Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Even Good Luther Quotes Can Be Bogus

Luther: “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

Apparently, this is not something Luther said: Where the battle rages—a case of misattribution Addendum The Apocryphal Martin Luther (this link looks at the same quote)


Andrew said...

Mr. Swan, I have a quick question for you... I have often read the quote “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing,” and sometimes it's attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr., and sometimes it's attributed to Martin Luther Classic. I did some Googling, but I couldn't find out which one actually said it. I can picture either of them saying it. Off the top of your head, do you happen to know which one did? You don't need to do any special research on my behalf just for this, though. :D


The Blogger Formerly Known As Lvka said...

Cool article, James!

Here are some fake and bogus Jesus-quotes... :-)

Maybe you'll like to debunk them too some day... ;-)

James Swan said...

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing,”

Well, I've found something very similar.

"you cannot find a Christian who does not pray; just as you cannot find a living man without a pulse that never stands still, but beats and beats on continually of itself, although the man may sleep or do
anything else, so being all unconscious of this pulse."

The reference from this link

allowed me to track the quote back to WA 45, which then revealed the quote from Luther's comments on John 14.

In the English version, that would be LW 24:

Thus you must learn from this text that through Christ alone we possess both grace and the granting of prayer, that we first become children of God, entitled to call upon Him, and then also receive what we need for ourselves and for others. Therefore wherever there is a Christian, there is none other than the Holy Spirit, who does nothing but pray without ceasing. Even though one does not move one’s lips and form words continuously, one’s heart nonetheless does beat incessantly; and, like the pulse and the heart in the body, it beats with sighs such as these: “Oh, dear Father, please let Thy name be hallowed, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done among us and everyone!” And when blows fall, when temptations thicken, and adversity presses harder, then such sighing prayers become more fervent and also find words. A Christian without prayer is just as impossible as a living person without a pulse. The pulse is never motionless; it moves and beats constantly, whether one is asleep or something else keeps one from being aware of it.[LW 24:89]

Andrew said...

Thank you, Mr. Swan! I've been curious about that, and I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

With regard to himself, Martin Luther, and prayer, one would assume an obvious reference to verses of Scripture like these, found here:

Col 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.
Col 4:13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis.

To extract then, it seems Paul and Epaphras were focused on Colossae and Laodicea and Hierapolis!

What might we be able to extract from that, today?

I don't know. I do believe God's Word does and getting that portion of the truth of God's Will and Eternal Purpose from Him and His Word seems paramount, in light of these verses, too, especially if after you die you want to have a place at His table for the rest of eternity:

Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'
Mat 7:23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'