Skip to comments.HAPPY REFORMATION DAY
Posted on 10/31/2022 5:45:07 AM PDT by tanstaafl.72555
I felt that I was a sinner before God with an extremely disturbed conscience. I could not believe that he was placated by my satisfaction. I did not love, yes, I hated the righteous God who punishes sinners, and secretly, if not blasphemously, certainly murmuring greatly, I was angry with God, and said, "As if, indeed, it is not enough, that miserable sinners, eternally lost through original sin, are crushed by every kind of calamity by the law of the decalogue, without having God add pain to pain by the gospel and also by the gospel threatening us with his righteousness and wrath!"
(Excerpt) Read more at monergism.com ...
It was primarily a protest against "indulgences" which was a church practice/teaching that contributions could lead to a better eternal state for your deceased loved ones. Luther challenged this teaching, and the root out of which they grew, which was that the church had at its disposal a "treasury of merit" which tipped the balance of good v bad in a person's life, so that it could apply those merits to a soul suffering in "purgatory." This debate was never enjoined, yet it morphed into a shockwave of such gigantic social, political and economic dimensions that the entire culture was transformed. More specifically, though, this was NOT primarily a nationalistic, political or social movement at the core. At the core, this was a RELIGIOUS fracas, over the simple question of "how is a man right with God?" It literally changed everything about the way we lived, and still reverberates today.
Luther himself was a giant of a man with terrible flaws. He spent the last 30 or so years of his life writing, writing, writing, translating the bible, and then writing it, and writing writing writing. Problem with that is that the ink of the day was filled with so many toxic compounds that most historians think he simply was insane when he died. He certainly morphed into an emotionally labile and out of control emotionally unstable man (the pogroms against the Jews by the Nazis were actually mostly implementations of his rants and prescriptions of what to do).
Some protestants are squeamish and try to avoid this topic. I rather think they are reminders that there are no "heroes" housed in human flesh, but rather weak, twisted and corrupted people who desperately need forgiveness based on faith in Christ, alone. Luther would be the first man in his day to admit this doctrine, which was clearly the teachings of the church, before it was corrupted and became a system of merits and demerits. I love him for it.
Luther was NOT a "schismatic" (this is a lie of the Roman Church, which Luther wished NOT to leave, but to reform). The "dialogue" which Luther wished wound up being
"do you renounce this stuff about righteousness being by faith?" "I cannot. It is in the bible" "Then you are excommunicated and pronounced damned forever" "well then, I also excommunicate YOU, and prounce you damned forever" "you can't do that... we are the CHURCH" "no, as long as you are antigospel, you are antichrist."
Note that Luther did not announce that all in the Roman Church were lost, just the abominable leadership. He, like many protestants after him (including myself) believed that there were many of God's people in the Roman sect... but they were Christians DESPITE the church rather than because of it.
Get to know your history. It is a far more beneficial topic than the latest blurb on the internet about witchcraft or satanism so in vogue around today's date.
A blessed Reformation to you, too.
Eph 2: 8-10
Yet distinctive Catholic teachings are not manifest in the only wholly God-inspired, substantive, authoritative record of what the NT church believed (which is Scripture, in particular Acts through Revelation, which best shows how the NT church understood the gospels)
It is penitent, heart-purifying, regenerating effectual faith, (Acts 10:43-47; 15:7-9) which is imputed for righteousness, (Romans 4:5) and is shown in baptism and following the Lord, (Acts 2:38-47; Jn. 10:27,28) who was sent by the Father to be the savior of the world. (1 John 4:14) And by which faith the redeemed soul is "accepted in the Beloved" and positionally seated with Him in Heaven, on His account, glory to God. (Ephesians 1:6; 2:6; cf. Phil. 3:21) And those who die in that obedient faith will go to be forever with Him at death or His return (Phil 1:23; 2Cor. 5:8 [“we”]; Heb, 12:22,23; 1Cor. 15:51ff'; 1Thess. 4:17) In contrast to those who were never born of the Spirit or who terminally fall away. (Gal. 5:1-4; Heb. 3:12; 10:25-39)
So grateful God used Blessed Saint Martin Luther - as imperfect a man as every other God called - to recover the Gospel of Grace and set His Word free, that ordinary souls could read it and be saved!
While the Day of the Wittenburg door marks the beginning of the Reformation in terms of historic notice, the date of Dr. Luther’s conversion and the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession are both just as pivotal, if not moreso.
A Lutheran parish today that practices the liturgy of the Gospel way easily be mistaken for, if not accused of, being “too Roman Catholic.”
Soli Deo Gloria!
