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Lutheranism and Private Confession (Is Lutheranism Biblical?)
http://northprairiepastor.wordpress.com/on-private-confession-and-absolution/ ^ | Pastor Timothy Winterstein

Posted on 11/28/2011 3:27:18 PM PST by rzman21

On Private Confession and Absolution

Confession has not been abolished in our churches. For it is not customary to administer the body of Christ except to those who have been previously examined and absolved. The people are also most diligently taught concerning faith in the word of absolution, about which there was a great silence before now….Nevertheless, confession is retained among us both because of the great benefits of absolution and because of other advantages for consciences. (Augsburg Confession XXV [Kolb/Wengert 73:1-2; 75:13])

As a consequence of the vows I took to uphold the Scriptures and the proper interpretation of the Scriptures in the Lutheran Confessions, I am (re-)introducing Private Confession and Absolution here in Fisher. Why would I want to do that? Isn’t that just something Roman Catholics do?

Actually, Private Confession and Absolution is far older than the widespread, current practice of Corporate Confession that we have before most services. The current practice is more the result of a degeneration of Private Confession than a practice with good theological reasoning behind it. When fewer and fewer people came to give their confession and receive absolution, a corporate confessional service was held on Saturday or at some other time. I believe there was still an individual absolution, as is done occasionally among us on Ash Wednesday or Maundy Thursday. Eventually, it became what most of our congregations use now, immediately prior to the service.

Let’s start with the Scriptures.

Matthew 16:15-19: He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

John 20:19-23: On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

In both of these passages (see also Matthew 18:18), Jesus gives His apostles the responsibility and the obligation to forgive and withhold forgiveness. In the passage from Matthew, where Jesus directly addresses Peter as the representative of the other apostles, He calls them the “keys of the kingdom of heaven.” In the passage from John, Jesus comes to the disciples after His resurrection and gives them the Holy Spirit, and with that Gift, He gives the Keys. So we call the authority to forgive and retain sins the Office of the Keys.

In the Lutheran Confessions, there are multiple passages dealing with Confession and Absolution, but there are some passages that explain explicitly why the early evangelicals (Lutherans) held Private Confession and Absolution in high esteem and tried to restore it to a truly evangelical (focused on the Gospel of forgiveness in Christ) practice.

The Lutheran reformers did not see it as a purely “Roman” practice that should be abandoned, but as a practice obscured by the way that Rome practiced it. For example, in the Smalcald Articles, Luther wrote:

Confession worked like this: Each person had to enumerate all of his or her sins (which is impossible). This was a great torment. Whatever the person had forgotten was forgiven only on the condition that when it was remembered it still had to be confessed. Under these circumstances people could never know whether they had confessed perfectly enough or whether confession would ever end. At the same time, people were directed to their works and told that the more perfectly they confessed and the more ashamed they were and the more they degraded themselves before the priest, the sooner and better they would make satisfaction for their sin. For such humility would certainly earn the grace of God.

Here, too, there was neither faith nor Christ, and the power of the absolution was not explained to them. Rather, their comfort was based on the enumeration of sins and humiliation. It is not possible to recount here what torments, rascality, and idolatry such confession has produced. (Smalcald Articles III, 3 [Kolb/Wengert 315:19-20])

In response to this state of affairs, Luther wrote later in the Smalcald Articles, “Concerning Confession,”

Because absolution or the power of the keys is also a comfort and help against sin and a bad conscience and was instituted by Christ in the gospel, confession, or absolution, should by no means be allowed to fall into disuse in the church–especially for the sake of weak consciences and for the wild young people, so that they may be examined and instructed in Christian teaching….Because private absolution is derived from the office of the keys, we should not neglect it but value it highly, just as all the other offices of the Christian church. (Smalcald Articles III, 8 [Kolb/Wengert 321:1, 2])

Lutherans do not practice Private Confession and Absolution because forgiveness will not be granted without reciting all of one’s sins. Nor do we practice it because we want to make sure you do something to atone for your sin. Nor do we practice it primarily because of the confession. Absolution is the chief thing, and it is because God has given this great gift to the Church, that we want everyone to have access to it.

Private Confession and Absolution can be intimidating. It can be (and is) a fearful thing to confess private sins to someone else. It does not seem safe to be so exposed before your pastor. Yet it is nothing more than being exposed before God. The pastor usually sits sideways behind the railing of the chancel so that his ear is toward you. But do not think of the pastor’s ear as only the pastor’s. In reality, the pastor is bound by his vows to be the ear of God for you. He hears your confession and pronounces absolution as if (or, because) it is really Christ who absolves you through the pastor’s mouth. Further, when the pastor hears your confession, your sins are removed from you. God removes your sins as far as the east is from the west, and the pastor is obligated never to repeat what has been confessed to him.

