Sunday, January 29, 2017

Luther's Imaginary Letter to Pope Leo X, January 6, 1519

"I never approved of a schism, nor will I approve of it for all eternity . . . That the Roman Church is more honored by God than all others is not to be doubted . . . It is not by separating from the Church that we can make her better." (Letter to Pope Leo X, January 6, 1519)

This truncated Luther quote bouncing around cyberspace has been used in a number of ways. I've seen it used as purporting to show Luther's "contradiction and vacillation" and "doublespeak." Ex-Westminster Seminary graduate / Roman Catholic convert Dr. Taylor Marshall says it "showes [sic] that even over a year after the Wittenburg incident, Luther still saw himself as a Roman Catholic opposed to schism." Rome's defender Steve Ray published an extended version of the quote in his book, Crossing the Tiber: Evangelical Protestants Discover the Historical Church and a truncated version in Upon this Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church. In an old web article Ray includes it as an example of one of "a few of the quotations that rocked my world and [made] me stand up and take notice and eventually contributed to my decision to become Catholic. " Here's how he cites it:
“I never approved of a schism, nor will I approve of it for all eternity. . . . That the Roman Church is more honored by God than all others is not to be doubted. St, Peter and St. Paul, forty-six Popes, some hundreds of thousands of martyrs, have laid down their lives in its communion, having overcome Hell and the world; so that the eyes of God rest on the Roman church with special favor. Though nowadays everything is in a wretched state, it is no ground for separating from the Church. On the contrary, the worse things are going, the more should we hold close to her, for it is not by separating from the Church that we can make her better. We must not separate from God on account of any work of the devil, nor cease to have fellowship with the children of God who are still abiding in the pale of Rome on account of the multitude of the ungodly. There is no sin, no amount of evil, which should be permitted to dissolve the bond of charity or break the bond of unity of the body. For love can do all things, and nothing is difficult to those who are united.” Martin Luther to Pope Leo X, January 6, 1519 more than a year after the Ninety-Five Theses quoted in The Facts about Luther, 356. [link]
We'll see below that this quote that "rocked" Steve Ray's world isn't one quote from a letter to Pope Leo written on January 6, 1519. It's actually two different quotes from two different documents and neither is a letter, nor is either a letter to Pope Leo. One part of the quote, "I never approved of a schism" is not something Luther actually wrote, but is actually something he is reported to have said, and he wasn't saying it about the "schism" he caused.

Rome's defenders typically cite the source as Luther's letter to Pope Leo, January 6, 1519. Yes, there was a letter written by Luther on that day to Pope Leo, but it was never sent. The letter written that day was the result of Luther’s meeting with the Papal nuncio Karl von Miltitz. Miltitz was attempting to reconcile Luther with the Pope. He spoke of how favorably the pope felt toward Luther and how angry he was with Tetzel. He attempted to make this deal with Luther: Luther would cease with his part of the indulgence controversy- and he promised those who opposed Luther would also be silent. He also requested Luther write a letter to the Pope. Heinrich Boehmer notes Miltitz specifically requested that Luther’s letter contain a confession
…that [Luther] had been too vehement and sharp although he had never thought of injuring the Roman Church, but was aiming only at the disgraceful preaching [of indulgences]…he would have a note sent out, exhorting everyone to be obedient to the Roman Church and also confessing that he had expressed the truth in an all too heated and, perhaps untimely fashion….The letter [was to] close with the characteristic words: ‘I am willing to do anything, provided I am not made to renounce anything more, for nothing will come of the recantation.’” [Heinrich Boehmer, Road To Reformation (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1946), p.254].
Boehmer notes the letter was written and presented to Miltitz, but Luther “absolutely refused to recant.” Miltitz then dropped the whole idea of the letter. Luther was under the impression that Miltitz would set up a meeting in which a learned bishop would evaluate Luther’s points. Luther writing to elector Frederic says, “Miltitz will write the Pope at once, informing him how things stand, and asking him to recommend the matter to some learned bishop, who will hear me and point out the errors I am to recant. For when I have learned my mistakes, I will gladly withdraw them, and do nothing to impair the honor and power of the Roman Church.” Miltitz did write the Pope, informing him Luther was ready to recant everything, but this never happened. As I pointed out previously, Roman Catholic apologists ignore what Boehmer calls "the conventional, curialistic style" and the accepted means of dialog with Rome. Rome's defenders often miss the politics of the Reformation.

