Question about Martin Luther


#1

Hi - I don’t know if this is the right forum to post this question or not -
how would you respond to this statement - “Luther did not leave the Church - the Church left Luther.”

Thanks in advance for any insight you can give me.

Missa


#2

[quote=Missa]Hi - I don’t know if this is the right forum to post this question or not -
how would you respond to this statement - “Luther did not leave the Church - the Church left Luther.”

Thanks in advance for any insight you can give me.

Missa
[/quote]

Luther left the Church, initially regarding the doctrine of Indulgences, later over a host of other issues, primarily fueled by nationalism. Luther wanted the Church to be under local rule and governance, not in submission to the Pope. He is the one who coined the terms popery and Romanism. His views about a national Church is what prompted King Henry VIII to separate and form the Church of England. To claim that the Church left Martin Luther places too high a value on his personal role in Christian development. The Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth, not Martin Luther.


#3

I see that statement as saying that Luther stayed faithfull to his beliefs and Catholicism moved away from his position.

This quite evidently is not the case as though in the first instance Luther’s grievances may have had a valid foundation, his further demands required quite radical change as evidenced in his 95 Theses of Contention.


#4

I would respond: “Where do you find that in the Bible?”

Seriously now, The Church was founded by Christ on Peter…not Luther.


#5

I would ask if there’s any evidence the church changed from agreeing with Luther’s unique positions before he came, to disagreeing with them afterwards? In other words, if the church taught sola fide and sola scriptura up to Luther’s time, then Luther taught them, and then the church changed and went the other way, then the statement would be supportable. But if the church never taught those doctrines before or after, then it wasn’t the church which changed, but Luther.


#6

I think it would be wise to provide a comprehensive-enough definition of what it means to be in the Church, and just what the Church is, in order to answer this question.

Usually when a Catholic thinks of the Church, compared to when a protestant does; they usually have different conceptions in mind.

A Lutheran confession of faith and the CCC would be of interest to compare/contrast given the present context.

  • Cyprian

#7

I can remember being in a University class (Ethics 462 a philosophy class) back in the 1950s when the professor asked ,“Oh by the way what is the meaning of Protestant?”

I answered that Martin Luther was the First known Protestant, and he was a Protestant because he was protesting against the Catholic Church; therfore, it was Luther who left the Catholic Church.


#8

[quote=SteveT]I would ask if there’s any evidence the church changed from agreeing with Luther’s unique positions before he came, to disagreeing with them afterwards? In other words, if the church taught sola fide and sola scriptura up to Luther’s time, then Luther taught them, and then the church changed and went the other way, then the statement would be supportable. But if the church never taught those doctrines before or after, then it wasn’t the church which changed, but Luther.
[/quote]

To take your point even further, I would bring up that it was actually Luther who was changing his positions at the time. When talking about his beliefs, you can’t just say, “Luther wrote this,” because Luther in 1517 was different from Luther in 1524, who was different from Luther in 1531, etc. You get the point. The Church can’t leave if it’s not moving, but Luther did enough moving for the both of them.


#9

[quote=Missa]how would you respond to this statement - “Luther did not leave the Church - the Church left Luther.”
[/quote]

I think it is pretty clear that Luther would have remained Roman Catholic all his life, if the Chruch didn’t unwelcome him.


#10

It is absolutely evident that Luther was heretical and that the Church was under no obligation to even contend with him at the Diet of Worms in 1521. Since it was obvious that he was teaching heresy, it was equally obvious that the Church should demand that he recant, renounce, and cease doing so… But no Protestant body would have acted any differently, then or now, in the face of dozens of rejections of its own stated dogmas. Here is what Luther believed contrary to the Church (without even delving too much into the finer points of soteriology):

  1. Separation of justification from sanctification.
  2. Extrinsic, forensic, imputed notion of justification.
  3. Fiduciary faith.
  4. Private judgment over against ecclesial infallibility.
  5. Tossing out seven books of the Bible.
  6. Denial of venial sin.
  7. Denial of merit.
  8. The damned should be happy that they are damned and accept God’s will.
  9. Jesus offered Himself for damnation and possible hellfire.
  10. No good work can be done except by a justified man.
  11. All baptized men are priests
  12. All baptized men can give absolution.
  13. Bishops do not truly hold that office; God has not instituted it.
  14. Popes do not truly hold that office; God has not instituted it.
  15. Priests have no special, indelible character.
  16. Temporal authorities have power over the Church; even bishops and popes; to assert the contrary was a mere presumptuous invention.
  17. Vows of celibacy are wrong and should be abolished.
  18. Denial of papal infallibility.
  19. Belief that unrighteous priests or popes lose their authority (contrary to Augustine’s rationale against the Donatists).
  20. The keys of the kingdom were not just given to Peter.
  21. Private judgment of every individual to determine matters of faith.
  22. Denial that the pope has the right to call or confirm a council.
  23. Denial that the Church has the right to demand celibacy of certain callings.
  24. There is no such vocation as a monk; God has not instituted it.
  25. Feast days should be abolished, and all church celebrations confined to Sundays.
  26. Fasts should be strictly optional.
  27. Canonization of saints is thoroughly corrupt and should stop.
  28. Confirmation is not a sacrament.
  29. Indulgences should be abolished.
  30. Dispensations should be abolished.
  31. Philosophy (Aristotle as prime example) is an unsavory, detrimental influence on Christianity.
  32. Transubstantiation is “a monstrous idea.”
  33. The Church cannot institute sacraments.
  34. Denial of the “wicked” belief that the mass is a good work.
  35. Denial of the “wicked” belief that the mass is a true sacrifice.
  36. Denial of the sacramental notion of ex opere operato.
  37. Denial that penance is a sacrament.
  38. Assertion that the Catholic Church had “completely abolished” even the practice of penance.
  39. Claim that the Church had abolished faith as an aspect of penance.
  40. Denial of apostolic succession.
  41. Any layman who can should call a general council.
  42. Penitential works are worthless.
  43. None of what Catholics believe to be the seven sacraments have any biblical proof.
  44. Marriage is not a sacrament.
  45. Annulments are a senseless concept and the Church has no right to determine or grant annulments.
  46. Whether divorce is allowable is an open question.
  47. Divorced persons should be allowed to remarry.
  48. Jesus allowed divorce when one partner committed adultery.
  49. The priest’s daily office is “vain repetition.”
  50. Extreme unction is not a sacrament

