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Luther and Africa
Patheos.Com ^ | 9/3/2020 | GENE VEITH

Posted on 09/28/2020 1:31:24 PM PDT by Gamecock

Wheaton theology professor Jennifer Powell McNutt, in her article An Unsung Inspiration for the Protestant Reformation: the Ethiopian Church, recounts how the Reformation–far from being an exercise in individualism–saw itself in the context of the historical church and global Christianity.  The Reformers looked to the Orthodox churches of the East and of Africa as providing a precedent for many of their reforms.

When Rome insisted that there can be no church without a Pope, the Reformers pointed to the Orthodox churches, which have no Pope and whose practices pre-date those of Medieval Catholicism.  Those churches do not emphasize Purgatory and do not sell indulgences.  They do not worship in Latin.  Their clergy could marry.  And yet even Rome admitted that the Eastern churches, despite the Great Schism of 1054 at the very beginning of the Medieval era, were true churches.

Luther was especially interested in the Orthodox church of Ethiopia, which he believed was founded by the Ethiopian eunuch of Acts 8, making it one of the most ancient of all church bodies.  Luther mentioned Ethiopia 85 times in his writings.  Luther was even visited in 1534 by an Ethiopian cleric, Michael the Deacon.

Here is the account in Wikipedia of that meeting:

In 1534, Michael the Deacon travelled to Wittenberg and met with Martin Luther, a leader in the Reformation.[2][3] During the meeting, the two compared the Lutheran Mass with that used by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and found that they were in agreement with one another.[1][4] Michael the Deacon also affirmed Luther’s Articles of the Christian Faith as a “good creed”.[3][1] As such, the Lutheran Churches extended full communion to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.[5][1]

Prof. McNutt summarizes Luther’s interest in Ethiopia:

Luther marveled at how the churches of Armenia, Ethiopia, and India had avoided the private masses that developed in the West since Gregory the Great’s time. Luther also regarded it significant that, before there was a “pope,” there were the bishops of Ethiopia, Syria, Antioch, and Rome. The Orthodox branches were a link back to a purer, more apostolic era.

The church of Ethiopia, especially, was mentioned among early modern Christians. Some scholars have noted that Luther mentions Ethiopia at least 85 times in his written works. (It was a common though mistaken belief to view Ethiopia as the first Christian kingdom. That belief was based on a particular reading of Acts 8.) Luther’s esteem only grew after he was visited by Michael the Deacon, an Ethiopian cleric, in 1534. As Daniels explains,

For Luther, the Church of Ethiopia had more fidelity to the Christian tradition. … Thus, the Church in Europe needed to be reformed in the direction of the Church of Ethiopia. Possibly for Luther the Church of Ethiopia was proof that his reform of the Church in Europe had both a biblical and a historical basis.

To Luther, “Ethiopia” symbolized the church, and one of the most valued legacies that the Reformers identified within the Ethiopian church was its insistence on maintaining the Bible in the common language.

The church of Ethiopia had the Bible in its own language, as did other Orthodox churches, and this became an important precedent for the principle of vernacular Bible translations.

Later, in the 1570s, Lutheran theologians, led by Jacob Andreae–one of the key contributors to the Book of Concord–began a correspondence with the Patriarch of Constantinople, sending him a Greek translation of the Augsburg Confession in an effort to find common ground.

But there were more differences between Lutheranism and Eastern Orthodoxy than the early Reformers had realized, particularly regarding the authority of Scripture and justification by faith alone.  (See this account of those early theological dialogues.  For the original sources, go here.)

But it is surely significant that today, the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus [place of Jesus], with 9 million members, is the largest Lutheran church body in the world.

TOPICS: Ecumenism; General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: acts; bible; christian; ethiopia; luther; orthodox; reformation

1 posted on 09/28/2020 1:31:24 PM PDT by Gamecock
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To: Gamecock; lightman

Sadly, EECMY is a member of the LWF.

2 posted on 09/28/2020 1:47:15 PM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Scatology is serendipitous.)
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To: Gamecock
do not sell indulgences

Nobody has sold indulgences for 500 years.

And Protestantism has practically nothing in common with any of the ancient churches of the East, except that neither of them are in communion with the Pope of Rome. 95% of what Protestants so strenuously object to in Catholicism is found in Orthodoxy, sometimes with much greater intensity.

For example: Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos. Scroll down to "Canon Ode One" if you don't believe me.

3 posted on 09/28/2020 1:47:26 PM PDT by Campion (What part of "shall not be infringed" don't they understand?)
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To: Gamecock
Their clergy could marry.

I don't believe this is correct. Married men could become priests, but priests cannot get married in Orthodoxy.

4 posted on 09/28/2020 1:48:12 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Gamecock
That is a very interesting connection for sure.

Its also curious though that the largest Bible- the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible has always had even more books in their Liturgy than any other Christian Church ... including one more Maccabees book than even the 2 Macs the Western Church has always had. Of which, the reformers decided to jettison from the Canon altogether.

