Question About Luther

Discussion in 'Church History' started by nickipicki123, Jul 22, 2019.

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  1. nickipicki123

    nickipicki123 Puritan Board Freshman

    I was listening to a thing earlier from a site I have shared before on this forum. The guy, Jim, said that Luther still prayed to Mary and would have remained a Catholic had the RCs done away with selling indulgences. Has anyone here studied Luther extensively? Is this the case? Did Luther believe a lot of heretical things that would put him outside of the scriptural church?
    Where should I begin if I want to find these things out for myself?

    You'll hear the audio if you go to this website and ctrl+F (or command+F for Apple computer) "Pt#2 of 11 Young Man's Journey out of Man Made Religion" and in it they talk about how Protestants shouldn't have tried to "Reform" something that was wicked to begin with, and Calvin and Luther were murderous men, etc etc.

    Thank you.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  2. nickipicki123

    nickipicki123 Puritan Board Freshman

    @psycheives same people we were talking about the other day.
  3. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    How can he say what would have happened had something else happened? It's just absurd.

    Luther's complaint began with Indulgences. He saw the sheep in his care misled and suffering under religious bondage. When he wrote the 95 Theses, Luther was firmly convinced of the authority of the Pope. He sincerely thought the pope could not be such a bad guy, and that it was the underlings causing all the trouble. You can see that in the language of the 95 Theses. Luther's opinion began to change once he saw the pope coming out in support of the Indulgence-sellers. Eventually, Luther came to regard the pope as antichrist. (Wyclif had undergone a similar change of thinking, formerly a diehard supporter of the papacy, then at the end of his life condemning the very office.)
    We cannot say what would have happened had the Roman Church listened to Luther on Indulgences. The historical fact is that they did not, and the Reformation resulted. More immediately, Luther's own views began to change.
    He did not. The ones who consider him heretics are the Roman Catholics, who lost no time excommunicating him. (Frank has lately muddied those waters.)

    Luther, once a Protestant, did not pray to Mary. I wonder if this Jim fellow quoted any sources.
    This just sounds odd. I wouldn't pay these men too much mind.

    I recommend Luther's own writings. The Commentary on Galatians is a treasure. You'll get a good sense of the man there, enough to brush aside frivolous accusations like those above.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  4. nickipicki123

    nickipicki123 Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you, Mr. Hart! Jim only referenced the 95 Theses but didn't give a direct quote.
  5. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    If you only read the 95 Theses, then you'll think Luther was an ardent papist. And he was, when he wrote them. He changed.
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  6. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    On one hand Luther wouldn't be ordained in a Reformed church, especially the very early Luther. Let's not try to whitewash him. His sacramentology and Christology sounds Eastern Orthodox at times.

    On the other hand, you can ignore people when they say, "Had situation x been different, person y might have done elsewise." Of course he would. That's true in almost every situation. Who cares?

    Now, if they provide evidence for their claim, that's something else.
  7. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    This site has a wealth of primary and secondary information about Luther.
    You will find material there (do a site search) for entries about Virgin Mary.

    The site began (If I recall correctly) as an answer to common RC talking-points, which are usually filled with false-witness. Luther's comments (what he actually said) are often ignored, misquoted, selectively quoted, decontextualized, repurposed, and otherwise perverted. And sometimes there's no evidence whatever that he said or wrote what is attributed to him.

    (I think the man who originally set up the site is/was a PB member)
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  8. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    It’s also bad history.
  9. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    Exactly. My degree is in history and one of my professors was fond of saying, ‘just worry about figuring out what DID happen. Leave the ‘what ifs’ to the political science department.’
  10. Poimen

    Poimen Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    It is well know that Luther regularly invoked them in his early, Christian life (including St. Anne & Mary). And as late as 1517 Luther, in his teaching on the 10 commandments, "did not object to prayers to the saints." (What Luther Says, page 1083 f. 8)

    In some places, though, he seems to discourage people from this practice, noting that scripture calls Christ our one mediator.

    And by 1530, Luther could write: "As it is not proper in the matter of divine worship for us to do anything that is not commanded by God (and that whoever does is putting God to the test), it is therefore also not advisable or tolerable for one to call upon the saints for intercession or to teach others to do so. In fact, it is to be condemned and people taught to avoid it. Therefore, I also will not advise it and burden my conscience with the iniquities of others. It was difficult for me to stop from worshipping the saints as I was so steeped in it to have nearly drowned. But the light of the gospel is now shining so brightly that from now on no one has an excuse for remaining in the darkness. We all very well know what we are to do.

