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Martin Luther… The Man And The Myth

August 19, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM

Part 7

(Editor’s Note: As this October marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Raymond de Souza is taking a break from his usual apologetics to correct the popular image of Luther.)

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When the British paper the Catholic Herald reported that “Pope Francis has told Lutheran pilgrims from Finland that Martin Luther’s intention 500 years ago ‘was to renew the Church, not divide her’” (Catholic Herald, August 12, 2016), a very big question mark was raised in the mind of countless Catholics. First, there is no evidence whatsoever to confirm such a claim. Secondly, Luther’s heresies flatly oppose the Gospel and the epistles written by the apostles.
For instance, St. John the Apostle wrote: “By this we can be sure that we know Him [Jesus] if we keep His Commandments. He who says that he knows Him, Jesus, and does not keep His Commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:1-6).
Yes, St. John is perfectly right. Consequently, Sola Fide is a lie, purely and simply. And Luther is a great liar — if we suppose there is any greatness at all in following the father of lies, the Devil (John 8:44).
For the sake of brevity, I do not quote many passages in full, but readers are encouraged to look them up in their Bibles and read the whole chapter, in order to get the context.
“He who keeps His Commandments abides in God, and God in Him” (1 John 3:24).
“In this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and do His Commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His Commandments” (1 John 5:1-3).
Some non-Catholics have created a false dilemma about faith and works. It is said that “Scripture teaches about salvation by faith alone, but the Catholic Church teaches about salvation by works. Which one should you believe?”
This is a false dilemma, simply because the Church has never taught that salvation comes by works alone. The Church teaches that salvation comes through grace, God’s free gift, acting through both faith and works. It is not an either/or situation, but a both and one, instead. No one can work his way into Heaven!
Because if you ask a non-Catholic what is the pillar and foundation of the truth, he will say, “The Bible, of course!” But the Bible says that the pillar and foundation of the truth is the Church — see 1 Tim. 3:15. So Catholics believe both Scripture and the Church, since it was the Church founded by Jesus Christ that wrote the books of the New Testament.
Finally, it is unthinkable that our divine Redeemer, Truth Incarnate, having established His Church upon the Rock of Kepha and given to the apostles the mission to teach the whole world everything He taught them, and who gave them the power to forgive sins; who promised to send them the Holy Spirit who would live with them and within them; would then allow His apostles’ successors to teach a wrong doctrine for nearly 1,500 years, and have the “truth” revealed by a proud man like Martin Luther.
It has become quite evident that, as he interpreted the Scriptures according to his own peculiar criteria of subjective preference, Luther’s Sola Scriptura ultimately led him to deny the Scriptures.
The German Deformer of Christianity did not only impute uncontrollable lasciviousness on every man and woman conceived in sin: he blasphemously imputed adultery on Jesus Christ Himself!
“Christ committed adultery for the first time with the woman at the well, of whom St. John tells us. Didn’t they murmur around him, ‘What did he do, then, with her’? Later with Magdalene, then with the adulterous woman whom he absolved so frivolously. Thus Christ, so pious, had to fornicate before dying” (Werke, Weimar, volume 11, p. 107).
Isn’t that enough? Lutherans, friends, brethren in Baptism, come home. You’ve been deceived. Sola Scriptura is unbiblical and anti-Christian. Let us forget the past and be once again united in one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism (Eph. 4:5) in the one Church of God, the Pillar and mainstay of the Truth (1 Tim. 33:15).
There is no doubt about it: The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, by stating that, after 50 years of dialogue, “Catholics are now able to hear Luther’s challenge for the Church of today, recognizing him as a ‘witness to the Gospel’” (Catholic Herald, January 19, 2017) is demonstrably wrong.
The German Catholic bishops who praised Luther as a “Gospel witness and teacher of the faith” in a document released last year and called for closer ties with Protestants, and described Luther as “a religious pathfinder, Gospel witness, and teacher of the faith,” whose “concern for renewal in repentance and conversion” had not received an “adequate hearing” in Rome (Catholic Herald, August 12, 2016) are demonstrably wrong.
And when “Pope Francis has told Lutheran pilgrims from Finland that Martin Luther’s intention 500 years ago ‘was to renew the Church, not divide her’” (Catholic Herald, August 12, 2016), he also was demonstrably wrong.
The truth about Luther is verified by his own words, and not by the opinion of the German bishops or anyone else. For instance:
“I look upon God no better than a scoundrel” (ref. Weimar, volume 1, p. 487. Cf. Table Talk, n. 963).
“St. Augustine or St. Ambrose cannot be compared with me” (ref. Erlangen, volume 61, p. 422).
“What I teach and write remains true even though the whole world should fall to pieces over it” (Weimar, volume 18, p. 401).
“He who does not believe like me is destined to hell. My doctrine and God’s doctrine are one and the same. My judgment is God’s judgment” (Werke, Weimar, volume 10; 2, abt. 107).
Martin Luther invented the heresy of Sola Fide, that is, one is saved by faith alone, without the need of any good works of charity or the need to keep God’s Commandments. In so doing, he flatly denied the explicit teaching of Sacred Scripture, for instance: “By this we can be sure that we know Him [Jesus] if we keep His Commandments. He who says that he knows Him, and does not keep His Commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:1-6).
Yes, Sola Fide is a lie, purely and simply. And Luther is a great liar, if there is any greatness at all in following the father of lies, the Devil.
Luther encouraged his followers to follow his example and to sin bravely, so long as they believed even more strongly. As long as they acknowledge the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world, the sin cannot tear them away from Him, even though they commit adultery a hundred times a day and commit as many murders.
He compared your sinful nature to a pile of manure covered in snow. The manure is man’s corrupt nature; the snow is Christ’s Blood. On Judgment Day, God the Father sees only the snow, the fruits of the Sacrifice of the Cross, and not your sins — the manure. He imputes righteousness on you, but does not make you righteous. You remain as “manure” as ever. Consequence: Christ smuggles you into Heaven.
It does not matter how much you sin, as long as you acknowledge Jesus as your savior. Luther invented this doctrine in order to escape his serious moral problems, related to chastity.
Therefore, we may safely conclude that Pope Francis’ assertion that “Martin Luther’s intention 500 years ago ‘was to renew the Church, not divide her’” is demonstrably unrelated to history.

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