I actually found the draft of the letter (and note). It is completely different in content than that being cited by Rome's defenders above. Nowhere in this letter will one find "I never approved of a schism, nor will I approve of it for all eternity" etc.
Draft of the letter to the Lord Pope
Most Holy Father: Necessity again forces me, the lowest of all men and dust of the earth, to address myself to Your Holiness and August Majesty. May Your Holiness therefore be most gracious and deign to lend your ears in a fatherly fashion for a short time, and willingly listen to the bleating of this, your little sheep, for you truly stand in the place of Christ.
The honorable Sir Charles Miltitz, chamber secretary to Your Holiness, has been with us. In the presence of the Most Illustrious Sovereign Frederick he very harshly accused me in the name of Your Holiness of lacking respect for and being rash toward the Roman church and Your Holiness, and demanded satisfaction for this. Hearing this, I was deeply grieved that my most loyal service has had such an unhappy outcome and that what I had undertaken-to guard the honor of the Roman church-had resulted in disgrace and was suspected of all wickedness, even so far as the head of the church was concerned. But what am I to do, Most Holy Father? I do not know what to do further: I cannot bear the power of your wrath, and I do not know of any means to escape it. The demand is made that I recant my theses. If such a revocation could accomplish what I was attempting to do with my theses, I would issue it without hesitation. Now, however, through the antagonism and pressure of enemies, my writings are spread farther than I ever had expected and are so deeply rooted in the hearts of so many people that I am not in the position to revoke them. In addition since our Germany prospers wonderfully today with men of talent, learning, and judgment, I realize that I cannot, under any circumstances, recant anything if I want to honor the Roman church-and this has to be my primary concern. Such a recanting would accomplish nothing but to defile the Roman church more and more and bring it into the mouths of the people as something that should be accused. See, Father, those whom I have opposed have inflicted this injury and virtual ignominy on the Roman church among us. With their most insipid sermons, preached in the name of Your Holiness, they have cultivated only the most shameful avarice and have substituted for sanctification the vile and abominable Egyptian scandal. And as if that had not been bad enough, they accuse me before Your Holiness-me, who opposed their tremendous monstrosities-of being the author of the temerity which is theirs.
Most Holy Father, before God and all his creation, I testify that I have never wanted, nor do I today want, to touch in any way the authority of the Roman church and of Your Holiness or demolish it by any craftiness. On the contrary I confess the authority of this church to be supreme over all, and that nothing, be it in heaven or on earth, is to be preferred to it, save the one Jesus Christ who is Lord of all-nor should Your Holiness believe the schemers who claim otherwise, plotting evil against this Martin.
Since in this case I can do only one thing, I shall most willingly promise Your Holiness that in the future I shall leave this matter of indulgences alone, and will be completely silent concerning it (if [my enemies] also stop their vain and bombastic speeches). In addition I shall publish something for the common people to make them understand that they should truly honor the Roman church, and influence them to do so. [I shall tell them] not to blame the church for the rashness of [those indulgence preachers], nor to imitate my sharp words against the Roman church, which I have used-or rather misused-against those clowns, and with which I have gone too far. Perhaps by the grace of God the discord which has arisen may finally be quieted by such an effort. I strive for only one thing: that the Roman church, our Mother, be not polluted by the filth of unsuitable avarice, and that the people be not led astray into error and taught to prefer indulgences to works of love. All the other things I consider of less importance, since they are matters of indifference. If I can do anything else, or if I discover that there is something else I can do, I will certainly be most ready to do it [LW 48:100-102].
Where Does The Bogus Quote Come from?
I think I can account for some of the reasons why Rome's defenders cite and document this quote the way they do. Notice above that Steve Ray states, "quoted in The Facts about Luther, 356." This refers to Patrick O'Hare, The Facts About Luther, a Reformation-hostile book written in the early twentieth century by a Roman Catholic Priest. O'Hare states:
To help all who are anxious to come to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus and His Church, it may be well to recall that Luther before he formally separated himself from obedience to Rome and when he seemed to abhor such a course, declared "I never approved of a schism, nor will I approve of it for all eternity." In a letter written by him in 1519 to the then reigning Pontiff Leo X. and quoted in the History of the Reformation by that partisan Merle D'Aubigne, he says, "That the Roman Church is more honored by God than all others is not to be doubted. St.Peter and St. Paul, forty-six popes, some hundreds of thousands of martyrs, have laid down their lives in its communion, having overcome hell and the world; so that the eyes of God rest on the Roman Church with special favor. Though nowadays everything is in a wretched state, it is no ground for separating from the Church. On the contrary, the worse things are going, the more should we hold close to her, for it is not by separating from the Church we can make her better. We must not separate from God on account of any work of the devil, nor cease to have fellowship with the children of God who are still abiding in the pale of Rome on account of the multitude of the ungodly. There is no sin, no amount of evil, which should be permitted to dissolve the bond of charity or break the bond of unity of the body. For love can do all things and nothing is difficult to those who are united." (See De Wette, I, 233 ff.)
This appears to be the source that Rome's defenders mined for their quote. Yes, O'Hare mentions a 1519 letter written to the Pope, he even provides a primary reference to one of Luther's letters written to the Pope, De Wette I, 233 ff. This letter though is not from January 6, 1519 but rather March 3, 1519. As has been demonstrated above, none of the content cited by O'Hare and used by Rome's defenders comes from the January 6, 1519 letter.

The first part, "I never approved of a schism, nor will I approve of it for all eternity" appears to be from the Leipzig debate. Reformation historian Merle D'Aubigne (cited by O'Hare) documents the interaction between Luther and Johann Eck. Bringing up the controversy of the church with Jan Huss:
Luther.—" I do not like and I never shall like a schism. Since on their own authority the Bohemians have separated from our unity, they have done wrong, even if the Divine right had pronounced in favour of their doctrines; for the supreme Divine right is charity and oneness of mind."
Nunquam mihi placuit, nec in aeternnm placebit quod-cunque schisma—Cum supremum jus divinum sit charitas et unitas spiritus. Ibid.
Other sources document this as well (including the Latin), see for instance, J. Verras, Luther: An Historical Portrait, p.77. Verras states,
The proceedings of the day on which Luther made the above mentioned remark (5. July) served greatly to clear up the situation. In the morning he strongly protested against the supposition that he was favourable to the schism of the Hussites. May God forgive him (Eck) for representing me as their patron . . . The Bohemians do wrong, that by their own authority they separate themselves from our unity, even if they should have divine right on their side."
The "schism" technically in question was that caused by Jan Huss and the Bohemians, not Luther's schism. The text comes from WA 2:275-276:

The second part O'Hare says is from a letter: " In a letter written by him in 1519 to the then reigning Pontiff Leo X...". This is incorrect. Daubigne' (cited by O'Hare) does not say it's from a letter:
Yet he still felt esteem for the ancient Church of Rome, and had no thought of separating from it. “That the Roman Church,” said he in the explanation which he had promised Miltitz to publish, “is honored by God above all others, is what we cannot doubt. Saint Peter, Saint Paul, forty-six popes, many hundreds of thousands of martyrs, have shed their blood in its bosom, and have overcome hell and the world, so that God’s eye regards it with especial favor. Although everything is now in a very wretched state there, this is not a sufficient reason for separating from it. On the contrary, the worse things are going on within it, the more should we cling to it; for it is not by separation that we shall make it better. We must not desert God on account of the devil; or abandon the children of God who are still in the Roman communion, because of the multitude of the ungodly. There is no sin, there is no evil that should destroy charity or break the bond of union. For charity can do all things, and to unity nothing is difficult.
The source for this particular Luther quote is from Luthers Unterricht auf etliche Artikel, die ihn von seinen Abgönnern aufgelegt und zugemessen werden  (Luther's report on the articles attributed to him by his enemies) (1519) found in WA 2:69-73. The quote can be found on page 72-73:

This text is scheduled to be translated into English in a forthcoming volume of Luther's Works (LW). A partial translation and explanation of the text can be found here:
In the Instructions concerning Some Articles, published almost cotemporaneously with the writing of this letter [to Pope Leo, March 3, 1519] he makes a statement on some of the topics concerning which his teaching had been misrepresented. It is interesting to observe how gradual is his progress towards the position he ultimately attained. The invocation of saints, Purgatory, even indulgences, with certain qualifications, are approved. Miracles, he thinks, are still performed at the tombs of saints. The great abuse, against which he warns, is that of seeking only temporal and bodily blessings instead of spiritual by their intercession. "Who now invokes them for patience, faith, love, chastity?" Nor should they be invoked as though they had the power, of themselves, to bestow these things; they secure them only by their intercession with God. Indulgences are entirely matters of freedom. No one sins who does not procure them; nor does one obtain merit through their purchase. He who withholds needed help from a poor man in order to purchase an indulgence, mocks God. God's commandments are to be esteemed above those of the Church, as gold and precious stones are to be preferred to wood and stubble.
"A man who swears, curses, slanders, or refuses his neighbour needed assistance is much worse than one who eats meat or does not fast on Friday. Nevertheless both classes of commandments are to be observed; only it is advisable that to prevent their being placed upon an equal footing, some of the ecclesiastical requirements be abolished in a General Council. That the Roman Church is honoured by God above all others is a matter of no doubt, for there Sts. Peter and Paul and forty-six popes, besides many hundred thousand martyrs, have shed their blood. Even though matters might be better at Rome, nevertheless no reason can justify one in separating from this Church. Nay, the worse it is the more should one adhere to it. No sin or evil can be imagined, for the sake of which the bonds of love should be sundered and spiritual unity divided. But as to the power and sovereignty of the Roman See, and as to how far it extends, the learned must decide."
Such was the presentation of the case made by Luther in fulfillment of his promise to Miltitz. But the efforts of the papal nuncio were fruitless.
The quote that "rocked" Steve Ray and pushed him over the Tiber is actually an inauthentic concoction of two bonafide quotes from two different documents. Luther did not actually write "I never approved of a schism, nor will I approve of it for all eternity." Rather, this was something he was recorded as saying in his debate against Eck at Leipzig, and it was in regard to Hus and the Bohemian schism. Does the second part of the quote demonstrate Luther's doublespeak? I can see how someone holding to a Roman worldview may think so. A much more plausible explanation though is how I've explained elsewhere. Rome's defenders often miss what Heinrich Boehmer calls "the conventional, curialistic style" and the accepted means of dialog with Rome. Granted, this second quote is not from a letter, but it does demonstrate that early on Luther was willing to negotiate and interact with Rome in this writing. Luther's view of the heresy of the Roman church was in development. If Rome's defenders can claim, "development of doctrine," I'll simply claim, development of Luther.

Addendum (2017)
This blog entry is a revision of an entry I posted back in 2008. The original can be found here. Because so many sources are now available online, I'm revising older entries by adding additional materials and commentary, and also fixing or deleting dead hyperlinks. Nothing of any significant substance has changed in this entry from that presented in the former, other than that in the original I did not expound on the actual sources of the bogus quote because at the time, I only determined the documentation of the quote was bogus and that there were two quotes in question. Part of the revision was prompted by comments left in this blog entry by Turretinfan who provided information in regard to determining where some of the Luther comments came from. 

In revisiting this entry I did a quick search for "I never approved of a schism" to see what's happened since 2008 or what I may have missed the first time around. I found it being miscited by a Lutheran pastor (2012).  This blogger, who appears to be one of the original perpetrators disseminating this bogus quote, has since added some disclaimers about the faulty information. This disclaimer though does not stop a number of bloggers keeping the miscitation alive:, CatholicSistas, Communio, Protoevangelium, Matt 1618, etc.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

More on the Forthcoming Vatican Luther Stamp

It's been fascinating to watch Rome's defenders react to the possibility of the Vatican issuing a stamp to commemorate Luther and the Reformation. First there was the disbelief that the Vatican would do such a thing. Well, it is going to happen. Here's the official 2017 stamp list. Note #16, "5th Centenary of the Protestant Reformation."

Second, a defender of Rome on a discussion board  thought he came upon the actual Luther stamp: "Did a little research on Italian blogs, and YES, they are, but it is not flattering." Here's what was put forth as the actual stamp:

This spoof stamp appears to be the work of this Twitter user. He tweeted, "I hope the Vatican stamp for Luther to be like this!" I doubt it's going to be.  This picture is from a 1535 woodcut by Eduard Schoen.  Even though this image is popularly thought to depict Luther (the artist depicted the devil playing a bagpipe shaped like a monk), this source points out the there is no proof this woodcut was intended to be Luther.

Third, this blogger has presented the most interesting proof of the Vatican / Luther stamp. An article is cited from the January 2017 issue of l’Arte del Francobollo (the blogger also provides actual pictures of the magazine). He provides an English translation of "an interview with Mauro Olivieri, the director of the Holy See’s Philatelic and Numismatic Office." If this is actually not a fake story, the interview states,
Danilo Bogoni : Through newly issued stamps, the Vatican continues to clear the pages of history previously considered, at the least embarrassing: in 2011 the centenary of the unification of Italy, in this 2017 soon the beginning of the Lutheran Reformation. The issue of which a few years ago was unthinkable with the mark of the crossed keys.
Mauro Olivieri : We have to try to understand the present time and be interpreters of the messages that the Holy Father wishes to convey; with the help and understanding of my Superiors of the Governorate, we develop the idea of a modern philately, which mark the important moments of history: no doubt the issue dedicated to the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation marks the rapprochement and overcoming of mutual misunderstandings between Christians, and the philately there is.
Fourth, most fascinating to me is the continued dialog over on the Catholic Answers Forums. There are still a number of hoots and howls from Roman Catholic participants. This is typical of Rome's cyber-defenders. What makes the discussion interesting is the ecumenically-minded Roman Catholic priest that has to keep reminding everyone about the Vatican's pleasant demeanor towards Martin Luther. Consider:

Jan 21, '17, 5:24 pm
Regular Member
Join Date: July 27, 2015
Posts: 3,487
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: "Vatican to Issue Stamp Featuring Martin Luther"

While I am delighted that the Vatican Post Office has issued a stamp to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, I am far happier:
  • For all the progress made in a new outlook on ecumenism since Unitatis Redintegratio -- more than fifty years ago.
  • That our celebration of the 500th anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther included proclamations by Pope Saint John Paul II, including the proclamation of Martin Luther -- in 1983, but the news seems still not to have reached the Catholic Answers Forum -- that we as Catholics acclaim Martin Luther as "Witness of the Gospel."
  • That Pope Benedict made a pilgrimage commemorating Martin Luther when he was in Erfurt in 2011...where he delivered a most memorable text on Catholic-Lutheran relations, that seems also not have been assimilated by persons on this thread.
  • That the joint commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation -- the planning for which began in earnest during Pope Benedict's visit to Germany in 2005 -- is well underway, thanks to Pope Francis and to PCPCU. It sees Catholic bishops and priests around the world co-presiding with Lutheran Clerics in a commemorative liturgy for the 500th anniversary.
  • That we are blessed to have the document From Conflict to Communion and by the document of the American Bishops, Declaration on the Way and that these will carry us all forward.

I am grateful for what the Popes have done. The Council Fathers have done. The Cardinals have done. The Bishops have done. And what my brother priests have done. That there are some fraction of lay people who either do not know or do not care is too bad for them...but thankfully, the hierarchy is moving forward -- and that is what matters for the Church.