Confession and absolution are really only an extension of your baptism. In the Large Catechism, Luther writes,

[W]hen we become Christians, the old creature daily decreases until finally destroyed. This is what it means truly to plunge into baptism and daily to come forth again….Here you see that baptism, both by its power and by its signification, comprehends also the third sacrament, formerly called penance, which is really nothing else than baptism. What is repentance but an earnest attack on the old creature and an entering into a new life? If you live in repentance, therefore, you are walking in baptism, which not only announces this new life but also produces, begins and exercises it. (Large Catechism IV [Kolb/Wengert 465-466:71-75])

“Thus a Christian life is nothing else than a daily baptism, begun once and continuing ever after.” (Kolb/Wengert 465:65)

Of confession, Luther writes,

So if there is a heart that feels its sin and desires comfort, it has here a sure refuge where it finds and hears God’s Word because through a human being God looses and absolves from sin….We urge you, however, to confess and express your needs, not for the purpose of performing a work but to hear what God wants to say to you. The Word or absolution, I say, is what you should concentrate on, magnifying and cherishing it as a great and wonderful treasure to be accepted with all praise and gratitude. …

Thus we teach what a wonderful, precious, comforting thing confession is, and we urge that such a precious blessing should not be despised, especially when we consider our great need. If you are a Christian, you need neither my compulsion nor the pope’s command at any point, but you will force yourself to go and ask me that you may share in it. However, if you despise it and proudly stay away from confession, then we must come to the conclusion that you are not a Christian and that you also ought not receive the sacrament [of the Altar]. For you despise what no Christian ought to despise, and you show thereby that you can have no forgiveness of sin. …

If you are a Christian, you should be glad to run more than a hundred miles for confession, not under compulsion but rather coming and compelling us to offer it. For here the compulsion must be reversed; we are the ones who must come under the command and you must come in freedom. We compel no one, but allow ourselves to be compelled, just as we are compelled to preach and administer the sacrament.

Therefore, when I exhort you to go to confession, I am doing nothing but exhorting you to be a Christian….For those who really want to be upright Christians and free from their sins, and who want to have a joyful conscience, truly hunger and thirst already. (Large Catechism, “A Brief Exhortation to Confession” [Kolb/Wengert 478-479:14, 22, 28, 30, 32])

So if you are burdened by a specific sin, compel me to give you the forgiveness of Christ. It is my burden and my joy to give you Christ’s absolution, just as it is to give you His Body and Blood and His Word in the sermon.

You may find the the rite for “Individual Confession and Absolution” in the new Lutheran Service Book on p. 292-293. If you have any further questions, you may comment here or talk to me in person.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Evangelical Christian; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Orthodox Christian
KEYWORDS: absolution; biblical; lutheran; lutheranism; lutherans; privateconfession
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1 posted on 11/28/2011 3:27:21 PM PST by rzman21
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To: rzman21

Here already we see a principle of Luther and Lutheranism which
differs sharply from the principle of Carlstadt, Zwingli, Calvin, the
Reformed, and sectarian Protestants. We retain the traditional
teachings and practices of the catholic church except where these are
in conflict with Holy Scriptures. The Reformed and sectarians
discard everything in the catholic church and start a new church;
only those things that are in the Bible are to be taught and practiced.
The Lutheran principle is evangelical, catholic, objective, and
scriptural, and it promotes the peace and unity of the church. The
Reformed principle is legalistic, subjective, non-catholic, and
divisive, and it leads to Pietism, Rationalism, and ultimately Communism. http://www.peacealma.org/repository/Private_C_and_A/CTQ%20-%20Lang.pdf?PHPSESSID=0be67c21df90f1600bad2af56278425d


2 posted on 11/28/2011 3:33:00 PM PST by rzman21
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To: rzman21
(Is Lutheranism Biblical?)

Yes, and if it isn't biblical, it isn't Lutheran either.

3 posted on 11/28/2011 3:40:35 PM PST by xone
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To: rzman21; metmom; smvoice; boatbums; caww
Confessions to a priest are totally against New Testament teaching. Prior to Christ’s death on the cross there was a veil between us and the Father. The priest only could approach and only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies. When Jesus died on the cross the veil was rent and each of us who are believers now become priests.

1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Jesus is now the High Priest and we are told to go to the Father in Jesus name which means we can now go directly to the Father to ask forgiveness.

Putting an earthly priest between us and the Father is denying Jesus.

4 posted on 11/28/2011 4:07:46 PM PST by CynicalBear
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To: CynicalBear

What makes you a better exegete than Luther?


5 posted on 11/28/2011 4:19:29 PM PST by rzman21
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To: CynicalBear

That’s just your opinion.


