Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christ Versus Luther

I came across a number of webpages using the same Luther quotes and then comparing those quotes to particular Bible passages. The layout was very similar to the popular Luther, Exposing the Myth webpage, but relying on a different source: Christ Versus Luther (Bellarmine Publishing Co., 1953) (or sometimes referred to as, "Christ vs. Luther edited by R. A. Short, copyright 1953 by the Bellarmine Publishing Company, Mound, Minn."). This book appears to be merely a 21 page pamphlet rather than a full-length treatment. Here's a typical example of how this pamphlet is being used by Roman polemicists. I've left the typos intact. This excerpt appears all over the Internet with the same typos (like "hook" rather than "book" in the first paragraph):

Following are some significant excerpts from Luther's writings and lectures, as compared with the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Taken from the hook CHRIST VS. LUTHER, edited by R. A. Short, copyright 1953 by the Bellarmine Publishing Company, Mound, Minn)

-On Sin -

Christ: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication . . . murder . . . and suchlike. And concerning these I warn you, they who do such things will not attain the Kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:19-21).

Luther: "Sin boldly but believe more boldly. Let your faith be greater than your sin. . . Sin will not destroy us in the reign of the Lamb, although we were to commit fornication a thousand times in one day" (Letter to Melanchton, August 1, 1521, Audin p.178).

Christ: "And do not be drunk with wine, for in that is debauchery" (Eph. 5:18). "Keep thyself chaste" (I Tim. 5:22).

Luther: "Why do I sit soaked in wine? ... To be continent and chaste is not in me" (Luther's diary).

- On Good Works -

Christ: "What will it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but does not have works? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (James 2:14,26).

Luther: "He that says the Gospel requires works for salvation, I say, flat and plain, is a liar" ("able Talk, WeimerEdition, II, p.137).

-On Truth -

Christ: "Do not be liars against the truth. This is not the wisdom that descends from above. It is earthly, sensual,devilish" (James 3:1~15). "Do not lie to one another" (Col. 3:9). "The Lord hateth... a lying tongue... a deceitful witness that uttereth lies. . . "(Proverbs 6:1&17). "A thief is worse than a liar, but both of them shall inherit destruction" (Ecclus. 20:27).

Luther: "To lie in case of necessity, or for convenience, or in excuse, would not offend God, who is ready to take such lies on Himself" (Enserch Conference, July 17, 1540).

- On Marriage -

Christ: "Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if the wife shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery" ~ark 10:11-12).

Luther: "As to divorce, it is still a moot question whether it is allowable. For my part, I prefer bigamy" (DeWette,Vol.2, p.459).

- On Free Will-

Christ: "Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It were better for that man if he had not been born" (Matt. 26:24). "Let no man say when he is tempted, that he is tempted by God; for God is no tempter to evil"(James 1:13).

Luther: "Judas' will was the work of God; God by His almighty power moved his will as He does all that is in this world" (De Servo Arbitro - Against man's free will). Accosted on all sides by charges of heresy, even by many of his former associates in the Protestant movement, Luther found refuge in this, the strangest of all his beliefs. No man is accountable for his actions, Luther taught, no matter how evil. Not even Judas!

Such are the teachings of the first so-called "reformer" of Christ's Church! If Luther was a man divinely inspired or called in an extraordinary manner, why did God permit him to fall into so many absurdities in points of doctrine?

"Luther finally brought himself to indulge the pleasing delusion that the Catholic Church was the detestable kingdom of Antichrist . . . that he himself was John the Evangelist... "(From the book LUTHER, P.65).

I wasn't able to actually track down the pamphlet, but I did find it interesting that it does appear to have been granted the imprimatur by the Archbishop of St. Paul Minnesota.