I asked him the following: Is there any sort of infallible statement from the magisterium that binds all Catholics in regard to Luther and the Reformation? If not, why should it ultimately matter "Which dicastery" is followed? Until such defined statements, are not individuals Catholics allowed to have different opinions on non-infallibly defined issues? Here was his response:

 Jan 22, '17, 2:55 pm
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Join Date: July 27, 2015
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Default Re: "Vatican to Issue Stamp Featuring Martin Luther"

Originally Posted by TertiumQuid View Post

Here's a question from an outsider (I am not Catholic)-

Is there any sort of infallible statement from the magisterium that binds all Catholics in regard to Luther and the Reformation? If not, why should it ultimately matter "Which dicastery" is followed? Until such defined statements, are not individuals Catholics allowed to have different opinions on non-infallibly defined issues?
To formulate your first question thus is to not comprehend at all the charism of infallibility and its function in the Church.

My work as a theologian is under the CDF...and I am attentive to all of their communications...just as a priest, I am with those emerging from the Congregation for the Clergy and, most especially, CDWDS and the PCTL as well as the guidance from the Apostolic Penitentiary, even though I am now retired.

For work in the area of dialogue, one is dispositively guided by PCPCU.

Are there requirements that those who are not priests are to follow? Yes, absolutely. In the case of this topic being discussed, they are first articulated in Unitatis Redintegratio and then in The Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism. As was stated in the directory:

6. The new edition of the Directory is meant to be an instrument at the service of the whole Church and especially of those who are directly engaged in ecumenical activity in the Catholic Church. The Directory intends to motivate, enlighten and guide this activity, and in some particular cases also to give binding directives in accordance with the proper competence of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
The diocesan bishops are to assure that the faithful of their diocese are complying with the binding directives from the Holy See.

Thus, a dicastery can issue directives that are, absolutely, binding; they are dispositive.

That has applied to the vast majority -- virtually the entirety -- of norms which I have carried out over the decades...whether in a parish or in a chancery or even, for that matter, in my years in the academy.

He's saying that Roman Catholics are obligated to adhere to the ecumenical approach to Luther. That is, it's time to be nice to Luther. In response to a Roman Catholic not willing to adhere to this obligation, this Roman Catholic priest said what I only wish I could posted on CA (but it would quickly be deleted, and I would be chastised):

Yesterday, 12:56 am
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Default Re: "Vatican to Issue Stamp Featuring Martin Luther"

Originally Posted by Ginny89 View Post
I dont need to read those to form the opinion that celebrating the worst breakup of the church is bizzarre.
Well, then all you are left with is your opinion.

As a priest and a theologian, such uninformed opinions have neither value nor interest.

What is of value and of significance is what the Church teaches and what her mind is on these matters. That is expressed directly by the Holy Father or through the dicasteries that are at his service.

I never thought I would see the day when Rome's private interpreters of Rome get chastised by an actual Roman Catholic priest. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Vatican Issued Luther Stamps?

Here's it is from the rumor mill:

BREAKING: Vatican to issue stamp featuring Martin Luther
January 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — If you happen to receive a piece of mail from the Vatican this year, don’t be surprised to see the face of Martin Luther. The Vatican office charged with issuing stamps, known as the Philatelic and Numismatic Office, confirmed Tuesday to LifeSiteNews that Luther, who broke away from the Catholic Church in a schism 500 years ago, will be celebrated with a postage stamp in 2017. The office is in charge of the annual commission of stamps, coins, and other commemorative medals.
Fake news? A number of websites picked up on this article from Life Site News, including  The Washington Times. Rome's defender Patrick Madrid tweeted, "If true, this is BEYOND surreal. And quite disturbing" (jan. 17).

The folks over on the Catholic Answers forums are befuddled as well:
"Why would they celebrate Martin Luther with a stamp rather than someone who was faithful to our Church? It makes no sense."
"Quite frankly, I just don't know what to say anymore."
" if this happens, we will have exonerated the individual who has done more to damage the Body of Christ than anyone else in the history of the Church."
"I can't believe this! I am fairly open minded and I try to see the good in people things and give them the benefit of the doubt. But this is Pretty crazy."
"I'm all for dialogue with Lutherans, but directly honouring Luther himself is problematic I think. He did both good and bad for the Church...he inspired schism and taught heresy, but he also triggered necessary reforms within the Church itself by calling it out on corruption. All of that aside...I would have issues honouring him as an individual for completely unrelated reasons. For one, he was a raging anti-Semite. Some of what he proposed regarding the treatment of Jews makes my stomach turn."
"If this is true, it's deplorable."
"It is deplorable that the Vatican is holding up Luther as a figure from history for us to remember. The damage done by the so-called Reformation is inestimable in terms of the souls lost to Hell and the terrible destruction wrought by wars as well as cultural evils like contraception, abortion etc. Things are getting worse but the worse of the worse is still to come."
"Shocking, deplorable."
"To commemorate the person of Luther is wrong, as far as I can tell."
This blogger presents some interesting information on this, including a link to the Vatican's upcoming stamps.  If this stamp rumor is true, Rome's current leaders have some explaining to do to Leo X when they meet up with him in Purgatory:

Condemning The Errors Of Martin Luther
Pope Leo X

Bull issued June 15, 1520
Arise, O Lord, and judge your own cause. Remember your reproaches to those who are filled with foolishness all through the day. Listen to our prayers, for foxes have arisen seeking to destroy the vineyard whose winepress you alone have trod. When you were about to ascend to your Father, you committed the care, rule, and administration of the vineyard, an image of the triumphant church, to Peter, as the head and your vicar and his successors. The wild boar from the forest seeks to destroy it and every wild beast feeds upon it.

Rise, Peter, and fulfill this pastoral office divinely entrusted to you as mentioned above.

Give heed to the cause of the holy Roman Church, mother of all churches and teacher of the faith, whom you by the order of God, have consecrated by your blood. Against the Roman Church, you warned, lying teachers are rising, introducing ruinous sects, and drawing upon themselves speedy doom. Their tongues are fire, a restless evil, full of deadly poison. They have bitter zeal, contention in their hearts, and boast and lie against the truth.

We beseech you also, Paul, to arise. It was you that enlightened and illuminated the Church by your doctrine and by a martyrdom like Peter's. For now a new Porphyry rises who, as the old once wrongfully assailed the holy apostles, now assails the holy pontiffs, our predecessors.

