How could Luther state that God denies the burning of heretics when hell is the eternal fire and Purgatory is the temporal fire?

On my last thread which was derailed over and over by a teaching of Luther that was corrected by the RCC.

The question was # 33 in his diet of worms.

  1. The burning of heretics go against the will of the Spirit.

The Church has been condemned for correcting him on this, and as the truth always comes out, the Church was correct and Luther changed his mind.:rolleyes:

Okay Pope Leo X condemned Luther for saying burning heretics was against the will of the Spirit.

When he did this, the Church was accused of saying that they believed the burning of heretics was indeed what God wanted them to do. If he did, it would be Church dogma and practiced today.

To get to the official teaching, and then my thoughts I will start here.

The Pope said it was wrong for an ordinary human to claim to know the will of God. Luther changed his mind, and in 1531 began to advocate the death penalty. Go figure:blush:

He thought it should be a capital offense to deny the resurrection or reality of heaven and hell.

Here was my question, how could he state that God denys the burning of heretics when hell is the eternal fires.

And Purgatory are the temporal fires.

How could he accept the eternal fires of hell, but yet say it goes against the will of the spirit???

I still don’t get it.

He is not talking about hell. He is talking about fires kindled by men, in this world. Please show us where he speaks otherwise.

Luther is not my favorite subject. When did he change his mind and advocate the burning of heretics, as in the Spanish Inquisition? Hell and purgatory aside?


Maybe he should have included something other than worms in his diet.:wink:

There was a young german who swallowed a fly.
I don’t know why he swallowed a fly.
Perhaps he’ll fry…

(The one and only bad-taste, bad rhyme, burning at the stake joke I’ll be making tonight!)

I’m still curious as to whether or not Catholics could claim that burning heretics is okay with God and still turn them over to secular authorities to be burned with full knowledge… just for being heretics.

No one ever said he advocated the burning of heretics in the Spanish Inquisition.

But the Church is who was accused of advocating it by claiming Luther was wrong to speak in the voice of God., The Church never taught this either. THe Church never taught that the burning of heretics in the Roman Law was the will of the Spirit or was not. THe Church never said they had the teaching from the Holy Spirit either way. Which is what Luther tried to make it look like.

He later agreed with the Church that no human knows the will of God. To make it worse burning of the heretics at that time was called capital punishment. He claimed it was wrong and then commited it himself.

So how could he disagree with capital punishmemt, then turn around and commit it?

Could people view it either way? Have people viewed it either way? Of course they did.

But rather one Pope saw it one way, and another saw it another, which is a human thinking in no ways views one against the other.

St Augustine saw it a different way. But the point is it was never Church dogma and cannot be accused of being so.

If the voice of the Holy Spirit would have taught that turning over heretics to be burned is what God taught, then yes it could have been am infallible teaching of the RCC.

But beings that it was not, catholic’s they have the same free will today to believe or not believe as they did back then.

St Augustine choose to believe that it was saving their souls from hell. Who is to say ST Aug. was right or wrong? No one. We cannot know the mind of God on things he does not reveal.

But we are free to wonder if his thinking was horrible or not.

Personally I thought he was some kind of nut for thinking what he did. Until I heard the sermon this Sunday how the burning can be a healing burning.

God promised the ones who died in his name and were burned to not worry, a hair on their head would not be touched.:shrug: He told them for the inocent dying for the sake of Christ the fire would be wondeful. I can’t lie and say I understand it, But I can believe it because all things are possible for God.

Those people sure believed it.

If you do try reading the contemporary history of the Inquisitions, do include Peters/INQUISITION and Kamen/THE SPANISH INQUISITION. They may be instructive. Or they may not.


Whoa, whoa. JUST for being heretics? Heretics attempt to corrupt the truth and as such put the souls of those who believe their heresies in grave danger. So I will without judgment on whether burning at the stake is an appropriate response, but let’s not minimize the grave sinfulness of leading the faithful astray. Frankly, that is one of the main reasons for the fractures that exist in Christianity today.

That is why I am asking the question. My question was why he worded it the way he did then? And why he spoke for God at all?

And what if the Roman Law was justified in what they did, and saved many lives?

Only God can answer that question and will someday. What if ST Augustine was right?

In Acts when the wife lied to the Holy Spirit and was killed do you believe Peter thought God was unjust? Did he question? Did God exercise capital punishment?

Does God give men today authority to exercise captial punishment? Humans? And if they do are they going against the Holy Spirit? What do you think?

I take issue with the idea that all heretics are deliberately so. Surely the vast majority are misguided but not deliberately corrupting the faith?

Just one question, to clear this up before we continue: do you think Luther denied the reality of hell?

I sure will. I just wanted to start this post because I promised I would. But over the Holiday Season if possible I have alot of learning to do.

Sometimes God gives us the free will to believe either way on things that are not a clear teaching yet.

IMO opinion for now it is this, and it could change.

I believe when the Church was called to deem someone a heretic or not, it did so in the hopes of bringing the sheep back to the fold. It had the best of intentions and felt it could help people.

Although it cannot help all and if someone is a heretic on the standards of the RCC, it is what it is.

But to say the Church’s role in what they did were evil motives is not fair for anyone to judge. Only God can and will accordingly.

Were there some who did not. Probally, The devil has always found his way to Priests of Christ beginning with Judas. But like Judas they could follow or like Peter repent and follow Christ.

There are 3 sides to every story as the Priest said who was helping a married couple. Her side, his side, and the truth!

One side will be for the Church, One side will be against the Church, but God has the truth.

Your last sentence is surely the truth.


I still fail to see the difference between this ideology and what exists in Middle Eastern Islamic countries today.

Not sure. Not at first, then I am not sure where he was going with in believing in hell, but yet totally rejecting the burning of heretics.

What throws me is how he stated this: Quote: I believe that the IDEA of burning heretics comes from fear of being able to overcome them with the word of God. unquote

The RCC never taught that, Christ never taught that.

He continued to state what he believed, and it to me was so contrary to the word of God.

I believe that the IDEA of burning heretics did come from God in his teaching of Hell and Purgatory.

While I am not advocating what they did came from God, I can’t find it in my heart to not believe that the IDEA did come from the teaching of hell and purgatory. Not fear of overcomming them with Gods word.

Because the truth of the Matter is NO ONE can overcome anyone with Gods word without the power of the Holy Spirt and the Grace of God himself.

Fear of God was indeed a Church teaching, but not in that context.

But as you stated it, I can see how he did not reject hell. And I am not too proud to say I saw it in human eyes and was wrong on that.

I was looking it as you can’t accept hell and reject the burning of heretics. But yes I can see now where I was wrong.:eek::sad_yes:

I think in a way that was the thoughts of St Augustine. In those days if you denied the teachings of Christ you were not only a heretic from the Church point of view. You commited a Captial offense in the State.

Like today you can deny God, but yet if you go to court and promise to tell the truth the whole truth so help you God, and commit purgery its a crime.:shrug:Go figure.

If ST Augustine was here today would the thinking be different? Probally. Who knows. But it is unfair to judge. People only have the grace given to them in certain times.

We are more gifted today with the grace of God to see more. And that is what we are judged on.

But you are correct people need to see the grave sin of leading others astray.

Today you can’t pray in school. Why not? What happened to the free will given to us by God? While we agree we can’t force others, why are we banned?? And now that God is gone, there are probally around here at least a couple killings a month. Its so sad.

I have tons of questions about Luthers teaching though. Gotta go now but will be back!:stuck_out_tongue:

What would be worse, physical death or spiritual death? Adam and Eve suffered an even greater death than physical death when they ate the Forbidden Fruit.

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