6 posted on 11/28/2011 4:21:21 PM PST by rzman21
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To: rzman21

Not to mention this article was written by a Protestant minister, NOT a Catholic.


7 posted on 11/28/2011 4:22:34 PM PST by rzman21
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To: CynicalBear

CynicalBear wrote:
“Confessions to a priest are totally against New Testament teaching.”

and

“Putting an earthly priest between us and the Father is denying Jesus.”

Did you know, CynicalBear, that Lutheran pastors/preachers are not called priests? Did you further know that, on the basis of what you have cited from the Holy Scriptures, there is no argument from Lutherans? You are shooting at targets that are not there.

Before you begin again, answer this question, is it scriptural to confess one’s sins?


8 posted on 11/28/2011 4:35:34 PM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: Belteshazzar
>> Did you know, CynicalBear, that Lutheran pastors/preachers are not called priests?<<

If you noticed I didn’t say Lutherans had priests. If you noticed the article title is: Lutheranism and Private Confession (Is Lutheranism Biblical?)

The premise, as I took it, and the question was about Lutheran being Biblical because they don’t have private confessions to priests. I was defending the notion that private confessions to a priest or anyone other then God is not scriptural.

>> Did you further know that, on the basis of what you have cited from the Holy Scriptures, there is no argument from Lutherans?<<

I certainly would hope not. But did you know that the poster of the article certainly would? Why do you think the (Is Lutheranism Biblical) put there?

9 posted on 11/28/2011 4:45:19 PM PST by CynicalBear
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To: rzman21
>>What makes you a better exegete than Luther?<<

I suppose if the Lord’s prayer had “dear priest forgive our sins” you would have a point.

10 posted on 11/28/2011 5:00:03 PM PST by CynicalBear
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To: CynicalBear

John 20:21. Matthew 18:18.


11 posted on 11/28/2011 5:01:53 PM PST by rzman21
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To: CynicalBear

CynicalBear wrote:
“I was defending the notion that private confessions to a priest or anyone other then God is not scriptural.”

So, when James 5:15-16 says, “... if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed,” how do you explain what he is saying?

Is this sinful?


12 posted on 11/28/2011 5:03:40 PM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: CynicalBear

Read the article. Confessional Lutherans base their belief in private confession on scriptural authority, which raises the question of what makes you right and them wrong apart from personal opinion?

http://www.peacealma.org/repository/Private_C_and_A/CTQ%20-%20Lang.pdf?PHPSESSID=0be67c21df90f1600bad2af56278425d


13 posted on 11/28/2011 5:04:29 PM PST by rzman21
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To: CynicalBear

Martin Luther writes:
Here now follows an exhortation to Confession.

1] We have always urged that Confession should be voluntary and that the pope’s tyranny should cease. As a result we are now rid of his coercion and set free from the intolerable load and burden that he laid upon Christendom. As we all know from experience, there had been no rule so burdensome as the one that forced everyone to go to Confession on pain of committing the most serious of mortal sins. 2] That law also placed on consciences the heavy burden and torture of having to list all kinds of sin, so that no one was ever able to confess perfectly enough. 3] The worst was that no one taught or even knew what Confession might be or what help and comfort it could give. Instead, it was turned into sheer terror and a hellish torture that one had to go through even if one detested Confession more than anything. 4] These three oppressive things have now been lifted, and we have been granted the right to go to Confession freely, under no pressure of coercion or fear; also, we are released from the torture of needing to list all sins in detail; besides this we have the advantage of knowing how to make a beneficial use of Confession for the comfort and strengthening of our consciences.

5] Everyone is now aware of this. But unfortunately people have learned it only too well. They do as they please and apply their freedom wrongfully as if it meant that they ought not or must not go to Confession. For we readily understand whatever is to our advantage, and we find it especially easy to take in whatever is mild and gentle in the Gospel. But, as I have said, such pigs should not be allowed near the Gospel nor have any part of it. They should stay under the pope and let themselves continue to be driven and pestered to confess, to fast, and so on. For whoever does not want to believe the Gospel, live according to it, and do what a Christian ought to be doing, should not enjoy any of its benefits either. 6] Imagine their wanting to enjoy only the benefits without accepting any of the responsibilities or investing anything of themselves - what sort of thing is that! We do not want to make preaching available for that sort nor to grant permission that our freedom and its enjoyment be opened up to them. Instead, we will let the pope and the likes of him take over and force them to his will, genuine tyrant that he is. The rabble that will not obey the Gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:8) deserves nothing else than the kind of jailer who is God’s devil and hangman. 7] But to others who gladly hear the Gospel we must keep on preaching, admonishing, encouraging, and causing them not to forget the precious and comforting treasure offered in the Gospel. Therefore, we here intend to say also a few words about Confession in order to instruct and admonish the uninformed.