Here I stand. I can do no other.
Blessings to all on this reformation day.
Meanwhile, I had already during that year returned to interpret the Psalter anew. I had confidence in the fact that I was more skilful, after I had lectured in the university on St. Paul's epistles to the Romans, to the Galatias, and the one to the Hebrews. I had indeed been captivated with an extraordinary ardor for understanding Paul in the Epistle to the Romans. But up till then it was not the cold blood about the heart, but a single word in Chapter 1, "In it the righteousness of God is revealed," that had stood in my way. For I hated that word "righteousness of God," which, according to the use and custom of all the teachers, I had been taught to understand philosophically regarding the formal or active righteousness, as they call it, with which God is righteous and punishes the unrighteous sinner. Though I lived as a monk without reproach, I felt that I was a sinner before God with an extremely disturbed conscience. I could not believe that he was placated by my satisfaction. I did not love, yes, I hated the righteous God who punishes sinners, and secretly, if not blasphemously, certainly murmuring greatly, I was angry with God, and said, "As if, indeed, it is not enough, that miserable sinners, eternally lost through original sin, are crushed by every kind of calamity by the law of the decalogue, without having God add pain to pain by the gospel and also by the gospel threatening us with his righteousness and wrath!" Thus I raged with a fierce and troubled conscience. Nevertheless, I beat importunately upon Paul at that place, most ardently desiring to know what St. Paul wanted. At last, by the mercy of God, meditating day and night, I gave heed to the context of the words, namely, "In it the righteousness of God is revealed, as it is written, 'He who through faith is righteous shall live.'" There I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely by faith. And this is the meaning: the righteousness of God is revealed by the gospel, namely, the passive righteousness with which merciful God justifies us by faith, as it is written, "He who through faith is righteous shall live." Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates. There a totally other face of the entire Scripture showed itself to me. Thereupon I ran through the Scripture from memory. I also fount in other terms an analogy, as, the work of God, that is what God does in us, the power of God, with which he makes us wise, the strength of God, the salvation of God, the glory of God. And I extolled my sweetest word with a love as great as the hatred with which I had before hated the word "righteousness of God." Thus that place in Paul was for me truly the gate to paradise.
This event was the spark plug for a recovery of the gospel in the church as a whole. We could sure stand another one today!
Note that Luther did not announce that all in the Roman Church were lost, just the abominable leadership.
And many Catholics today agree with most of Luther's 95 Theses.
Johann Tetzel responded to the Theses by calling for Luther to be burnt for heresy...Luther was summoned by authority of the pope to defend himself against charges of heresy before Thomas Cajetan at Augsburg in October 1518. Cajetan did not allow Luther to argue with him over his alleged heresies, but he did identify two points of controversy. The first was against the 58th thesis, which stated that the pope could not use the treasury of merit to forgive temporal punishment of sin. This contradicted the papal bull Unigenitus promulgated by Clement VI in 1343. The second point was whether one could be assured that they had been forgiven when their sin had been absolved by a priest. Luther's Explanations on thesis seven asserted that one could based on God's promise, but Cajetan argued that the humble Christian should never presume to be certain of their standing before God. Luther refused to recant and requested that the case be reviewed by university theologians. This request was denied, so Luther appealed to the pope before leaving Augsburg. Luther was finally excommunicated in 1521 after he burned the papal bull threatening him to recant or face excommunication. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninety-five_Theses#Reaction
This was NOT meant as an attack on the Roman Church (I might just as easily attack the modern protestant church at the same time, as our situation is quite horrible!), but as a celebration of the gospel itself revealed to a man of amazing strengths and phenomenal weaknesses. Here is his account of his conversion.
It is bringing a soul to the place of conviction of sin and abasement that is the greatest work. A man in fear of drowning does not need much instruction on how to grasp a life preserver, but when frolicking in the waters of shark infested waters then one is careless about his need for salvation. And sharks include purveyors of false gospels.
Luther had his Melancthon.
The modern-day Lutheran church needs more Melancthons.
—> The modern-day Lutheran church needs more Melancthons.
… not to mention needing Luther again
“He who through faith is righteous shall live.” Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates. There a totally other face of the entire Scripture showed itself to me. Thereupon I ran through the Scripture from memory. I also fount in other terms an analogy, as, the work of God, that is what God does in us, the power of God, with which he makes us wise, the strength of God, the salvation of God, the glory of God. And I extolled my sweetest word with a love as great as the hatred with which I had before hated the word “righteousness of God.” Thus that place in Paul was for me truly the gate to paradise.
That is so beautiful that I had to grab a Kleenex. I could almost feel Luther’s heart pounding with joy as I read it.