Rebuking them, in violation of your teaching, instead of imploring them, he is not ashamed to assail them, to tear at them, and when he despairs of his cause, to stoop to insults. He is like the heretics "whose last defense," as Jerome says, "is to start spewing out a serpent's venom with their tongue when they see that their causes are about to be condemned, and spring to insults when they see they are vanquished." For although you have said that there must be heresies to test the faithful, still they must be destroyed at their very birth by your intercession and help, so they do not grow or wax strong like your wolves. Finally, let the whole church of the saints and the rest of the universal church arise. Some, putting aside her true interpretation of Sacred Scripture, are blinded in mind by the father of lies. Wise in their own eyes, according to the ancient practice of heretics, they interpret these same Scriptures otherwise than the Holy Spirit demands, inspired only by their own sense of ambition, and for the sake of popular acclaim, as the Apostle declares. In fact, they twist and adulterate the Scriptures. As a result, according to Jerome, "It is no longer the Gospel of Christ, but a man's, or what is worse, the devil's."

Let all this holy Church of God, I say, arise, and with the blessed apostles intercede with almighty God to purge the errors of His sheep, to banish all heresies from the lands of the faithful, and be pleased to maintain the peace and unity of His holy Church.

For we can scarcely express, from distress and grief of mind, what has reached our ears for some time by the report of reliable men and general rumor; alas, we have even seen with our eyes and read the many diverse errors. Some of these have already been condemned by councils and the constitutions of our predecessors, and expressly contain even the heresy of the Greeks and Bohemians. Other errors are either heretical, false, scandalous, or offensive to pious ears, as seductive of simple minds, originating with false exponents of the faith who in their proud curiosity yearn for the world's glory, and contrary to the Apostle's teaching, wish to be wiser than they should be.

Their talkativeness, unsupported by the authority of the Scriptures, as Jerome says, would not win credence unless they appeared to support their perverse doctrine even with divine testimonies however badly interpreted. From their sight fear of God has now passed.

These errors have, at the suggestion of the human race, been revived and recently propagated among the more frivolous and the illustrious German nation. We grieve the more that this happened there because we and our predecessors have always held this nation in the bosom of our affection. For after the empire had been transferred by the Roman Church from the Greeks to these same Germans, our predecessors and we always took the Church's advocates and defenders from among them. Indeed it is certain that these Germans, truly germane to the Catholic faith, have always been the bitterest opponents of heresies, as witnessed by those commendable constitutions of the German emperors in behalf of the Church's independence, freedom, and the expulsion and extermination of all heretics from Germany. Those constitutions formerly issued, and then confirmed by our predecessors, were issued under the greatest penalties even of loss of lands and dominions against anyone sheltering or not expelling them. If they were observed today both we and they would obviously be free of this disturbance.

Witness to this is the condemnation and punishment in the Council of Constance of the infidelity of the Hussites and Wyclifites as well as Jerome of Prague. Witness to this is the blood of Germans shed so often in wars against the Bohemians. A final witness is the refutation, rejection, and condemnation—no less learned than true and holy—of the above errors, or many of them, by the universities of Cologne and Louvain, most devoted and religious cultivators of the Lord's field. We could allege many other facts too, which we have decided to omit, lest we appear to be composing a history.

In virtue of our pastoral office committed to us by the divine favor we can under no circumstances tolerate or overlook any longer the pernicious poison of the above errors without disgrace to the Christian religion and injury to orthodox faith. Some of these errors we have decided to include in the present document; their substance is as follows:

1. It is a heretical opinion, but a common one, that the sacraments of the New Law give pardoning grace to those who do not set up an obstacle.

2. To deny that in a child after baptism sin remains is to treat with contempt both Paul and Christ.

3. The inflammable sources of sin, even if there be no actual sin, delay a soul departing from the body from entrance into heaven.

4. To one on the point of death imperfect charity necessarily brings with it great fear, which in itself alone is enough to produce the punishment of purgatory, and impedes entrance into the kingdom.

5. That there are three parts to penance: contrition, confession, and satisfaction, has no foundation in Sacred Scripture nor in the ancient sacred Christian doctors.

6. Contrition, which is acquired through discussion, collection, and detestation of sins, by which one reflects upon his years in the bitterness of his soul, by pondering over the gravity of sins, their number, their baseness, the loss of eternal beatitude, and the acquisition of eternal damnation, this contrition makes him a hypocrite, indeed more a sinner.

7. It is a most truthful proverb and the doctrine concerning the contritions given thus far is the more remarkable: "Not to do so in the future is the highest penance; the best penance, a new life."

8. By no means may you presume to confess venial sins, nor even all mortal sins, because it is impossible that you know all mortal sins. Hence in the primitive Church only manifest mortal sins were confessed.

9. As long as we wish to confess all sins without exception, we are doing nothing else than to wish to leave nothing to God's mercy for pardon.

10. Sins are not forgiven to anyone, unless when the priest forgives them he believes they are forgiven; on the contrary the sin would remain unless he believed it was forgiven; for indeed the remission of sin and the granting of grace does not suffice, but it is necessary also to believe that there has been forgiveness.

11. By no means can you have reassurance of being absolved because of your contrition, but because of the word of Christ: "Whatsoever you shall loose, etc." Hence, I say, trust confidently, if you have obtained the absolution of the priest, and firmly believe yourself to have been absolved, and you will truly be absolved, whatever there may be of contrition.

12. If through an impossibility he who confessed was not contrite, or the priest did not absolve seriously, but in a jocose manner, if nevertheless he believes that he has been absolved, he is most truly absolved.

13. In the sacrament of penance and the remission of sin the pope or the bishop does no more than the lowest priest; indeed, where there is no priest, any Christian, even if a woman or child, may equally do as much.

14. No one ought to answer a priest that he is contrite, nor should the priest inquire.

15. Great is the error of those who approach the sacrament of the Eucharist relying on this, that they have confessed, that they are not conscious of any mortal sin, that they have sent their prayers on ahead and made preparations; all these eat and drink judgment to themselves. But if they believe and trust that they will attain grace, then this faith alone makes them pure and worthy.

16. It seems to have been decided that the Church in common Council established that the laity should communicate under both species; the Bohemians who communicate under both species are not heretics, but schismatics.

17. The treasures of the Church, from which the pope grants indulgences, are not the merits of Christ and of the saints.

18. Indulgences are pious frauds of the faithful, and remissions of good works; and they are among the number of those things which are allowed, and not of the number of those which are advantageous.

19. Indulgences are of no avail to those who truly gain them, for the remission of the penalty due to actual sin in the sight of divine justice.

20. They are seduced who believe that indulgences are salutary and useful for the fruit of the spirit.

21. Indulgences are necessary only for public crimes, and are properly conceded only to the harsh and impatient.

22. For six kinds of men indulgences are neither necessary nor useful; namely, for the dead and those about to die, the infirm, those legitimately hindered, and those who have not committed crimes, and those who have committed crimes, but not public ones, and those who devote themselves to better things.