8] In the first place, I have said that besides the Confession here being considered there are two other kinds, which may even more properly be called the Christians’ common confession.They are (a) the confession and plea for forgiveness made to God alone and (b) the confession that is made to the neighbor alone. These two kinds of confession are included in the Lord’s Prayer, in which we pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Matthew 6:12), and so on. 9] In fact, the entire Lord’s Prayer is nothing else than such a confession. For what are our petitions other than a confession that we neither have nor do what we ought, as well as a plea for grace and a cheerful conscience? Confession of this sort should and must continue without letup as long as we live. For the Christian way essentially consists in acknowledging ourselves to be sinners and in praying for grace.

10] Similarly, the other of the two confessions, the one that every Christian makes to his neighbor, is also included in the Lord’s Prayer. For here we mutually confess our guilt and our desire for forgiveness (Matthew 5:23-24). Now, all of us are guilty of sinning against one another; therefore, we may and should publicly confess this before everyone without shrinking in one another’s presence. 11] For what the proverb says is true, “If anyone is perfect, then all are.” There is no one at all who fulfills his obligations toward God and his neighbor (Romans 3:10-12). Besides such universal guilt, there is also the particular guilt of the person who has provoked another to rightful anger and needs to ask his pardon. 12] So we have in the Lord’s Prayer a double absolution: there we are forgiven our offenses against God and those against our neighbor, and there we forgive our neighbor and become reconciled to him.

13] Besides this public, daily, and necessary confession, there is also the confidential confession that is only made before a single brother. If something particular weighs upon us or troubles us, something with which we keep torturing ourselves and can find no rest, and we do not find our faith to be strong enough to cope with it, then this private form of confession gives us the opportunity of laying the matter before some brother. We may receive counsel, comfort, and strength when and however often we wish. 14] That we should do this is not included in any divine command, as are the other two kinds of confession. Rather, it is offered to everyone who may need it, as an opportunity to be used by him as his need requires. The origin and establishment of private Confession lies in the fact that Christ Himself placed His Absolution into the hands of His Christian people with the command that they should absolve one another of their sins (Ephesians 4:32). So any heart that feels it sinfulness and desires consolation has here a sure refuge when he hears God’s Word and makes the discovery that God through a human being looses and absolves him from his sins.

15] So notice then, that Confession, as I have often said, consists of two parts. The first is my own work and action, when I lament my sins and desire comfort and refreshment for my soul. The other part is a work that God does when He declares me free of my sin through His Word placed in the mouth of a man. It is this splendid, noble, thing that makes Confession so lovely, so comforting. 16] It used to be that we emphasized it only as our work; all that we were then concerned about was whether our act of confession was pure and perfect in every detail. We paid no attention to the second and most necessary part of Confession, nor did we proclaim it. We acted just as if Confession were nothing but a good work by which payment was to be made to God, so that if the confession was inadequate and not exactly correct in every detail, then the Absolution would not be valid and the sin unforgiven. 17] By this the people were driven to the point where everyone had to despair of making so pure a Confession (an obvious impossibility) and where no one could feel at ease in his conscience or have confidence in his Absolution. So they not only rendered the precious Confession useless to us but also made it a bitter burden (Matthew 23:4) causing noticeable spiritual harm and ruin.

18] In our view of Confession, therefore, we should sharply separate its two parts far from each other. We should place slight value on our part in it. But we should hold in high and great esteem God’s Word in the Absolution part of Confession. We should not proceed as if we intended to perform and offer Him a splendid work, but simply to accept and receive something from Him. You dare not come saying how good or how bad you are. 19] If you are a Christian, I in any case, know well enough that you are. If you are not, I know that even better. But what you must see to is that you lament your problem and that you let yourself be helped to acquire a cheerful heart and conscience.

20] Moreover, no one may now pressure you with commandments. Rather, what we say is this: Whoever is a Christian or would like to be one is here faithfully advised to go and get the precious treasure. If you are no Christian and do not desire such comfort, we shall leave it to another to use force on you. 21] By eliminating all need for the pope’s tyranny, command, and coercion, we cancel them with a single sweep. As I have said, we teach that whoever does not go to Confession willingly and for the sake of obtaining the Absolution, he may as well forget about it. Yes, and whoever goes around relying on the purity of his act of making confession, let him stay away. 22] Nevertheless, we strongly urge you by all means to make confession of your need, not with the intention of doing a worthy work by confessing but in order to hear what God has arranged for you to be told. What I am saying is that you are to concentrate on the Word, on the Absolution, to regard it as a great and precious and magnificently splendid treasure, and to accept it with all praise and thanksgiving to God.