    This is itself a very risky and blasphemous way to worship for people are easily accustomed to turning away from Christ. They learn quickly to trust more in the saints than in Christ himself. When our nature is already all too prone to run from God and Christ, and trust in humanity, it is indeed difficult to learn to trust in God and Christ, even though we have vowed to do so and are therefore obligated to do so. Therefore, this offense is not to be tolerated whereby those who are weak and of the flesh participate in idolatry, against the first commandment and our baptism. Even if one tries nothing other than to switch their trust from the saints to Christ, through teaching and practice, it will be difficult to accomplish, that one should come to him and rightly take hold of him. One need not paint the Devil on the door—he will already be present..."


    He also states that "[the apostolic] church would not even tolerate the pictures of saints, and much blood was shed in the controversy about them, to say nothing about worshipping and invoking saints, honors due to God alone." (What Luther Said, 1254)

    It appears, then, that he gave this practice up by degrees and adopted a stricter, or more biblical position later on.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  11. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    I was at a Reformation Day party once where the 95 theses were passed around, each person reading a thesis aloud and then passing it to the next. Everyone became very uncomfortable very quickly!!
  12. James Swan

    James Swan Puritan Board Freshman

    Hi, thanks for the link. Yes I visit here from time to time. The "Luther was devoted to Mary" thing is one of my favorite topics. I've been dealing with it now for over a decade. You can see the result of my interest in this topic here. I think I've been through almost everything Luther's said about Mary, particularly the quotes Rome's defenders use.

    Luther abandoned praying to Mary and the intercession of the saints early on in his Reformation career, sometime in the early 1520's. Most of Rome's defenders admit this... but that doesn't stop them from saying stuff like, "Luther was deeply devoted to Mary his entire life." One of the most interesting and humorous example of the lengths Rome's defenders will go is to claim Luther "praised" or "venerated" Mary in his last sermon at Wittenberg at the end of his life. The context though shows the opposite: Luther's point was that Christ alone should be worshiped, and he mocks those who call upon Mary and venerate her!

    I would've liked to have heard exactly what was said in "Young Man's Journey out of Man Made Religion"... but I could not locate the link to listen. If anyone has link, please post it for me, or send it to me.

    I've gone through a lot of Luther myths and controversy, so much so, that I've sort of run out of them. I've moved on to Calvin, particularly all the stuff about Calvin's Geneva and the charge he was a tyrant.

    Regards, James
  13. nickipicki123

    nickipicki123 Puritan Board Freshman

    Here it is:
  14. James Swan

    James Swan Puritan Board Freshman

    As per your earlier post, I listened to "Pt#2 of 11 Young Man's Journey out of Man Made Religion." I did not hear any comments about Martin Luther, indulgences, or Mary.

    I did though find the hosting website itself troubling. The owners of the website claim,

    "We were false converts in man's modern denominational religion for many years. There was a time some years back that we felt a great stir in us to seek greater truth in God's Holy Word. As we did, we began to see how sinful, worldly, carnal and in error we really were. We were never taught the full truth by denominational religion and were far outside of God's Holy ways (Romans 3:23) and His truth, as we were practicing man's religious ways. This deeply convicted us."


    "... we saw through the many falsehoods and lies of the man made denominational religious systems that had fooled us for so long. Not long after seeing those in our denominational body totally rejected God's full truth, we left their error to seek God's true ways. Today we have and seek the true New Testament biblical church over man made religion that we see on every corner in America. (We are not linked to any religious organization.)"

    As far as I can figure these folks out, they are against organized churches, or at least denominations. I noted a number of comments in the ten minute clip I did listen to that were disparaging towards an organized church. I would be extremely cautious with these people. Take whatever it is they say with less than a grain of salt.


    Edited to add: Here's what this website is saying-
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  15. James Swan

    James Swan Puritan Board Freshman

    OK, I found the comment, it's in part 3. The host is making the point that Luther sounded very "Catholic" in the 95 Theses. The host points out a number of Roman Catholic things in the 95 Theses and then asserts if the Papacy would've fixed indulgences, Luther would have remained in the Roman Catholic Church.

    Yes, it's true Luther sounded very Roman "Catholic." This link may help you understand what was going on in the 95 Theses. It was a bit more complicated than simply indulgences. Luther actually challenged the power of Papacy as well.
  16. nickipicki123

    nickipicki123 Puritan Board Freshman

    Yeah they are against organized checked, which has also caused some confusion for be because I wonder if their concerns are biblically justified.
  17. Kinghezy

    Kinghezy Puritan Board Freshman

  18. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

  19. Relztrah

    Relztrah Puritan Board Freshman

    They sound like Jesus People straight out of the 70's. Been there, done that, got the T shirt.
  20. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I can refute their worldview in one question: given their presuppositions, how can elders exercise the keys of the kingdom?

    Everyone talks about "being a Berean." That's great. For many of these lone wolf Christians, it's simply a smoke screen for their own carnal passions.
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  21. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I wasn't trying to be super mean with my comments, but those who are divisive and do not submit to lawful authority usually manifest the works of the flesh.
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