Perhaps Luther, as a biblical scholar, saw merit in these books as it related to the Ethiopian Church back then as well... only to have them discarded many years later.
5 posted on 09/28/2020 2:08:26 PM PDT by MurphsLaw (For GOD sent not his Son into the world to Condemn the world, But through him the world be Saved)
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To: MurphsLaw, Video of Brazilian guitar and vocals.

I'm critical of Luther, like E. Michael Jones. But my culture is Lutheran, especially Bach.

Toquinho – Chorando pra Pixinguinha

Posted on by

Carroll Quigley stated in the Evolution of Civilizations that material artifacts cross borders between civilizations more easily than cultural ones. (Some time between Russian Tsar Peter the Great’s “Great Embassy” to the West and the 1859 founding of the Russian Musical Society by the Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna, Western art music artifacts crossed the border into the Orthodox Civilization of Russia.) In the case of the J.S. Bach inheritance from the Protestant-Capitalist civilization to the Catholic and African civilization of Brazil, a set of cultural artifacts was successfully transplanted into Brazilian music largely by the influence of Heitor Villa-Lobos. In the instance of Chorando pra Pixinguinha, there is a Luthern chorale-type core with a Bach-like obligato.
Toquiño – Llorando por Pixinguiña
Cry for Pishinguinya

Meu velho amigo
Chorão primeiro
Tão Rio antigo
Tão brasileiro

Teu companheiro
Chora contigo
Toda a dor de ter vivido
O que não volta nunca mais
E na emoção deste chorinho carinhoso
Te pede uma bênção de amor e de paz

Mi viejo amigo
Llora primero
Tan río viejo
Tan brasileño

Tu compañera
Llora contigo
Todo el dolor de haber vivido
Lo que nunca vuelve
Y en la emoción de este choriño cariñoso
Pedirle una bendición de amor y paz.

My old friend
Primal Cry
River so old
So Brazilian

Your companion
Cry with you
All the pain of having lived
What never comes back
And in the emotion of this affectionate cry
Ask you for a blessing of love and peace

6 posted on 09/28/2020 2:30:33 PM PDT by CharlesOConnell (CharlesOConnell)
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To: CharlesOConnell

I just found it interesting history.....

7 posted on 09/28/2020 2:41:11 PM PDT by MurphsLaw (For GOD sent not his Son into the world to Condemn the world, But through him the world be Saved)
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To: Campion
Nobody has sold indulgences for 500 years.

True, there was a lapse in the practice. But now, you can buy carbon credits to soothe your conscience when you use too much energy.

8 posted on 09/28/2020 2:42:49 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: CharlesOConnell
Waldir Azevedo, mandolin. Chorando pra Pixinguinha (Pishinguinya).

9 posted on 09/28/2020 2:44:11 PM PDT by CharlesOConnell (CharlesOConnell)
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To: Gamecock

Kinda scratchin my head over this one. The Ethiopian liturgy it is. Take a look and see if it reminds you of any Reformed service:

Also, it is in “their” language, yes, sorta, but not their modern language. The liturgy is in ancient Ge’ez, while the Ethiopians spoke Amharic since well before Luther’s day. The situation was closely analogous to Latin in the Western extinct liturgical language used only for divine service.

10 posted on 09/28/2020 3:05:12 PM PDT by Claud
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To: Gamecock

Or Michael was just an Ethiopian heretic as Luther was a Protestant heretic.

“Deacon Michael’s agreement with Evangelical Lutheran teaching, insofar as he
understood it, might be explained in part by the continuing influence of the fifteenth-century
“Stephanite” movement within Ethiopian Orthodoxy. The founder of this movement was the
monk Estifanos of Gwendagwende, who “led a renewal movement emphasizing grace and mercy
in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church thirty years before Martin Luther led a similar movement in
the West.”39 The Stephanites were “against the mixing of state and the church,” and “the cults of
the cross and Mary” were also “very distasteful” to the Stephanites, who “chose to confine their
theology with the worship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, rejecting anything beyond this.”40
The Stephanites were persecuted and suppressed, and by the time of Deacon Michael’s visit to
Wittenberg they had ceased to exist as a quantifiable movement. We cannot help but think,
however, that Michael may very well have been under the lingering influence of at least some of
their teachings and principles.”

11 posted on 09/28/2020 3:19:26 PM PDT by vladimir998 ( Apparently I'm still living in your head rent free. At least now it isn't empty.)
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To: MurphsLaw; Gamecock

“Perhaps Luther, as a biblical scholar, saw merit in these books as it related to the Ethiopian Church back then as well... only to have them discarded many years later.”

Do those 7 books belong in the Old or New Covenant?

If they are Old Covenant theology how exactly does that pertain to a New Covenant Christian?

If they are New Covenant books please explain this...
How are they New Covenant when they are clearly before Jesus Christ was manifested in the flesh at Bethlehem?

What theological significance such as salvation, heaven, or hell do they bring to the New Covenant that wasn’t clearly explained in our current New Testament?

I have asked this question several times before and never get and answer, so are you just a mouth piece or can you answer it?

Please help me to understand why you rcc’s hang on to those 7 books like they contain the ultimate secrets to eternal life or eternal hell.

12 posted on 09/28/2020 9:05:37 PM PDT by mrobisr (Romans 10:9-11 it's that simple)
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