23] If this were explained in detail and if the need that ought to move and lead us to make confession were pointed out, then one would need little urging or coercion. For everyone’s own conscience would so drive and disturb him that he would be glad to do what a poor and miserable beggar does when he hears that a rich gift of money or clothing is being handed out at a certain place. So as not to miss it, he would run there as fast as he can and would need no bailiff to beat and drive him on. 24] Now, suppose that in place of the invitation one were to substitute a command to the effect that all beggars should run to that place but not say why nor mention what they should look for and receive there. What else would the beggar do but make the trip with distaste, without thinking of going to get a gift but simply of letting people see what a poor, miserable beggar he is? This would bring him little joy and comfort but only greater resentment against the command that was issued.

25] In just this way the pope’s preachers kept silent in the past about the splendid gift and inexpressible treasure to be had through Confession. All they did was to drive people in crowds to Confession, with no further aim than to let them see what impure, dirty people they were. Who could go willingly to Confession under such circumstances? 26] We, however, do not say that people should look at you to see how filthy you are, using you as a mirror to preen themselves. Rather, we give this counsel: If you are poor and miserable, then go to Confession and make use of its healing medicine. 27] He who feels his misery and need will no doubt develop such a longing for it that he will run toward it with joy. But those who pay no attention to it and do not come of their own accord, we let them go their way. Let them be sure of this, however, that we do not regard them as Christians.

28] So we teach what a splendid, precious, and comforting thing Confession is. Furthermore, we strongly urge people not to despise a blessing that in view of our great need is so priceless. Now, if you are a Christian, then you do not need either my pressuring or the pope’s orders, but you will undoubtedly compel yourself to come to Confession and will beg me for a share in it. 29] However, if you want to despise it and proudly continue without Confession, then we must draw the conclusion that you are no Christian and should not enjoy the Sacrament either. For you despise what no Christian should despise. In that way you make it so that you cannot have forgiveness of your sins. This is a sure sign that you also despise the Gospel.

30] To sum it up, we want to have nothing to do with coercion. However, if someone does not listen to or follow our preaching and its warning, we will have nothing to do with him (1 Corinthians 5:11), nor may he have any share in the Gospel. If you were a Christian, then you ought to be happy to run more than a hundred miles to Confession and not let yourself be urged to come. You should rather come and compel us to give you the opportunity. 31] For in this matter the compulsion must be the other way around: we must act under orders, you must come into freedom. We pressure no one, but we let ourselves be pressured, just as we let people compel us to preach to administer the Sacrament.

32] When I urge you to go to Confession, I am doing nothing else than urging you to be a Christian. If I have brought you to the point of being a Christian, I have thereby also brought you to Confession. For those who really desire to be true Christians, to be rid of their sins, and to have a cheerful conscience already possess the true hunger and thirst. They reach for the bread, just as Psalm 42:1 says of a hunted deer, burning in the heat with thirst, 33] “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for You, O God.” In other words, as a deer with anxious and trembling eagerness strains toward a fresh, flowing stream, so I yearn anxiously and tremblingly for God’s Word, Absolution, the Sacrament, and so forth. 34] See, that would be teaching right about Confession, and people could be given such a desire and love for it that they would come and run after us for it, more than we would like. Let the papists plague and torment themselves and others who pass up the treasure and exclude themselves from it. 35] Let us, however, lift our hands in praise and thanksgiving to God (1 Timothy 2:8) for having graciously brought us to this our understanding of Confession.


14 posted on 11/28/2011 5:06:53 PM PST by rzman21
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To: rzman21; CynicalBear
What makes you a better exegete than Luther?

Why does the poster have to prove that he/she is a better exegete than Luther? There are millions in this same tradition, many of whom are excellent exegetes.

Luther moved reform forward in a significant way; it doesn't mean he had all the answers for all time. And he would have found delight in the fact that generations to come might find truths in the Bible which those in his time had not yet discovered.

15 posted on 11/28/2011 5:18:15 PM PST by Siena Dreaming
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To: Siena Dreaming

So truth evolves, right?


16 posted on 11/28/2011 5:23:04 PM PST by rzman21
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To: rzman21
Never said truth evolves.

However, depth of insight into the Scriptures may vary. As do believers' modes of worship.

If that wasn't so, there wouldn't be so many early church fathers or opinions of interpretations among them and other church leaders who came after.

17 posted on 11/28/2011 5:42:32 PM PST by Siena Dreaming
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To: Siena Dreaming

Siena Dreaming wrote:
“Luther moved reform forward in a significant way; it doesn’t mean he had all the answers for all time.”

I am looking for a little clarification here. What do you mean when you use the word “reform” in this way? I would rather hear you define what you mean for yourself than that I would assume something that is not true.