23. Excommunications are only external penalties and they do not deprive man of the common spiritual prayers of the Church.

24. Christians must be taught to cherish excommunications rather than to fear them.

25. The Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, is not the vicar of Christ over all the churches of the entire world, instituted by Christ Himself in blessed Peter.

26. The word of Christ to Peter: "Whatsoever you shall loose on earth," etc., is extended merely to those things bound by Peter himself.

27. It is certain that it is not in the power of the Church or the pope to decide upon the articles of faith, and much less concerning the laws for morals or for good works.

28. If the pope with a great part of the Church thought so and so, he would not err; still it is not a sin or heresy to think the contrary, especially in a matter not necessary for salvation, until one alternative is condemned and another approved by a general Council.

29. A way has been made for us for weakening the authority of councils, and for freely contradicting their actions, and judging their decrees, and boldly confessing whatever seems true, whether it has been approved or disapproved by any council whatsoever.

30. Some articles of John Hus, condemned in the Council of Constance, are most Christian, wholly true and evangelical; these the universal Church could not condemn.

31. In every good work the just man sins.

32. A good work done very well is a venial sin.

33. That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.

34. To go to war against the Turks is to resist God who punishes our iniquities through them.

35. No one is certain that he is not always sinning mortally, because of the most hidden vice of pride.

36. Free will after sin is a matter of title only; and as long as one does what is in him, one sins mortally.

37. Purgatory cannot be proved from Sacred Scripture which is in the canon.

38. The souls in purgatory are not sure of their salvation, at least not all; nor is it proved by any arguments or by the Scriptures that they are beyond the state of meriting or of increasing in charity.

39. The souls in purgatory sin without intermission, as long as they seek rest and abhor punishment.

40. The souls freed from purgatory by the suffrages of the living are less happy than if they had made satisfactions by themselves.

41. Ecclesiastical prelates and secular princes would not act badly if they destroyed all of the money bags of beggary.

No one of sound mind is ignorant how destructive, pernicious, scandalous, and seductive to pious and simple minds these various errors are, how opposed they are to all charity and reverence for the holy Roman Church who is the mother of all the faithful and teacher of the faith; how destructive they are of the vigor of ecclesiastical discipline, namely obedience. This virtue is the font and origin of all virtues and without it anyone is readily convicted of being unfaithful.

Therefore we, in this above enumeration, important as it is, wish to proceed with great care as is proper, and to cut off the advance of this plague and cancerous disease so it will not spread any further in the Lord's field as harmful thorn-bushes. We have therefore held a careful inquiry, scrutiny, discussion, strict examination, and mature deliberation with each of the brothers, the eminent cardinals of the holy Roman Church, as well as the priors and ministers general of the religious orders, besides many other professors and masters skilled in sacred theology and in civil and canon law. We have found that these errors or theses are not Catholic, as mentioned above, and are not to be taught, as such; but rather are against the doctrine and tradition of the Catholic Church, and against the true interpretation of the sacred Scriptures received from the Church. Now Augustine maintained that her authority had to be accepted so completely that he stated he would not have believed the Gospel unless the authority of the Catholic Church had vouched for it. For, according to these errors, or any one or several of them, it clearly follows that the Church which is guided by the Holy Spirit is in error and has always erred. This is against what Christ at his ascension promised to his disciples (as is read in the holy Gospel of Matthew): "I will be with you to the consummation of the world"; it is against the determinations of the holy Fathers, or the express ordinances and canons of the councils and the supreme pontiffs. Failure to comply with these canons, according to the testimony of Cyprian, will be the fuel and cause of all heresy and schism.

With the advice and consent of these our venerable brothers, with mature deliberation on each and every one of the above theses, and by the authority of almighty God, the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own authority, we condemn, reprobate, and reject completely each of these theses or errors as either heretical, scandalous, false, offensive to pious ears or seductive of simple minds, and against Catholic truth. By listing them, we decree and declare that all the faithful of both sexes must regard them as condemned, reprobated, and rejected….We restrain all in the virtue of holy obedience and under the penalty of an automatic major excommunication....

Moreover, because the preceding errors and many others are contained in the books or writings of Martin Luther, we likewise condemn, reprobate, and reject completely the books and all the writings and sermons of the said Martin, whether in Latin or any other language, containing the said errors or any one of them; and we wish them to be regarded as utterly condemned, reprobated, and rejected. We forbid each and every one of the faithful of either sex, in virtue of holy obedience and under the above penalties to be incurred automatically, to read, assert, preach, praise, print, publish, or defend them. They will incur these penalties if they presume to uphold them in any way, personally or through another or others, directly or indirectly, tacitly or explicitly, publicly or occultly, either in their own homes or in other public or private places.

Indeed immediately after the publication of this letter these works, wherever they may be, shall be sought out carefully by the ordinaries and others [ecclesiastics and regulars], and under each and every one of the above penalties shall be burned publicly and solemnly in the presence of the clerics and people.

As far as Martin himself is concerned, O good God, what have we overlooked or not done? What fatherly charity have we omitted that we might call him back from such errors? For after we had cited him, wishing to deal more kindly with him, we urged him through various conferences with our legate and through our personal letters to abandon these errors. 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. If he had done this, we are certain he would have changed in heart, and he would have recognized his errors. He would not have found all these errors in the Roman Curia which he attacks so viciously, ascribing to it more than he should because of the empty rumors of wicked men. We would have shown him clearer than the light of day that the Roman pontiffs, our predecessors, whom he injuriously attacks beyond all decency, never erred in their canons or constitutions which he tries to assail. For, according to the prophet, neither is healing oil nor the doctor lacking in Galaad.

But he always refused to listen and, despising the previous citation and each and every one of the above overtures, disdained to come. To the present day he has been contumacious. With a hardened spirit he has continued under censure over a year.

What is worse, adding evil to evil, and on learning of the citation, he broke forth in a rash appeal to a future council. This to be sure was contrary to the constitution of Pius II and Julius II our predecessors that all appealing in this way are to be punished with the penalties of heretics. In vain does he implore the help of a council, since he openly admits that he does not believe in a council.
Therefore we can, without any further citation or delay, proceed against him to his condemnation and damnation as one whose faith is notoriously suspect and in fact a true heretic with the full severity of each and all of the above penalties and censures.