What Church would change 50 things in its doctrines because one person feels himself to be some sort of oracle from God or pseudo-prophet…? Yet we are led to believe that it is self-evident that Luther was a good, obedient Catholic who only wanted to reform the Church, not overturn or leave it, let alone start a new sect.

No sane, conscious person who had read any of his three radical treatises of 1520 could doubt that he had already ceased to be an orthodox Catholic. He did not reluctantly become so because he was unfairly kicked out of the Church by men who would not listen to manifest Scripture and reason (as the Protestant myth and perpetual propaganda would have it) but because he had chosen himself to accept heretical teachings…

Therefore, the Church was entirely sensible, reasonable, within her rights, logical, self-consistent, and not hypocritical or “threatened” in the slightest to simply demand Luther’s recantation of his errors at the Diet of Worms in 1521, and to refuse to argue with him (having already tried on several occasions, anyway), because to do so would have granted his ridiculous presumption that he was in a position to singlehandedly dispute and debate what had been the accumulated doctrinal and theological wisdom of the Church for almost 1500 years.


#11

[quote=Angainor]I think it is pretty clear that Luther would have remained Roman Catholic all his life, if the Chruch didn’t unwelcome him.
[/quote]

Unwelcomed him? The Church gave Luther a chance to recant his heresies… and in fact agreed with 41 of his treatise. It was Luther who left the Church. Many have believed that Luther was bipolar, so we cannot know his ultimate fate. Even Luther later in his life realized one of the consequences of the unscrptural doctrine of Sola Scriptura… often disagreeing with other Protestants.


#12

[quote=Missa]Hi - I don’t know if this is the right forum to post this question or not -
how would you respond to this statement - “Luther did not leave the Church - the Church left Luther.”

Thanks in advance for any insight you can give me.

Missa
[/quote]

Well many protestants view that the Church left the good Christian morals and Ljther being a pious man was abandoned by it is change. Of course a few corrupt individuas within the Church does not constitute the Church turning away from Christian values or Luther. Altimately he turned from the Chruch and splintered it amongst the 300,000 protestant denominations. He did though open the eyes to the corruption within the CHurch which lead to cleansing and healing within its ranks.


#13

[quote=Cephas]I would respond: “Where do you find that in the Bible?”

Seriously now, The Church was founded by Christ on Peter…not Luther.
[/quote]

Where do you find WHAT in the bible ?


#14

[quote=Will Pick]Where do you find WHAT in the bible ?
[/quote]

I think he’s responding to the original post about what he would say to the statement about Luther.


#15

[quote=Semper Fi]Unwelcomed him? The Church gave Luther a chance to recant his heresies…
[/quote]

grin

Yes Catholicism unwelcomed Luther. He could not recant. The so-called Catholic (universal) Church then revoked his membership, meaning of course, that the universal Church turned out to be not so universal that it recognized the “protestant” followers of Christ as members.


#16

[quote=Angainor]grin

Yes Catholicism unwelcomed Luther. He could not recant. The so-called Catholic (universal) Church then revoked his membership, meaning of course, that the universal Church turned out to be not so universal that it recognized the “protestant” followers of Christ as members.
[/quote]

Well you can’t accept people who don’t follow the true teachings to be part of the teachings.
Thats like askind an english teacher to teach science fiction, or athiest to teach theology. Just really can’t work you know?

:slight_smile:


#17

[quote=BryPGuy89]Well you can’t accept people who don’t follow the true teachings to be part of the teachings.
[/quote]

I understand what you are saying. This is what the OP was about.

Catholicism discontinued its acceptace of Luther.


#18

No, its really the other way around. Look at my post down there, and especially read the source article. You don’t have 50 major disavowells of doctrine without personally choosing to leave. As Jesus would put it, he had already left the Church in his heart. The Church just made it official.


#19

[quote=Lazerlike42]You don’t have 50 major disavowells of doctrine without personally choosing to leave.
[/quote]

Ordinarily.

If we were talking about some type of club or something, what you said would be true. We are not talking about a club. We are talking about an organization that claims to be the universal (catholic) Church. This changes things. You don’t seek to leave that no matter what kind of disagreements you have.

Catholicism left Luther, which just shows how universal it isn’t.


#20

[quote=Angainor]Ordinarily.

If we were talking about some type of club or something, what you said would be true. We are not talking about a club. We are talking about an organization that claims to be the universal (catholic) Church. This changes things. You don’t seek to leave that no matter what kind of disagreements you have.

Catholicism left Luther, which just shows how universal it isn’t.
[/quote]

Nein, it didn’t do anything to turn him away, it didn’t say “leave this church” or “your not welcome”. He decided he no longer wanted to follow the Church of God and decided to leave. The Church didn’t leave anybody, they left it.
Again I say you can’t have a bunch of member of even the Universal Church, that follow things that are wrong and against it’s teachings. You can’t have members if they refuse to accept the truth. It endangers the truth and thus endangers the souls of many to keep those lost members within the Church. You can’t keep the misguided wih the other until it is pointed to the right direction, or else they might lead many in the wrong direction.


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