The Quotable Martin Luther


“Our evangelists are now sevenfold more wicked than they were before the Reformation. In proportion as we hear the gospel, we steal, lie, cheat, gorge, swill, and commit every crime. If one devil has been driven out of us, seven worse ones have taken their place, to judge of the conduct of princes, lords, nobles, burgesses, and peasants - their utterly shameless acts, and their disregard for God and his menaces. Under the papacy, men were charitable, and gave freely; but now under the gospel, all alms giving is at an end, everyone fleeces his neighbor, and each seeks to have all for himself. And the longer the gospel is preached, the deeper do men sink in avarice, pride and ostentation. The peasants, through the influences of the gospel, have become utterly beyond restraint, and they think they may do what they please. They no longer fear neither hell or purgatory, but content themselves with saying, ‘I believe, therefore I shall be saved’ and they become proud, stiff-necked mammonists, and accursed misers, sucking up the very substance of the country and the people.” (Marcy, Christianity and its Conflicts, pp. 342-343).

Can anyone provide a source for this quote from the writings of Martin Luther himself?


Why do I get the feeling that this will simply be Lutheran bashing?


Look up a user named, IIRC, James White and PM him.

Assuming my leaky memory serves, he is a protestant quite familiar with the early protestant figures. He’s also had a lot of practice spotting phony quotes. What you posted does sound familiar, but I’m far too amatuer to know for sure if it is real.

Be aware, that even if it is 100% accurate quote, he’ll likely give you two pages worth of verbage about why it doesn’t mean what it says! :wink:


I’m quite sure it could be a Luther quote. He was quite bitter about how the masses used his name and teaching for simple brigandry and vandalism and barbarity (those Peasant’s Revolts in Germany…). Also, because ofhis internal passion and being a product of his times, Luther had quite a colorful vocabulary. However I’m just wary this will start to nitpick at and misrepresent such quotes. And before anyone brings up, YES, he said some pretty nasty things concerning Jewish peoples… Again, product of his times. Not a defense at all, but still fact.


“Luther” or “Lutheran”…?


I’m suspicious of the quotation. Although it sounds like Luther (in translation), some of it seems unlikely. I wish that someone adept in Luther studies would take a shot at it.

But, supposing it were authentic, just what does it say? It says that people behaved one way when they were taught one thing, and another way when they were taught another thing.

All that the quotation really argues against is OSAS, and many, perhaps most, evangelicals do not teach that doctrine. Even most Lutheran communions, I think, have abandoned Luther’s Augustinian doctrines of predestination.

And what do we see among OSAS believers today? How do they compare to their Catholic neighbors? When their unbelieving neighbors and coworkers look on from a distance, do they see one group ordinarily excelling the other group in love for God and neighbor (as the quotation alleges)?

The New Testament describes conversion as passing from death to life, from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. One who undergoes such a transformation does not then say “I can now sin freely because my past sins are washed away.” On the other hand, the OSAS doctrine has been abused in that way among some teachers. And if a person practices sin and defends it with a doctrine of forgiveness, he is, indeed, deceived regarding his standing with God (1 John 3:7-10).

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