18 posted on 11/28/2011 6:09:46 PM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: rzman21; lilyramone; crusadersoldier; Ellzeena; Anvilhead; stonehouse01; Goreknowshowtocheat; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.


19 posted on 11/28/2011 6:14:14 PM PST by narses (what you bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and what you loose upon earth, shall be ..)
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To: rzman21

My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum,
et exsultávit spíritus meus
in Deo salvatóre meo,
quia respéxit humilitátem
ancíllæ suæ.

Ecce enim ex hoc beátam
me dicent omnes generatiónes,
quia fecit mihi magna,
qui potens est,
et sanctum nomen eius,
et misericórdia eius in progénies
et progénies timéntibus eum.
Fecit poténtiam in bráchio suo,
dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui;
depósuit poténtes de sede
et exaltávit húmiles.
Esuriéntes implévit bonis
et dívites dimísit inánes.
Suscépit Ísrael púerum suum,
recordátus misericórdiæ,
sicut locútus est ad patres nostros,
Ábraham et sémini eius in sæcula.

Glória Patri et Fílio
et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio,
et nunc et semper,
et in sæcula sæculórum.

Amen.

She became the Mother of God, in which work so many and such great good things are bestowed on her as pass man’s understanding. For on this there follows all honor, all blessedness, and her unique place in the whole of mankind, among which she has no equal, namely, that she had a child by the Father in heaven, and such a Child . . . Hence men have crowded all her glory into a single word, calling her the Mother of God . . . None can say of her nor announce to her greater things, even though he had as many tongues as the earth possesses flowers and blades of grass: the sky, stars; and the sea, grains of sand. It needs to be pondered in the heart what it means to be the Mother of God.

(Commentary on the Magnificat, 1521; in Luther’s Works, Pelikan et al, vol. 21, 326)


20 posted on 11/28/2011 6:16:32 PM PST by narses (what you bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and what you loose upon earth, shall be ..)
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To: Belteshazzar

I mean the general sense which is widely known and from whence the term “Reformation” which defines the era comes.


21 posted on 11/28/2011 7:35:30 PM PST by Siena Dreaming
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To: Siena Dreaming
I mean the general sense which is widely known and from whence the term “Reformation” which defines the era comes.
Heresy, oath breaking, rape, and murder?
22 posted on 11/28/2011 7:40:57 PM PST by narses (what you bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and what you loose upon earth, shall be ..)
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To: Siena Dreaming

Oh, well, that was helpful. Thanks.


23 posted on 11/28/2011 7:42:35 PM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: Siena Dreaming

Alright, let’s try this again. You said, “Luther moved reform forward in a significant way.”

True reformations don’t move forward, reformations return to an original form. You seem to indicate that there is an ever evolving church with, presumably, ever evolving doctrine. The reformation was a two part affair, a conservative one that was followed by a radical one, which in some important respects was more of a revolt. The purpose of Martin Luther was to return to apostolic/scriptural doctrine and practice, rejecting the corruption that had entered into the church in late antiquity and the medieval era, but retaining that which was not corrupt (of which there was a great deal!). The ideals and principles of the radical reformation were quite different.


24 posted on 11/28/2011 7:57:16 PM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: narses

“Heresy, oath breaking, rape, and murder?”

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the naivest one of all?


25 posted on 11/28/2011 8:07:48 PM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: rzman21; CynicalBear
What makes you a better exegete than Luther?

Or....

What makes Luther a better exegete than CynicalBear?

26 posted on 11/28/2011 8:11:51 PM PST by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom

My point exactly. Being Biblical or Scriptural is in the eyes of the beholder.

So by my interpretation of scripture I pronounce you guilty of violating the following verse of scripture.

Galatians 1:8 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”


27 posted on 11/28/2011 8:23:17 PM PST by rzman21
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To: Belteshazzar
You said, “Luther moved reform forward in a significant way.” True reformations don’t move forward, reformations return to an original form .

Conservatives want to conserve traditional values...however, we can move forward in our goals.

You're splitting hairs.

28 posted on 11/28/2011 8:27:45 PM PST by Siena Dreaming
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To: Siena Dreaming

Siena Dreaming wrote:
“You’re splitting hairs.”

No, I’m not splitting hairs. I think rather that you don’t know your history very well, or the theology of the conservative Reformation.

Also, what is this with “traditional values”? That is the language of politics and the social sciences, not of theology and the Scriptures. Finally, what are our “goals”? Who defines them? Again, this is the talk of politics.


29 posted on 11/28/2011 9:03:48 PM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: Belteshazzar
Again, this is the talk of politics.

Only used to illustrate a point, not to discuss politics.

A point which, it seems, you are unable to comprehend.

30 posted on 11/28/2011 9:26:21 PM PST by Siena Dreaming
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To: rzman21; CynicalBear

That’s not an answer to the question.