Yes. One thing I have also learned in this is the fable believed by many protestants that Luther was the “first” to rediscover the gospel in the medieval church. Waldo, Bernard of Clairvaux, Jan Hus, John Wyckliffe, and I would even say Thomas Aquinas with MANY others, all are lights of clarity, grace, and faithfulness to the gospel, though there are points on which I would disagree with most of them.
Bottom line, we need to pray that God would raise up men to be lights to our poor, deluded, apostate culture. Reformation day is the spur I need to remember this.
Excellent post, Daniel.
You’ve got a great very short lesson on the real need of a Savior in so few words. I’m saving it for later use, if you don’t mind.
Yes. One thing I have also learned in this is the fable believed by many protestants that Luther was the “first” to rediscover the gospel in the medieval church. Waldo, Bernard of Clairvaux, Jan Hus, John Wyckliffe, and I would even say Thomas Aquinas with MANY others, all are lights of clarity, grace, and faithfulness to the gospel, though there are points on which I would disagree with most of them
Jaroslav Pelikan (Lutheran, later Eastern Orhodox), The Riddle of Roman Catholicism (New York: Abingdon Press, 1959), also found:
"Recent research on the Reformation entitles us to sharpen it and say that the Reformation began because the reformers were too catholic in the midst of a church that had forgotten its catholicity..."
“The reformers were catholic because they were spokesmen for an evangelical tradition in medieval catholicism, what Luther called "the succession of the faithful." The fountainhead of that tradition was Augustine (d. 430). His complex and far-reaching system of thought incorporated the catholic ideal of identity plus universality, and by its emphasis upon sin and grace it became the ancestor of Reformation theology. … All the reformers relied heavily upon Augustine. They pitted his evangelical theology against the authority of later church fathers and scholastics, and they used him to prove that they were not introducing novelties into the church, but defending the true faith of the church.”
“...To prepare books like the Magdeburg Centuries they combed the libraries and came up with a remarkable catalogue of protesting catholics and evangelical catholics, all to lend support to the insistence that the Protestant position was, in the best sense, a catholic position.
Additional support for this insistence comes from the attitude of the reformers toward the creeds and dogmas of the ancient catholic church. The reformers retained and cherished the doctrine of the Trinity and the doctrine of the two natures in Christ which had developed in the first five centuries of the church….”
“If we keep in mind how variegated medieval catholicism was, the legitimacy of the reformers' claim to catholicity becomes clear. (Pelikan, pp. 46-47)
"Substantiation for this understanding of the gospel came principally from the Scriptures, but whenever they could, the reformers also quoted the fathers of the catholic church. There was more to quote than their Roman opponents found comfortable." (Pelikan 48-49).
However, Scripture, tradition and history can only assuredly consist of and mean what Rome may say they do, and which is the real basis for the veracity of Rome for a RC. Thus no less than Cardinal Manning stated,
• "It was the charge of the Reformers that the Catholic doctrines were not primitive, and their pretension was to revert to antiquity. But the appeal to antiquity is both a treason and a heresy. It is a treason because it rejects the Divine voice of the Church at this hour, and a heresy because it denies that voice to be Divine....The only Divine evidence to us of what was primitive is the witness and voice of the Church at this hour." — Most Rev. Dr. Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, Lord Archbishop of Westminster, The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost: Or Reason and Revelation (New York: J.P. Kenedy & Sons, originally written 1865, pp. 227,28
And which means that the basis for the veracity of church teaching does not rest upon Scriptural warrant, but upon the novel and unScriptural premise of ensured perpetual magisterial infallibility, which is unseen and unnecessary in Scripture.
• Newman: "in all cases the immediate motive in the mind of a Catholic for his reception of them is, not that they are proved to him by Reason or by History, but because Revelation has declared them by means of that high ecclesiastical Magisterium which is their legitimate exponent.” — John Henry Newman, “A Letter Addressed to the Duke of Norfolk on Occasion of Mr. Gladstone's Recent Expostulation.” 8. The Vatican Council
Thus Rome can even declare something to be a matter of binding belief that was so lacking in testimony from early tradition that her own scholars disallowed it as being part of apostolic tradition.
• As Ratzinger states,
Before Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven was defined, all theological faculties in the world were consulted for their opinion. Our teachers' answer was emphatically negative . What here became evident was the one-sidedness, not only of the historical, but of the historicist method in theology. “Tradition” was identified with what could be proved on the basis of texts. Altaner , the patrologist from Wurzburg…had proven in a scientifically persuasive manner that the doctrine of Mary’s bodily Assumption into heaven was unknown before the 5C ; this doctrine, therefore, he argued, could not belong to the “apostolic tradition. And this was his conclusion, which my teachers at Munich shared .
