Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Don't Make Martin Luther's Last Words Your Own!
I ran across an interesting article by a Protestant professor, Rev. Prof. Dr. Francis Nigel Lee. He wrote an article on how Luther viewed the Catholic Church as well as Islam. Martin Luther apparently thought the two not very different from each other and referred to them both as being from the devil. There are many Protestants today who distance themselves from Luther's writings, or who try and water down his hatred for the papacy. This professor here however makes it clear that to be a true Protestant you must hate the Catholic Church. I wanted to pull a few quotes from the professor's paper to illustrate how twisted Martin Luther really was. In fact as I have said before, most of Luther's writings are nothing more than emotional, personal rants with little or no substance to them. One example would be the work he titled, "On the Papacy at Rome, Founded by the Devil."
I find it interesting that Luther, much like John Calvin could only rely on his personal pride and emotion rather than sound arguments when it came to refuting Catholic teachings. Luther also made it a practice to attack early Church Fathers personally as well, making accusations that would make it appear as if he had known them personally. For instance he once said in referring to the great Saint Jerome, "I know no doctor whom I hate so much, although I once loved him so ardently. Surely there's more learning in Aesop, than in all of Jerome" (LW 54, 72) Let us assume that humility was not one of Martin Luther's virtues. In fact if we compare Luther's character to that of the Saints like Jerome we find a stark contrast. The Saint's lives were similar to Christ's while Luther's fell in line with rebellion. He also said similar rude things about Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Basil as well, who would have made Luther look like a fool when it comes to Biblical scholarship and holiness of living.
This particular paper that I have linked to however makes reference to Luther's last days and some of his writings just before he died. There are some who have said that Luther toned down his anti-papal rhetoric before his demise. According to this particular professor however this does not appear to be the case. It appears that Luther went to his grave a raving, mad, anti-Catholic heretic. Here are some of Luther's last words according to this professor who is from Queensland Presbyterian Theological College in Brisbane, Queensland, Commonwealth of Australia.
The Professor writes,
"Luther died in 1546. Just before he did, he wrote in his Preface to the Reader in his Complete Works:139 "Farewell, dear reader in the Lord! Pray that the Word may be spread further abroad, and may be strong against the miserable Devil.... The kingdom of his vicar, the Antichrist in Rome, is sore beset.... May the God of all grace and mercy -- strengthen and complete in us the work He has begun!" In his last sermon before his death, Luther refers140 to the words of Christ:‘Come to Me, all who labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest!’ Luther then paraphrases Christ’s words as follows: “I will give you the heart to laugh -- even though Turk, Pope, Emperor, and everybody else be filled with horrible wrath and rage.... If you are facing oppression, death or torture -- because the Pope, the Turk and Emperor are attacking you -- do not be afraid! ... I give you the Spirit!...
“Let misfortune, sin, death and whatever the Devil and the World loads upon you -- assail and assault you!If only you remain confident and undismayed, waiting upon the Lord in faith -- you have won already!”
Dear reader, do you believe as Luther believed? In our dark days, yet at the dawn of Christianity’s third millennium -- are you really a Protestant Christian? Do you believe, with the great German Church Reformer, that the powerful Protestant preaching of the Word of God will yet destroy the Papacy--and also Islam? May the faith of Martin Luther yet become yours too!
by Rev. Prof. Dr. Francis Nigel Lee,
Professor of Systematic Theology and
Caldwell-Morrow Lecturer in Church History
at the Queensland Presbyterian Theological College
in Brisbane, Queensland, Commonwealth of Australia.
For Reformation Day, October 31st, 2000 A.D.
Luther's last words give an example of a demise to those who live according to their own gospel and not the one Christ gave us through His only Church. Most people die as they live, and it appears that Luther's life ended with one foot in hell and the other on a banana peel of pride, conveniently left by the devil next to Luther's dying bedside. It is sad to say that although many Protestants have distanced themselves from this type of anti-Catholic bigotry, they are still in the same position that Luther was in. How many Lutheran's do you find like this professor who will own up to his Lutheran heritage openly? Not many that is for certain. But it remains a fact that every professing Lutheran has their foundation of faith built on this madman's phony "gospel". In fact the proof is in the pudding. Look at the professors closing words of his paper. He says, "May the faith of Martin Luther yet become yours too!" I pray that those who follow Martin Luther will have a change of heart and come home to the Catholic Church. Luther's end is not one I would wish on anyone.