I've worked through these quotes before:

Sin boldly but believe more boldly

To be continent and chaste is not in me

He that says the Gospel requires works for salvation, I say, flat and plain, is a liar

To lie in case of necessity, or for convenience, or in excuse, would not offend God

For my part, I prefer bigamy

Judas' will was the work of God

The final quote referring to "from the book LUTHER, P.65" may refer to an edition of The Manual of Universal Church History by John Alzog. The quote can be found on page 42. Alzog, a Roman polemicist, is simply giving his opinion about Luther's self perception while hidden in the Wartburg castle. Alzog contends that Luther was "habitually yielding" to demonic influences, and this brought him "to indulge the pleasing delusion that the Catholic Church was the detestable kingdom of Antichrist . . . that he himself was John the Evangelist... ". such a comment needs no refutation other than pointing out that the author is preaching to convinced Romanists perpetuating pre-Vatican II sentiment.

The only quote above that I've not searched out in-depth is the snippet "Why do I sit soaked in wine?" This quote is attached to "To be continent and chaste is not in me" but isn't from the same source.  A few years back I mentioned the quote can be found in Rumble's and Carty's Radio Replies series. They say:

269. Do you know of any good in Luther?
Intellectually, not much. He declared that reason was of the devil, and that the Christian must regard it as his greatest enemy. Morally, less still. St. Paul says that those who are Christ's have crucified their flesh with its vices and concupiscences. Gal 5:24. That Luther indulged his vices and concupiscences is clear from his writings, where he gives disgraceful descriptions of his own indulgence in everything passionate. His diaries record shocking excesses of sensuality, which could not be printed in any decent book today. A true Apostle of Christ does not give vent to such expressions as, "To be continent and chaste is not in me," or, "Why do I sit soaked in wine." I do not say these things merely to detract from the memory of Luther. But it is not right that people should be duped by the thought that Luther was a well-balanced and saintly reformer. He was not entirely devoid of good qualities. He was endowed with a certain kindness and generosity. But this does not compensate for his vices. He should have controlled his sentimentality and emotional nature in the light of Christian principles. He did not, but gave free rein to his lower passions, calmly saying that a man has to do so, and will not be responsible for such conduct.

I have no idea what the authors are referring to by "Luther's diaries." It's probably a reference to the Tabletalk. I've yet to find any sort of reliable reference to "Why do I sit soaked in wine," and I doubt any Roman polemicist using this snippet cares to locate the context before cut-and-pasting.

3 comments:

geof arnold said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
geof arnold said...

When Luther says...

"Sin boldly but believe more boldly. Let your faith be greater than your sin. . . Sin will not destroy us in the reign of the Lamb, although we were to commit fornication a thousand times in one day" (Letter to Melanchton, August 1, 1521, Audin p.178).

...he means that it is no use pretending that we are anything other than sinners that are in desperate need of salvation through faith in Christ (God was manifested in the flesh. 1Timothy 3:16)

John Bugay said...

Hi James -- did you see, "Pope Francis" now has his own version of a "Sin boldly" quote:

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/francis-tells-religious-wake-world-outlines-modern-struggles-church

Priests, brothers, and sisters in Catholic religious orders around the globe should "wake up the world" by being "real witnesses" to a counter-cultural way of life that relies on generosity and self-forgetfulness, Pope Francis told a meeting of superiors general of religious orders in November.
Those religious, the pope also added, should also not be afraid of making mistakes or even committing sins.

"You should be real witnesses of a world doing and acting differently," the pope told some 120 leaders of male religious orders during a closed-door Nov. 29 meeting at the Vatican, according to a new account of the event released Friday by the Italian Jesuit magazine La Civilta Cattolica.

"But in life it is difficult for everything to be clear, precise, outlined neatly," the pope continued. "Life is complicated; it consists of grace and sin."

"He who does not sin is not human," said the pope. "We all make mistakes and we need to recognize our weaknesses. A religious who recognizes himself as weak and a sinner does not negate the witness that he is called to give, rather he reinforces it, and this is good for everyone."

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"What I expect of you therefore is to give witness," he said. "I want this special witness from religious."