Yet, with the advice of our brothers, imitating the mercy of almighty God who does not wish the death of a sinner but rather that he be converted and live, and forgetting all the injuries inflicted on us and the Apostolic See, we have decided to use all the compassion we are capable of. It is our hope, so far as in us lies, that he will experience a change of heart by taking the road of mildness we have proposed, return, and turn away from his errors. We will receive him kindly as the prodigal son returning to the embrace of the Church.

Therefore let Martin himself and all those adhering to him, and those who shelter and support him, through the merciful heart of our God and the sprinkling of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ by which and through whom the redemption of the human race and the upbuilding of holy mother Church was accomplished, know that from our heart we exhort and beseech that he cease to disturb the peace, unity, and truth of the Church for which the Savior prayed so earnestly to the Father. Let him abstain from his pernicious errors that he may come back to us. If they really will obey, and certify to us by legal documents that they have obeyed, they will find in us the affection of a father's love, the opening of the font of the effects of paternal charity, and opening of the font of mercy and clemency.

We enjoin, however, on Martin that in the meantime he cease from all preaching or the office of preacher....

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Debate Tonight: Dr. James White vs. Trent Horn of Catholic Answers

Debate:  "Can Christians Loose Their Salvation?"
Dr. James R. White vs. Trent Horn of Catholic Answers

In celebration of the 500th Year of the Reformation this year:

Debate site:

Live streaming of the debate tonight:

It is a Pre-Conference Debate before the G3 Conference starts.

Video of General issues of the Reformation and G3 Conference:

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Calvin and Luther justified Christians Killing Muslims and Pagans? (Part One)

The title of this post "Calvin and Luther justified Christians Killing Muslims and Pagans?" takes its name from an "Atheism/Agnosticism/Sec Humanism" discussion board comment. At some point on this particular forum a secularist inferred that Calvin and Luther advocated killing Muslims and pagans. The secularist was challenged to provide evidence. To challenge someone for evidence and documentation is justifiable. On the other hand, to do so while boldly claiming "all the atheists around here falsely claiming [Luther] advocated killing Muslims" and "neither one ever advocated killing Muslims, you screwed up," demonstrates that the inquisitor is not fully aware of Reformation history. 

Let's take a brief survey of Luther's attitude towards the Muslims. Luther was in favor of suppressing the Turks invading Europe. See On War Against the Turk, 1529 (LW 46:155-205), so in a basic sense, Luther was in favor of Christian Europe (through the authorities) "killing Muslims." The editors of LW 46 state:
Luther makes it clear that a war against the Turks cannot and must not be a crusade or religiously motivated and led by the church. Emphatically he states that it is not the business of church and clergy to promote and wage warfare. Luther’s concern throughout the book is to teach men how to fight with a clear conscience. In so doing he develops two major points. There are, he says, only two men who may properly fight the Turk. The first of these is the Christian, who by prayer, repentance, and reform of life takes the rod of anger out of God’s hand and compels the Turk to stand on his own strength. The second man who may wage war is the emperor. The Turk has wrongfully attacked the emperor’s subjects, and by virtue of the office to which God has appointed him, the emperor is duty-bound to protect and defend the subjects with whose care God has entrusted him (LW 46:159).
In an eschatological sense, Luther believed that the Muslim's were the tool of the Devil and would suffer an eternal death, so, in that sense Luther was in favor of "killing Muslims" because they were the agents of Satan. See his Preface and Afterword to Brother Richard (1542) in LW 60:251ff. If the inquisitor is looking for some sort of quote from Luther in which he says "A Christian should kill a Muslim walking down the street," I don't recall ever seeing anything like that. What Luther did say was that soldiers were within their right to defend the empire against Islam. Here are a few citations from On War Against the Turks:
"...there are some stupid preachers among us Germans (as I am sorry to hear) who are making the people believe that we ought not and must not fight against the Turks." (LW 46:161)
"I must write so that innocent consciences may no longer be deceived by these slanderers and made suspicious of me or my doctrine, and so they may not be deceived into believing that we must not fight against the Turks."(LW 46:162)
"The second man who ought to fight against the Turk is Emperor Charles, or whoever may be emperor; for the Turk is attacking his subjects and his empire, and it is his duty, as a regular ruler appointed by God, to defend his own." (LW 46:184)
"In the first place, if there is to be war against the Turk, it should be fought at the emperor’s command, under his banner, and in his name. Then everyone can be sure in his conscience that he is obeying the ordinance of God, since we know that the emperor is our true overlord and head and that whoever obeys him in such a case obeys God also, whereas he who disobeys him also disobeys God. If he dies in this obedience, he dies in a good state, and if he has previously repented and believes in Christ, he will be saved." (LW 46:185)
"I do not advise men to wage war against the Turk or the pope because of false belief or evil life, but because of the murder and destruction which he does." (LW 46:198)
"Nevertheless, the emperor should do whatever he can for his subjects against the Turk, so that even though he cannot entirely prevent the abomination, he may nonetheless try to protect and rescue his subjects by checking the Turk and holding him off. The emperor should be moved to do this not only by duty, his office, and God’s command, nor only by the un-Christian and vile government the Turk brings, as has been said above, but also by the misery and wretchedness that befalls his subjects. Doubtlessly they know better than I how cruelly the Turk treats those whom he takes captive. He treats them like cattle, dragging, towing, driving those that can move, and killing on the spot those that cannot move, whether they are young or old."(LW 46:200)
For a helpful overview of Luther's writings against Islam, see, Mark U. Edwards, Luther's Last Battles (Ithica: Cornell University Press, 1983), p.97-114. I suspect Luther would not have any problems with a Muslim who converted to Christianity.

Luther's comments on paganism (particularly witchcraft) will have to wait for another day (in fact, this will certainly be a future blog post). The most popular quote is from Luther's 1526 Exodus sermon in which he translates Exodus 22:18 something like "you shall not permit a witch to live" (WA 16:551). In the same sermon Luther calls killing witches "just" because of the evil and havoc they cause. There are a number of less than charitable comments from Luther about witchcraft. These will be explored in the future.   

It's important to try to avoid anachronism in historical studies. I'm fond of the Reformers, particularly Luther and Calvin, but they were people of their particular time period. The task for those of us in the Reformation tradition is to chew the meat and spit out the bones. Simply because I embrace the Reformation principles of sola fide and sola scriptura and I applaud their efforts against Rome does not mean I have to agree with or condone everything they said or did.

Addendum: Luther Was Pro-Islam?
Contrary to the discussion above, presents yet another batch of spin in their 2013 entry, Exposing Martin Luther’s Love Affair With Islam. is some sort of Anti-Islam pro-Roman Catholic website. Their Reformation information is typically horrid. In this entry they assert, "This will again come as a shock to those whom hold Martin Luther in high esteem, but Luther held Islam and her armies in admiration." They assert Luther only "appears... opposed to Islam on theological grounds" and Luther "is more tolerant towards Islam than he is towards the Jews." Quoting Luther, Shoebat states:

Let the Turk believe and live as he will, just as one lets the papacy and other false Christians live. (On War Against the Turk).