This argument is compelling if you understand “tradition” strictly as the handing down of fixed formulas and texts [meaning having actual substance in history]…But if you conceive of “tradition” as the living process whereby the Holy Spirit introduces us to the fullness of truth and teaches us how to understand what previously we could still not grasp (cf. Jn 16:12-13), then subsequent “remembering” (cf. Jn 16:4, for instance) can come to recognize what it has not caught sight of [even bcz there was nothing to see] previously and was already handed down [invisibly, without evidence] in the original Word,” — J. Ratzinger, Milestones (Ignatius, n.d.), 58-59 (words in [brackets] are mine).
Therefore Rome can claim to "remember" a fable that only is evidenced as being a later development and make what at best warranted only speculation into a binding doctrine over 1700 years after the event allegedly occurred. But it can be held as such because,
"The mere fact that the Church teaches the doctrine of the Assumption as definitely true is a guarantee that it is true.” — Karl Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1988), p. 275.
And thus, rather than being like the noble Bereans in seeking to ascertain the veracity of what is taught by examination of scriptural warrant, we have such papal admonitions as,
"It follows that the Church is essentially an unequal society, that is, a society comprising two categories of per sons, the Pastors and the flock...the one duty of the multitude is to allow themselves to be led, and, like a docile flock, to follow the Pastors" (Vehementer Nos, an Encyclical of Pope Pius X, 1906)
This is contrary to how the NT church began, which actually began in dissent from those who sat in the seat of Moses over Israel, (Mt. 23:2) who were the historical instruments and stewards of Scripture, "because that unto them were committed the oracles of God," (Rm. 3:2) to whom pertaineth" the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises" (Rm. 9:4) of Divine guidance, presence and perpetuation as they believed, (Gn. 12:2,3; 17:4,7,8; Ex. 19:5; Lv. 10:11; Dt. 4:31; 17:8-13; Ps, 11:4,9; Is. 41:10, Ps. 89:33,34; Jer. 7:23) </p><p>
And instead they followed an itinerant Preacher whom the magisterium rejected, and whom the Messiah reproved them Scripture as being supreme, (Mk. 7:2-16) and established His Truth claims upon scriptural substantiation in word and in power, as did the early church as it began upon this basis. (Mt. 22:23-45; Lk. 24:27,44; Jn. 5:36,39; Acts 2:14-35; 4:33; 5:12; 15:6-21;17:2,11; 18:28; 28:23; Rm. 15:19; 2Cor. 12:12, etc.) To God be the glory, and of such testimony we (and I) need to show more of.
That is EXCELLENT! thank you.
You’ve got a great very short lesson on the real need of a Savior in so few words. I’m saving it for later use, if you don’t mind.
Glory to God for what is good, and (soap box warning) nothing that is done in ministry should be forbidden to copy to freely share. Oh, "I am a gospel singer and God gave me this song and you can have it for 19.95 plus shipping, but making copies to freely share is strictly forbidden, for the just shall live by fees."
Rather, if God calls us into ministry then He will be faithful to provide what is needed for the work He calls us to do (though we will be tested), without practicing solicitation, though those who benefit by the work of others are themselves to help support such, as God leads and enables. (3 John 1:6-8)
Those who criminalize the free sharing of Biblical Truth are hindering it, and are obtaining support contrary to Scripture. Thank God the KJV at least is not copyrighted in the US. And plenty of gospel preaching is freely available, thank God. However, if you can sing, then you are a exalted "professional artist" who will not doubt obtain the most rewards in glory for your great sacrifices (but if poor Paul could not carry a tune he will be in the back of your line) and can charge lots of money for what God gave you. /rant off
Armenia adopted Xianity as its state religion back when it was still illegal in Rome. Yet when Roman and Armenian Xians encountered each other in the second millennium they were both offering "the holy sacrifice," praying to "the mother of god" and the saints, had priests wearing gorgeous garments, and absolving sins in confession. And I'm afraid Thomas Nelson wasn't around to provide inexpensive bibles for everyone to take to church with them yet.
That Constantine must have been some guy. Probably had a Star Trek transporter around somewhere to beam him from Armenia to India, to China, to Ethiopia.
Any religion that disappears and has to be scientifically restored centuries later by treating its bible like a dinosaur bone or piece of ancient pottery was never true to begin with.
A mighty fortress is our God!
The great solas of the reformation still ring out over 500 years later
Thanks be to God He called His church back to Truth
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