At least not to his face they didn’t. He was a big bruiser. But cuddly.
Martin Luther was good egg. Not a perfect man mind you Ė NO WAY. This ole hog had warts! Biggunsí. But no one could ever accuse him of apathy. His lust for truth and his zeal to publish and defend it is a wonderful example for Christians in every age.
Today, a pastor friend of mine in Wamego, KS Ė Tony Mattia, sent me a short collection of quotes from Luther. They show the way his genius worked, and are well worth some consideration. I pass them along for your edification.
And when you get a chance Ė read a biography of Luther. If you donít have one, pick one up and find out what a remarkable man God raised up in recovering the doctrine of justification by faith alone for the Church in the Reformation era. If you read nothing else of his, read his commentary on Galatians. It will keep your head spinning and your heart rejoicing for a LONG time.
1. It is, of course, the nature of our flesh and blood to be courageous and cheerful as long as there is no suffering and sorrow. pg. 348
2. To be sure, we seek peace and quietness and give the world no just occasion for raging
against us. But the hatred of Satan is not appeased in this way; it is aroused all the more. pg. 357
3. If we would be Christians, we must surely expect and count on having the devil, together with all his angels and the world, as our enemies. They all will bring misfortune and sorrow on us. For where the Word of God is preached, accepted, or believed, and where it produces fruit, the dear, holy cross cannot be wanting. pg. 357
4. The Lord bluntly says that Christians are bound to fare badly because of their faith and confession, so that many will be offended and, to avoid danger, will forsake Christ and His faith. We have instances of this before our eyes: Evangelicals who have renounced the faith are sailing smoothly with the wind. Because they observe that great lords are hostile to the Word and purpose to check it, they hold to the papists, where they need not worry about such storms. They are discreetly silent about the Gospel, they dissemble before the lords and abet them in all their unfairness; for they fear the fire which our Lord has kindled through His Gospel, and, worried lest they be burned, they give it a wide berth. The cross or suffering is the sort of dish few people are able to digest. It requires very strong stomachs. pg. 359
5. But doctrine must be absolutely straight, certain and without sin. Therefore nothing except the certain, pure, and only Word of God must be preached in the church. Where this is lacking, an institution is no longer the church but the school of the devil. pg. 408
6. Accursed be the love by which the doctrine of faith is sacrificed, to which everything must yield: love, apostle, angel from heaven.Ē pg. 414
7. If purity of doctrine is to be maintained and the true religious worship is to be commended publicly, it is certainly to be the duty of all pious teachers to expose again and again the godless doctrine of the papacy and to denounce false forms of worship. For the other sins even the inexperienced are able to judge. But this real pest of the church the common people do not understand. Besides, they hear it embellished with specious commendations by false prophets. Therefore it is fitting that pious preachers imitate the great example of Hosea and with earnestness score idolatrous forms of worship and invite
their hearers to embrace the sound doctrine. pg. 415
8. I am not concerned with life but with doctrines. Evil life does no great harm except to itself. But evil teaching is the most pernicious thing on earth, for it leads hosts of souls to hell. Whether you are good or bad does not concern me. But I will attack your poisonous and lying teaching, which contradicts Godís Word; and with Godís help I will oppose it vigorously. pg. 415
9. But to keep Godís honor and His Word from suffering, I should risk everything I have and should suffer everything they do. It does not matter much if I perish. But if I let Godís Word perish and am silent, I do harm to God and to all the world. Although I cannot tie menís mouths shut or stop their blaspheming, nevertheless I should not be silent or let them appear to be in the right, as I do when my good life is concerned. pg. 420
10. The ministers of Satan must be convicted of error and refuted by disputations for the sake of the rest of the church. pg. 633
11. I cannot foresee the fruit of my teaching, which people are to be converted and which are not…. Who are you, after all, to search out these things? Do your duty and leave the result to God. p. 918
12. The most advanced medical science discovers most infirmities; the most learned theologian discovers the most sin. pg. 1356