Martin Luther drops surprise rap diss on Charles V

Andrew

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I couldn't watch it all the first time through because rap in general just kind of jars the ears, but as a non Lutheran I am subscribed to Lutheran Satire and so I saw this the hour it was published.
For all the Lutherans here at CH, if you haven't see it.. you're welcome :)
 

Josiah

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I've read several books about Luther and the Reformation....

There are a few points that have really struck me.... and I just never learned in history classes or from Christians.....


1. Luther did NOT support "individual interpretation" or "conscience" (in the sense WE mean it). He was OPPOSED to that; the RCC was the ultimate, extreme case of individual interpretation - and he repudiated that. He saw the church as US - as the WHOLE church catholic, not just one denomination at this moment.


2. The Catholic PERSONS with whom Luther interacted tended to be amazingly ignorant..... not only of the Bible (which many clergy in Luther's day had hardly read) but EVEN of Catholicism. Luther was very frustrated that what he originally noted was a direct, clear violation of the CATHOLIC Council of Orange, as it clearly was, thing is, the Bishop he reported this to simply knew nothing about that Council or the teachings of his denomination on that point. Luther was "TRIED" mostly by POLITICAL figures who knew next to nothing about Scripture or RCC theology or church history or the Church Fathers or Ecumenical Councils. Even the bishops and papal representatives were largely ignorant (as was the popes in Luther's time). Realizing this puts a whole different perspective on this whole period of history..... The Catholics in this story are NOT at all like the Catholic theologians (or even priests) that we think of today.


3. It seems undeniable that personalities played a major (and unfortunate!) role in all this. BOTH sides - when pushed - pushed back, twice as hard. CALMER heads might have prevailed, HUMILITY might have really helped, but what was, was.


4.
LITTLE KNOWN reality #1: This whole chapter began because Luther was a "Doctor of the Church", an office he had that required he watch out for heresy and "non-catholic" teachings, and report that to the Bishop. IT WAS HIS JOB. He heard clear Pelagianism from the sellers of Indulgencies, heard it with his own ears. And it was clearly anti-Catholic (and very dangerous). It was not (originally) indulgencies he objected to but Pelagianism. But when he reported it, the Bishop didn't know what Pelagianism even was.... and feared this was another German trying to keep money in Germany and not send it to Italy, a German undermining the politics he had to protect. Luther was shocked. And dismayed. This continued.... Luther knew what he was saying was not radical, not new.... and the power people of the RCC were pretty ignorant and simply working from a perspective of politics and economics. There was more than a little "anti-German" prejudice at work here, too.

LITTLE KNOWN reality #2: Luther repeatedly called for an Ecumenical Council (#8) to SETTLE this. He would subject to the ruling of such a council. The RCC refused to do that. Well.... it DID finally call a meeting of JUST ITSELF ALONE, called for the sole purposes of condemning Luther and Lutheranism, but it was the ANTI-THESIS of an Ecumenical Council. Now, it's true, Luther knew this wasn't going to happen...the RCC would not permit it... and even if it did, with the previous chisms (the splits with the EOC and OOC, etc.) this would be very difficult to do. Some claim his call was a ploy.... but he continued to call for this and promise his submission to it... all his life. He DID recognize the Church Catholic and it's authority, he just didn't limit Christianity to one denomination (including his own).


5. And it is obvious that politics played a HUGE role, sadly more than theology. There were forces that simply wanted the finances and power of the RCC protected and promoted.... there were forces trying to undermine that and to support Emperor Charles V (politics was nastier then than even today). A LOT of what was dressed up as "church" was really just dirty, local politics. People on different political "sides" and people trying to boast their own treasury (and perhaps hurt those of opponents). Think of the political divide and games we witness today ... and how at times its "dressed up" as something else.... and you get the idea. I don't deny, Lutheranism spread likely MORE because kings and princes USED it to triumph over the papacy and politics of the RCC.... and a lot of the hatred of Lutheranism had NOTHING to do with the Bible or theology or Luther or anything Luther wrote or said, but because Luther was a GERMAN and this Reformation was undermining the power and finances and politics of the RCC. Frankly, the whole thing was not quite as religious or pious as it was portrayed. I ONCE thought Luther was ignorant of all this.... but now I think he knew this..... early on.... and to some extent, played along. Luther was motivated 100% by God's Word and Truth - but he realized the absolute entangling of church and state and economics (he being no fool).




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