knew John Gerstner, and he was a very prideful closeted gay who overstepped his competency quite often. When we argue with the papists we should be careful that we do not hurt our own cause by pushing well intended papists away because we misrepresent the papist’s teachings. Gerstner was a pro at running his mouth without acquiring the right information first. People like him on one side, and the neo-catholic Norman Geisler on the other, do the Reformed position no favors.

steve said...

Erwin Fleischer said...

"I knew John Gerstner, and he was a...closeted gay."

Do you have any hard evidence to back up this allegation? For all we know, Edwin Fleischer might be a closeted gay.

Erwin Fleischer said...

Steve inquired

"Do you have any hard evidence to back up this allegation?”

I only have firsthand knowledge of him hitting on me, other than that, no. If this is too much of a distraction for you, then I retract it.

The veracity of my main point speaks for itself. The papist system is not in need of our poor characterizations for it to come crumbling down upon itself. Nor do we need to hide from the imperfections found in our own variant doctrines amongst the reformed churches. God gave us the Rule of Faith, and it is incumbent upon us to apply it. I am not going to gloss over the differences found between my beliefs and those of another reformed believer just to create a façade of union in order to combat the papist’s notion of unified doctrine.

Erwin Fleischer said...

In my old age I am prone to have a poor memory. After further reflection in response to Steve for inquiring from me proof in regards to my accusation against John Gerstern, it has come to my attention that I am accusing the wrong man, and to his family and all here present I offer my sincerest apology. However, I do not and can not apologize for the rest of my comments.

Thank you Steve for bringing this to my attention.