This quote is from On War Against the Turks and can be found at LW 46:185-186. Note what Luther says in context, that the reasons to go to war against Islam is to be based on secular grounds, not spiritual: 
Therefore the urging and inciting with which the emperor and the princes have been stirred up to fight against the Turk ought to cease. He has been urged, as head of Christendom and as protector of the church and defender of the faith, to wipe out the Turk’s religion, and the urging and exhorting have been based on the wickedness and vice of the Turks. Not so! The emperor is not the head of Christendom or defender of the gospel or the faith. The church and the faith must have a defender other than emperor and kings. They are usually the worst enemies of Christendom and of the faith, as Psalm 2 [:2] says and as the church constantly laments. That kind of urging and exhorting only makes things worse and angers God deeply because it interferes with his honor and his work, and would ascribe it to men, which is idolatry and blasphemy.
And if the emperor were supposed to destroy the unbelievers and non-Christians, he would have to begin with the pope, bishops, and clergy, and perhaps not spare us or himself; for there is enough horrible idolatry in his own empire to make it unnecessary for him to fight the Turks for this reason. There are entirely too many Turks, Jews, heathen, and non-Christians among us with open false doctrine and with offensive, shameful lives. Let the Turk believe and live as he will, just as one lets the papacy and other false Christians live. The emperor’s sword has nothing to do with the faith; it belongs to physical, worldly things, if God is not to become angry with us. If we pervert his order and throw it into confusion, he too becomes perverse and throws us into confusion and all kinds of misfortune, as it is written, “With the crooked thou dost show thyself perverse” [Ps. 18:26]. We can perceive and grasp this through the fortune we have had up to now against the Turk. Think of all the heartbreak and misery that have been caused by the cruciata,  by the indulgences, and by crusade taxes. With these Christians have been stirred up to take the sword and fight the Turk when they ought to have been fighting the devil and unbelief with the word and with prayer. (LW 46:185-186) goes on to say:

But that is not all. He even goes so far as to claim that a Muslim ruler (a Turkish ruler) is better than a Christian ruler: A smart Turk makes a better ruler than a dumb Christian.

The probable reason why Shoebat may have not provided a reference is because the statement is apocryphal. goes on to say:

It is no accident since Luther hated Jews and the Pope more than he did the Islamic religion and therefore, despite knowing what was wrong with the Islamic religion theologically and also in terms of what it would do given full swing over Europe, he urged his followers to side with the Muslim Turks in defeating Europe. After calling the Jews and the Pope some foul names such as “Antichrist” and “Devil incarnate”, he then urged his followers to look at the Turks in the best manner and even went so far as to say that some of his German contemporaries (read traitors), “actually want the Turk to come and rule, because they think that our German people are wild and uncivilized – indeed that they are half-devil and half-man” (Found in The Ottoman Empire and early modern Europe, by Daniel Goffman, Cambridge University Press, 2002, p110).

Here is what Goffman actually stated: 

It appears Shoebat's comments are a weird reworking of Goffman in which they took the author's comments and turned them into Luther being thoroughly  pro-Islam. It appears to me that both Goffman and Shoebat have missed the real Luther. Goffman says Luther said the Turk is "the servant of  the devil," and this is somehow supposed to be less condemning than "antichrist" or "devils incarnate"! It is true that Luther did not "consider Mohammend to be the Antichrist" (LW 60:264), but in LW 60 (which came out many years after Goffman's book), Luther refers to "the beast the vile Mohammed to deceive and torment the world" and"the devil's son, Mohammed" (LW 60:263). Luther's view was not halfhearted

Did Luther (as Shoebat says)  "urge his followers" to look to the Turks "in the best manner"? If Shoebat took this from Goffman, he doesn't say this. Here is the text from Luther:
Grace and peace in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.
Serene, highborn prince, gracious lord, for the past five years certain persons have been begging me to write about war against the Turks, and to arouse and encourage our people. Now that the Turk is actually approaching, even my friends are urging me to do this, especially since there are some stupid preachers among us Germans (as I am sorry to hear) who are making the people believe that we ought not and must not fight against the Turks. Some are even so foolish as to say that it is not proper for Christians to bear the temporal sword or to be rulers. Furthermore, some actually want the Turk to come and rule because they think our German people are wild and uncivilized—indeed, that they are half-devil and half-man. The blame for this wicked error among the people is laid on Luther and must be called “the fruit of my gospel,” just as I am blamed for the rebellion, and for every bad thing that happens anywhere in the world. My accusers know better, but—God and his word to the contrary—they pretend not to know better, and they seek occasion to speak evil of the Holy Ghost and of the truth that is openly confessed, so that they may earn the reward of hell and never repent or receive the forgiveness of their sins. (LW 46:161)
In context Luther is mentioning the people negatively provoking him to write, and included in the group is the category described by Shoebat and Goffman. There is no urging to look favorably towards Islam.

Shoebat goes on to blame Lutheran and Protestants in general for the advancement of Islam, and then takes a few closing shots at Luther:

That is why it was so easy for Luther’s followers and the followers of John Calvin to collaborate with the Islamic forces attacking Europe. Luther laid the groundwork for this in his half-hearted statements regarding Islam along with his actions. 

...the followers of Luther and Calvin were willing allies and traitors to the forces of Islam due to the groundwork laid by the Reformers.

... Luther and his evil fruit have been responsible for the Islamic threat that is now threatening the West more than ever before. 

Another evil fruit of Luther’s duplicity with Islam is that many of the Lutheran churches today are anti-Israel and pro-Islamic terrorist.

Suffice to say, Luther has not only been worthy of Lucifer, but also Judas Iscariot and the Antichrist and has shown so by his sympathetic gestures to Islam, despite knowing their theological errors. Any Christian in Lutheran circles today who does not wish to participate in either Luther’s hatred of Jews or his pandering to the antichrist religion of Islam should have the courage to name him as a “firstborn of Satan”, as the Blessed St. John the Apostle named Cerinthus, and hopefully, leave Lutheranism for a genuine Christianity.

For, Luther's allegedly less than condemning attitude toward the Turks led future generations of Protestants to have a sympathy towards Islam! This charge is untrue at its foundation. Luther supported war against the Turks and throughout his writings considered them to be the servants of Satan.  He ended his 1542 treatise saying, "So, then, may God give us his grace and punish both the pope and Mohammed along with their devils" (LW 60:266).