Martin Luther’s Legacy

Protestant Reformer Martin Luther


Dr. Jim West, who seems to be a Southern Baptist, had the following at his blog this morning:

I’m not quite sure how I forgot this yesterday, but the 18th of February is the anniversary of Martin Luther’s death (in 1546).  Love him or hate him, no one in their right mind can deny 1) his tremendous influence in the development of Protestant theology; 2) his fantastic theological insight; and 3) his erroneous interpretation of the Lord’s Supper.  It’s a crying shame that our own times cannot boast a Luther or a Zwingli or a Calvin.  We are the poorer for it and the 16th century the richer (and so far as I’m concerned, the richest century for Christian theology since the first).

If someone like Martin Luther or Huldrych Zwingli or John Calvin arose today and did what those people did, they would be exposed as frauds and not true Christians.

All of those Protestants were guilty of murder of people that they had killed as part of their religious persecutions.

Their legacies are a disgrace to the name Christian.

Since Dr. Luther was the primary one that Dr. West mentioned, let’s show some of why he was not a faithful Christian, but instead a horrible persecutor as he wrote:

I, Martin Luther, slew all the peasants in the rebellion, for I said that they should be slain; all their blood is upon my head. But I cast it on the Lord God, who commanded me to speak this way (Werke, Erl. Edition, lix, p. 284 ‘Table Talk’ as quoted in Stoddard JL. Rebuilding a Lost Faith, 1922, p.96).

It is reported that 100,000 perished at that time.

He also did not care for Jews as he also wrote to persecute them:

…to burn down Jewish schools and synagogues, and to throw pitch and sulphur into the flames; to destroy their homes; to confiscate their ready money in gold and silver; to take from them their sacred books, even the whole Bible; and if that did not help matters, to hunt them of the country like mad dogs (Luther’s Works, vol. Xx, pp. 2230-2632 as quoted in Stoddard JL. Rebuilding a Lost Faith, 1922, p.99).

Accordingly, it must and dare not be considered a trifling matter but a most serious one to seek counsel against this and to save our souls from the Jews, that is, from the devil and from eternal death. My advice, as I said earlier, is: First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss in sulphur and pitch (Martin Luther (1483-1546): On the Jews and Their Lies, 1543 as quoted from Luther’s Works, Volume 47: The Christian in Society IV, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971). pp 268­293).

I, for one, can deny that Martin Luther had “tremendous theological insight”.  He was ego driven to a great degree and never actually believed in his rallying cry of Sola Scriptura.

Actually, he believed that he was essentially above the Bible.  He added to it, took away from it, and discounted many books in it.  Yet he is considered some type of hero by most Protestants.

Martin Luther specifically changed or diminished the importance of at least 18 books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Esther, Job, Ecclesiastes, Jonah, Matthew, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation.

Perhaps none of Martin Luther’s writings about books of the Bible are as harsh as what he wrote about the book which refers to itself as “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1). Specifically Martin Luther wrote,

About this book of the Revelation of John, I leave everyone free to hold his own opinions. I would not have anyone bound to my opinion or judgment. I say what I feel. I miss more than one thing in this book, and it makes me consider it to be neither apostolic nor prophetic…I can in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it. Moreover he seems to me to be going much too far when he commends his own book so highly-indeed, more than any of the other sacred books do, though they are much more important-and threatens that if anyone takes away anything from it, God will take away from him, etc. Again, they are supposed to be blessed who keep what is written in this book; and yet no one knows what that is, to say nothing of keeping it. This is just the same as if we did not have the book at all. And there are many far better books available for us to keep…My spirit cannot accommodate itself to this book. For me this is reason enough not to think highly of it: Christ is neither taught nor known in it. But to teach Christ, this is the thing which an apostle is bound above all else to do; as Christ says in Acts 1, ‘You shall be my witnesses.’ Therefore I stick to the books which present Christ to me clearly and purely (Luther, M. Preface to the Revelation of St. John; first appearing in the September Testament of 1522).

Martin Luther seems to be teaching that since he has a hard time understanding this book that it is not inspired, that John made inaccurate statements in it, that the sayings from Jesus in this book are false (as he wrote the ‘Christ is neither taught or known in it’).

Martin Luther’s legacy seems to be that “Christians” can ignore much of the Bible, engage in anti-biblical practices such as persecution and military warfare, can accept pagan holiday traditions while professing Christ, and ignore much of Bible prophecy.

If Protestants really wish to believe in Sola Scriptura then they would change their practices, truly strive to live as Jesus lived, and not at all venerate such people as the murderous ones like Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, or John Calvin.

Please, if you profess Christ and are not in the Living Church of God, look more into what happened in your church.

Also you owe it to yourself to at least review the The History of Early Christianity page as it can be a great starting point to show you that there truly is a faithful church, that was often persecuted, but that did not change its doctrines for political and other compromising reasons.

Was the true Church supposed to be the persecuted or the persecutors?

According to Jesus, the true Church would be persecuted and maligned (Matthew 5:11-12).

Notice also what the Apostle John wrote:

11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God (3 John 11).

Being a persecutor is evil. Real Christians never would do that.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, did Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority? Statements from him changing and/or discounting 18 books of the Bible are included. Do you really want to know the truth?
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the Living Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example?
Hope of Salvation: How the Living Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Living Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur.  Were Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Huldrych Zwingli persecutors?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?

Get news like the above sent to you on a daily basis

Your email will not be shared. You may unsubscribe at anytime.