Martin Luther was quite the deceiver folks! DO NOT BE MISLED BY SOME “PROTESTANTS” that say Luther is the starting point for the Reformation. HE WAS NOT!!! I have already gone into this a bit in my article “What is a Protestant?” on this site, so check that out. This piece is mostly an update to it, because I have come across some new and revealing information about this heretic, who died an unsaved Catholic.
The first bit of information I have here is brand new to me. It comes from a publication I personally own titled “The Kregel Pictorial Guide To Church History: Volume 4—The Reformation of the Church (The Early Modern Period) A.D. 1500-1650” by John D. Hannah, Kregel Publications, 2009, page 11. On pages 10-11 there is a giant full color picture that illustrates a meeting between Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli, seated around a large table and the two of them surrounded by friends and colleagues. This is a meeting between the two called The Marburg Colloquy, held in 1529. This was a very important meeting aimed at unifying the Lutheran and Zwinglian groups of reformers. I am going to just quote the entire write-up on the meeting here:
“The threat of war compelled Philip of Hesse (1504-1567) and Martin Bucer (1491-1551), for religious reasons, to convene a council with the hope of unifying the German and Swiss-German reformations. Luther, along with Melanchthon, represented the German movement; Bucer, Zwingli and Oecolampadius represented the Swiss. Luther and Zwingli composed their views on fifteen articles. They agreed on fourteen, but could not agree on the fifteenth…the Eucharist. Their failure to compromise on this issue prevented unity; it meant the permanent fracturing of the movement. Luther insisted upon a REAL CORPOREAL (BODILY) PRESENCE OF CHRIST IN THE LORD’S SUPPER, ZWINGLI ON A NON-CORPOREAL MEMORIALIZED PRESENCE.” (Emphasis mine)
I found that all very interesting when I read it not too long ago! The next thing I have for you is merely a reprint of information I discovered on a site I sometimes use for research, that exposes Luther’s writings and teachings:
“Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a German theologian and a major leader of the Protestant Reformation. He is sometimes called the father of Protestantism, and one of the major branches of ‘main-line’ Protestantism (Lutheranism) is named after him. Luther was the son of a Saxon miner. He entered the University of Erfurt when he was 18 years old. After graduation, he began to study law in 1505. In July of that year, however, he narrowly escaped death in a thunderstorm and vowed to become a monk. He entered the monastery of the Augustinian Hermits at Erfurt, where he was ordained in 1507. The following year he was sent to Wittenberg, where he continued his studies and lectured in moral philosophy. In 1511, he received his doctorate in theology and an appointment as professor of Scripture, which he held for the rest of his life. Luther visited Rome in 1510 on business for his order and was shocked to find corruption in high ecclesiastical places in the Roman Catholic Church.
“He was well acquainted with the scholastic theology of his day, but he made the study of the Bible, especially the epistles of Paul, the center of his work. Luther found that his teachings diverged increasingly from the traditional beliefs of the Roman church. His studies had supposedly led him to the conclusion that Christ was the sole mediator between God and man and that forgiveness of sin and salvation are effected by God's grace alone (sola gratia) and are received by faith alone (sola fide) on the part of man. This point of view supposedly turned him against scholastic theology, which had emphasized man's role in his own salvation, and against many church practices that emphasized justification by good works. (We say "supposedly" because in his Small Catechism of 1529, Luther clearly denies grace alone and faith alone in favor of adding baptism and the sacraments.) His approach to theology soon led to a clash between Luther and church officials, precipitating the dramatic events of the Reformation.
“The doctrine of Indulgences, with its worldly view of sin and repentance, became the specific focus of Luther's indignation. The sale by the church of indulgences (the remission of temporal punishments for sins committed and confessed to a priest through the payment of money) brought in much revenue. The archbishop of Mainz sponsored such a sale in 1517 to pay the pope for his appointment to Mainz and for the construction of Saint Peter's in Rome. Luther posted his famous 95 Theses on the door of the castle church at Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. Although some of the theses directly criticized papal policies, they were put forward only as tentative objections for discussion.
“In 1520, Luther completed three celebrated works in which he stated his views. In his Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, he invited the German princes to take the reform of the church into their own hands; in A Prelude Concerning the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, he attacked the papacy and the current theology of sacraments; and in On the Freedom of a Christian Man, he stated his position on justification and good works. The bull of Pope Leo X, Exsurge Domine,issued on June 15 that same year, gave Luther 60 days to recant, and Decet Romanum Pontificem, of Jan. 3, 1521, excommunicated him.