That’s a deflection.


31 posted on 11/28/2011 9:32:41 PM PST by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom

Every Protestant is un-Biblical in my judgment, so I really don’t care what you think.


32 posted on 11/29/2011 5:29:27 AM PST by rzman21
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To: rzman21
"Every Protestant is un-Biblical in my judgment, so I really don’t care what you think."

That's exactly what I would expect Satan to say too.

33 posted on 11/29/2011 6:01:56 AM PST by circlecity
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To: Siena Dreaming

“A point which, it seems, you are unable to comprehend.”

Or, more probably, you to explicate.


34 posted on 11/29/2011 7:09:12 AM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: circlecity
That's exactly what I would expect Satan to say too.

And we all know Satan had bad judgement.

35 posted on 11/29/2011 8:19:25 AM PST by xone
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To: xone
"And we all know Satan had bad judgement."

Bad AND evil.

36 posted on 11/29/2011 8:31:42 AM PST by circlecity
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To: circlecity
"And we all know Satan had bad judgement." Bad AND evil.

Agreed, but in the context of this thread and the comparisons made bad is the characteristic that shines forth.

37 posted on 11/29/2011 9:11:38 AM PST by xone
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To: Belteshazzar
My explanation is quite clear...and really quite simple.

Not necessary to muddy the waters.

38 posted on 11/29/2011 9:36:57 AM PST by Siena Dreaming
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To: Siena Dreaming

“Not necessary to muddy the waters.”

No, I guess not. You are, evidently, quite comfortable with the guiding principles of the Radical Reformation.


39 posted on 11/29/2011 9:51:41 AM PST by Belteshazzar (We are not justified by our works but by faith - De Jacob et vita beata 2 +Ambrose of Milan)
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To: rzman21

“Carlstadt, Zwingli, Calvin, the Reformed, and sectarian Protestants.”

And it’s VERY typical of conservative Lutherans to lump all other Protestants together as if they had single views, radically different than Luther—and Lutheranism.

Carlstadt: Wacky professor, from Wittenberg, closely associated with Luther originally—who went off the rails, radically, and ejected from Wittenberg—becoming associated with radical early pentacostals....

Zwingli: Swiss-German scholar, contemporary of Luther, who agreed with everything in Luther’s theology, except the Real Presence of Jesus in holy communion...he was a memorialist, who thought the Eucharist was only symbolic.

John Calvin: French, and 2nd generation of the Reformation—25 years younger than Luther or Zwingli. A serious scholar who came to the Protestant-evangelical faith early on (while in graduate school). Lived in Geneva the other side of Switzerland from Zwingli—after being called TWICE there to reform the place. Never met Zwingli—and, was not heavily influenced by him—had read Luther—and built upon Luther’s insights, especially sola gracia, and sola fide (by grace alone, through faith alone) and solus Christus (by Christ alone). Accepted the idea of Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist—but, by the mode of the Holy Spirit. Definitely closer to Luther in his understanding of holy Communion than to Zwingli—according any scholar who’s looked at Calvin’s work in earnest (although Lutherans are taught he’s just like Zwingli). Became good friends—with a long correspondance—with Luther’s friend and designated successor, Philip Melanchthon. (Although Luther loved him, and saw Melanchthon as his right hand man—Lutherans, especially conservative ones, have always pretty well despised Melanchthon—probably because he was suspected of being a “crypto-Calvinist.” (the HORROR!!!))

“The Reformed”: Non-German/non-Scandinavian Protestants who followed the 2nd Generation Reformer John Calvin and his associates. Some had started with Zwingli or Luther, and moved to Calvin after Zwingli was killed by Catholics...and, Luther had totally rejected Zwingli and the Swiss Reformation (thereby splitting Protestantism) at large.

“Sectarian Protestants”: Also called the “Radical Reformation.” Groups and leaders more radical than Zwingli—Anabaptists, Baptists and others who rejected everything that came before...and were often seen as political traitors, to be despised and persecuted. Some early Anabaptists were violent cultists—who took over the German city of Muenster by force—proclaiming their leaders to be Messianic....and who were subsequently killed by both Protestant and Catholic rulers. Ex-monk Menno Simons came preaching pacifism (founder of the Mennonites) which allowed them to be tolerated...(especially as they fled to America in the 17th and 18th Century). No connection to Calvin or the Reformed—or even to Zwingli (he persecuted the Radicals—even as had the Lutherans and the Catholics).

Calvin’s principle for reform was to eliminate anything in Roman Catholicism that distracted persons from Jesus Christ. That’s a middle position between Luther—and the Radicals—that did NOT demand that everything from the past be abandoned.

