Monday, December 12, 2022

Things we wish Luther had never said/written. . .

So it seems some Roman Catholic blog has put together a list of the 38 Most Ridiculous Things Martin Luther ever wrote (or said).  Only 38???  I could come up with a far bigger list.  But a quick survey of their list indicates that they are not quite reading Luther correctly and some of those things listed are not quite the outrageous or ridiculous things they thought.  Whatever.   I am sure that Luther said far worse and far more shocking things and somebody must have written them down if he did not.  So what?

Lutherans are not bound by every word that proceeds from the mouth of Luther (or his pen) but only by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord (plus the official confessional documents to which we subscribe).  It really does not matter much to me what crazy things Luther has said.  I say some real doozies from time to time as well.  Let us not forget how many bishops have put their foot in their mouths and chewed away.  Or, for that matter, the king of ridiculous religious quotes in our own time, Pope Francis!  

Unlike Luther, whose words have no official authority among Lutherans (except for those in the Confessions -- a relative few of his writings), Pope Francis is the mouthpiece of the Roman Catholic Church,  the chief interpreter of the faith, and the one who called the Vicar of Christ Himself.  Luther's outrageous expressions do not bind anyone but Rome is bound by what their popes say and this one is the master of fog, delusion, and diversion.  So, while Rome wants to paint Lutherans with every crazy things he ever said or wrote, Rome itself has already been painted in a corner by this (and a few former popes) who said the most outrageous and ridiculous things while sitting on the throne of St. Peter.  All in all, if we pitted what Luther said against the one who claims to know God's mind better than, well, God, I don't think dear Martin would fair that badly.  A little smug laughter from the banks of the Tiber is the nervous humor of a people who better not throw stones in their own glass house.  We can lift a Lutheran beverage and laugh at Luther with the best of them because at the end of the day the words that matter to us most are the words that proceed from the mouth of God, the Word of the Lord that endures forever.  About that, we are most certainly not laughing.  If Rome was smart, they might adopt the same rule.

1 comment:

Carl Vehse said...

Before accepting any alleged (but unreferenced) Luther quote from Romanists (or even Lutherans) one needs to search James Swan's "Beggars All: Reformation and Apologetics" website regarding whether the alleged quote is real or not.

Swan has found that some alleged quotes are just made up by opponents of Luther. Other quotes may sound like Luther, but are ones that cannot be found in Luther's writings or ones that have appeared decades later by other writers who included them in Table Talk. And some quotes are actually from other people, but attributed to Luther.

In some cases a reference may be provided, but the reference contains no such statement or is an erroneous translation of what Luther did write in German.

Caveat auditor.