“His reforming work during subsequent years included the writing of the Small and Large Catechisms, sermon books, more than a dozen hymns, over 100 volumes of tracts, treatises, Biblical commentaries, thousands of letters, and the translation of the entire Bible into German. Luther's failure to reach doctrinal accord with Ulrich Zwingli on the nature of the Eucharist (1529) split the Reform movement. Nonetheless, Luther found personal solace in his marriage (1525) to a former Cistercian nun, Katherina von Bora; they raised six children. (Adapted and/or excerpted from Funk & Wagnall's New Encyclopedia, Webster's New Biographical Dictionary, and Grolier's Electronic Encyclopedia.)
“We are told today that the rallying cry of the Reformation was: Sola Scriptura! Sola Gratia! Sola Fide! (Scripture only, Grace only, Faith only). But is this what Luther actually believed and taught? In 1529, Luther published his most popular book, the Small Catechism. By commenting briefly in question and answer form on the Ten Commandments, the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, baptism, and the Lord's Supper, the Small Catechism explains the theology of the evangelical reformation. As Luther's theology is presented in the following excerpts from the Small Catechism, ask yourself this question: ‘If this theology was presented to you anonymously (i.e., without Luther's name on it), what would you think about the so-called saving faith of its author?’
“Luther & the Altering of the Ten Commandments: Luther's rendering of the Ten Commandments follow:
“You must not have other gods. You must not misuse your God's name. You must keep the Sabbath holy. You must honor your father and mother. [So that things will go well for you and you will live long on earth] You must not kill. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not tell lies about your neighbor. You must not desire your neighbor's house. You must not desire your neighbor's wife, servant, maid, animals or anything that belongs to him.
“Notice how the Second Commandment of God (Idol/Image-making--Exodus 20:4-6) is nowhere to be found! Instead, to come up with Ten Commandments (after eliminating No. 2 and renumbering the remaining No.'s 2-9), God's Commandment No. 10 is divided into two parts to get No.'s 9 & 10. This is EXACTLY what you will find in the Roman Catholic Catechism. It's easy to understand why popery wanted no prohibition against idols, statutes, and images, but isn't it strange that Luther went along with this altering of the Word of God! (cf. Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Prov. 30:5-6; 2 Peter 3:15-16; Rev. 22:19).
“Not surprising from a man who would alter Scripture, Luther did not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture either. Well known is his low esteem of the epistle of James. He called it an ‘epistle of straw.’ In his opinion, it did not contain the gospel. In his translation of the Bible, Luther placed the epistle of James after Revelation, because he disliked it so much.
“What is Baptism?
Baptism is not just plain water, but it is water contained within God's command and united with God's Word.
“What does Baptism give? What good is it?
It gives the forgiveness of sins, redeems from death and the Devil, gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, just as God's words and promises declare. (Emphasis added.)
“Luther & Consubstantiation/Sacramentalism -- [Consubstantiation: the actual substantial presence and combination of the body and blood of Christ with the eucharistic bread and wine according to a teaching associated with Martin Luther (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary).] [Sacramentalism: belief in or use of sacramental rites, acts, or objects; specif.: belief that the sacraments are inherently efficacious and necessary for salvation (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary).]
“What is the Sacrament of the Altar?
It is the TRUE BODY AND BLOOD of our Lord Jesus Christ under bread and wine for us Christians to eat and to drink, established by Christ Himself. (Emphasis added.)
“What good does this eating and drinking do?
These words tell us: ‘Given for you’ and ‘Shed for you to forgive sins.’ Namely, that the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation are given to us through these words in the sacrament. Because, where sins are forgiven, there is life and salvation as well. (Emphasis added.)
“Obviously, another of the Roman Catholic means of grace carried over into Lutheranism. (An interesting note: in the book Ulrich Zwingli: His Life and Work, the author noted that the disagreement between Zwingli and Luther over the Lord's Supper had deeper roots than simply the presence of the Lord in the elements. Luther clung to his consubstantiation view because, According to Luther, ‘ONLY THE REAL PRESENCE GUARANTEES THE LORD'S SUPPER AS A MEANS TO TRANSMIT SALVATION.’ (p. 132).