The Reformed’s iconoclasm though, did mark a break—in that religious art, for the most part—was abandoned—and any images of Christ or God (or Mary or the Saints) were rejected and often destroyed. It was this iconoclastic impulse that most sharply contrasted with Lutheranism—not the rest of the Calvinists/Reformed’s theology.


40 posted on 11/29/2011 9:55:13 AM PST by AnalogReigns (because REALITY is never digital...)
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To: circlecity

Sola Meam! Me alone! That’s the real meaning of Sola Scriptura.

Saying there isn’t any authority higher than my own conscience is the essence of Sola Scriptura.


41 posted on 11/29/2011 10:18:53 AM PST by rzman21
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To: AnalogReigns

Luther taught that traditions could be kept as long as they didn’t overshadow the gospel.

He was far from being an iconoclast, and some Lutheran Churches today has statues.

http://ziondetroit.org/index.php?page=mass

There’s nothing Biblical about the radicals’ desire to destroy everything in their wake.


42 posted on 11/29/2011 10:25:27 AM PST by rzman21
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To: AnalogReigns

Luther taught that traditions could be kept as long as they didn’t overshadow the gospel.

He was far from being an iconoclast, and some Lutheran Churches today has statues.

http://ziondetroit.org/index.php?page=mass

There’s nothing Biblical about the radicals’ desire to destroy everything in their wake.


43 posted on 11/29/2011 10:25:53 AM PST by rzman21
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To: AnalogReigns

Luther taught that traditions could be kept as long as they didn’t overshadow the gospel.

He was far from being an iconoclast, and some Lutheran Churches today has statues.

http://ziondetroit.org/index.php?page=mass

There’s nothing Biblical about the radicals’ desire to destroy everything in their wake.


44 posted on 11/29/2011 10:26:05 AM PST by rzman21
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To: AnalogReigns

I should note, there were a few German Reformed folk too, mainly in and around the ancient University of Heidelberg. My point above was that Lutheranism did have a distinct German (and Scandinavian) ethnic connection—a parallel ethnic connection not found in other branches of Protestantism.


45 posted on 11/29/2011 10:30:36 AM PST by AnalogReigns (because REALITY is never digital...)
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To: rzman21

I never accused Luther of being an iconoclast—but I did acknowledge that the Reformed were. That is definitely a key difference.

I’ve visited some of the most important early Lutheran Churches in Germany...as well as important early Reformed Churches in Switzerland. The Lutheran churches are gorgeous—full of life and art—the Reformed churches are as plain and dark as tombs. Unfortunately, in both places in Europe today—both kinds of churches, are equally empty and void of life.


46 posted on 11/29/2011 10:40:36 AM PST by AnalogReigns (because REALITY is never digital...)
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To: AnalogReigns

I was just saying. When I was a Lutheran and studied the confessions, they put me on the road to Catholicism.


47 posted on 11/29/2011 10:49:37 AM PST by rzman21
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To: AnalogReigns

I was just saying. When I was a Lutheran and studied the confessions, they put me on the road to Catholicism.


48 posted on 11/29/2011 10:49:44 AM PST by rzman21
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To: rzman21
There’s nothing Biblical about the radicals’ desire to destroy everything in their wake.

As long as you distinquish between the Reformed and the Radicals, I don't completely disagree. They were in fact, two very different groups.

Radical Protestants were convinced Rome had completely extinguished the gospel for centuries...therefore they looked to the Bible--not traditional Church practices--as the only model for reform. Since the bible doesn't really describe in any detail at all....New Testament worship patterns, it makes for very simple, spartan worship. In an effort to be faithful to the Bible, they completely threw out Catholic forms, and started from scratch.

While the Reformed didn't throw out EVERYTHING from the past in worship....their own iconoclasm made it look like it. The iconoclasm came from taking the 2nd Commandment ("Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image..." (Exod. 20:4)) very seriously.

Therefore you may indeed say they were wrong (and I agree), in interpreting that command, but you cannot say they had no biblical basis for their practice.

49 posted on 11/29/2011 10:58:23 AM PST by AnalogReigns (because REALITY is never digital...)
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To: AnalogReigns

The Reformed were a marked departure from Luther. They began the process of transforming Protestantism from an effort to reform Catholicism into the creation of a new religion.

Scandinavia where my Protestant heritage stems from remained outwardly Catholic until about 100 years after Luther.

My great-grandfather’s parish church in Sweden was built in the 15th century, but it looks a heck of a lot more Catholic than a lot of modern Roman Catholic Churches.

Archbishop Laurentius Petri, the first Lutheran archbishop of Uppsala, departed from Luther in arguing for the sacrifice of the Mass.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Church_Lutheranism


50 posted on 11/29/2011 12:05:39 PM PST by rzman21
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