“Luther's Catechisms must be considered the defining statement of his beliefs. After all, that's the meaning of ‘catechism’ – ‘an instructional summary of the basic principles of a religion, in question-and-answer form.’ (American Heritage Dictionary). Also, Luther's Catechisms are the documents upon which the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) was founded. So, it doesn't much matter what Luther wrote or taught outside of his Large and Small Catechisms. He had 16 years to change them if he had changed his beliefs between the time of their publishing in 1529 and his death in 1546. There is no evidence of his doing so.
“As was suggested earlier, if these beliefs were presented to you anonymously, would you not say that the author was a heretic, without saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?! Strange then that with Luther's name attached, excuses are made -- such as: ‘You misunderstand what he says’; ‘Something was lost in the translation’; ‘The words don't have the same meaning they had in the 16th century’; and ‘How dare you attack Martin Luther!’
“But some men say, ‘What about all of Luther's good works? Don't they testify to his saving faith?’ By 1537, Luther's health had begun to deteriorate, and he felt burdened by the resurgence of the papacy and by what he perceived as an attempt by Jews to take advantage of the confusion among Christians and reopen the question of Jesus' messiahship. Apprehensive about his own responsibility for this situation, he wrote a violent polemic against the Jews, as well as polemics against the papacy and the radical wing of the reformers, the Anabaptists. During the “Reformation” in 1517, it seemed that Jews might fair much better. Luther rallied to their cause and published a pamphlet in 1523 which he entitled, Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew. In it he sympathized with the Jewish plight, mocked their enemies, and hoped to show Jews that Jesus was their promised Messiah. When they refused to convert, Luther changed his attitude, and in 1542 he wrote a book entitled, Against the Jews and Their Lies. For 200 pages, Luther poured out passionate diatribes of anti-Semitism that few have matched since his time. He termed Jews ‘alien murderers and bloodthirsty enemies’ who ‘practiced all sorts of vices.’ In his vicious reviling of the Jews, Luther urged burning of synagogues, destroying of Jewish homes and prayer books, and confiscating of Jewish property:
“‘Know, O adored Christ, and make no mistake, that aside from the Devil, you have no enemy more venomous, more desperate, more bitter, than a true Jew…let their synagogues be burned, their books confiscated, that they be forbidden to pray to God in their own way, and that they be made to work with their hands, or, better still, that the princes expel them from their lands, and that the authorities, magistrates as well as clergy, unite toward these ends.’
“Luther also condoned the active persecution of the Anabaptists, including their wholesale slaughter! (Plain and Amish, by Bernd G. Langin, Herald Press: 1994). The Catholics readily obliged by burning the Anabaptists on the stake and the Reformers tied their hands together on their back and threw them into the rivers. Of the Anabaptists, Luther said, ‘Who seeth not here in the Anabaptists, men not possessed with devils, but even devils themselves possessed with worse devils?’
*Just a quick note on the Anabaptists…they were men and women who flatly rejected infant baptism and Baptismal Regeneration, as was being taught in the RCC. Eventually the name was shortened to Baptists. Here are Luther’s thoughts about the Catholic Mary:
“‘…she is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin. God's grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil. God is with her, meaning that all she did or left undone is divine and the action of God in her. Moreover, God guarded and protected her from all that might be hurtful to her.’ (Luther's Works, American edition, Vol. 43, p. 40, ed. H. Lehmann, Fortress, 1968).
“‘…she is rightly called not only the mother of the man, but also the Mother of God. It is certain that Mary is the Mother of the real and true God.’ (Sermon on John 14:16: Luther's Works [St. Louis], ed. Jaroslav Pelican, Concordia. Vol. 24. p. 107).
“‘Christ our Savior was the real and natural fruit of Mary's virginal womb. This was without the cooperation of a man, and she remained a virgin after that.’ (On the Gospel of St. John: Luther's Works, Vol. 22. p. 23, ed. Jaroslav Pelican, Concordia, 1957).
“‘Men have crowded all her glory into a single phrase: The Mother of God. No one can say anything greater of her, though he had as many tongues as there are leaves on the trees.’ (From the Commentary on the Magnificat).”
There you go folks, EVEN MORE proof this guy was NOT a “Reformer” or even a “Separator” if you will; since you know from previous articles my thoughts on what the “Reformation” should have been called (the Great Separation). Hope this helps to open your eyes more and more as to who this heretic was and that the “Reformation” DID NOT START WITH HIM!!!