Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Reformation Day

 
Martin Luther
Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the door of the church for debate

This Sunday, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, a confessional Lutheran church of which I am a member, that subscribes to the unaltered Augsburg Confession and the Defense of the Augsburg Confession, commemorates Reformation Day, marking the formation and break of Protestants with Roman Catholicism. Some would say we celebrate, but that is not a word I am in concord with. As when the Pope initiated the Great Schism in 1054, effectively separating the Western and Eastern churches, ostensibly over one word added by a pope to the Nicene Creed without Eastern participation or consent, Luther set in motion a cascade of revolts against a corrupt Roman Catholic majesterium that resulted in the public emergence of a passel of theological views that had lived just below the surface, often in local enclaves, for centuries.

The advent of the printing press and the inevitable explosive spread of literacy served as the kindling for the fire of theological rebellion. Local rulers soon realized their opportunity to cut the steady flow of gold from their dominions to Rome, with its brothels for clerics and a thousand traditions and pilgrimages all calculated to separate the faithful from their money. The recently completed Sistine Chapel (1508) stood as an example of a Roman white elephant built on coin drained from distant parishes, and construction on the much more ambitious Saint Peter’s Basilica was already under way. Also bear in mind that, historically, the popes held territory which they would both try to expand and be forced to defend. The Papal States were a mundane commitment that, in the most favorable construction, gave the church security rather than placing it under the thumb of mundane rulers. A fair criticism was that it served to reduce the pope’s dignity to that of one more ruler of many, lending a whiff of mundanity to the office.

The practice which Dr. Luther targeted when he posted his 95 theses on the church door in 1517 was indulgence selling. Indulgences were and are a Roman innovation where, for a monetary fee and following some ritual instructions, the Roman Catholic Church would reduce the designated beneficiary soul’s time in Purgatory. Purgatory was another Roman innovation that never penetrated to the Eastern Roman Church and was universally rejected by Protestants. Johann Tetzel, a Dominican Friar, excelled so thoroughly at terrifying the masses (literally, in mass as well as city squares) into buying indulgences that the Pope himself acted to halt Tetzel’s abuses. Indulgences are still around today, as described in Pope Paul VI’s Indulgentarium Doctrina, 1967. But I am assured by Catholic friends that the dynamic is not now as it was in Brother Tetzel’s day.

Is there a Purgatory? I do not know, and certainly do not mean to decide such an awesome question here. I do know that Jesus and Paul and John spoke frequently in scripture on Heaven and Hell without mentioning or warning their disciples of Purgatory. I commend my soul into His mighty hand and His will be done.

My point is not to shame Catholics because Tetzel was Catholic or because the Roman Church was beset by corruption and human frailty, how could it be otherwise. Nor to exalt Protestants for fracturing the church and worshipers of Jesus Christ. Protestant churches were and are also filled with fallen human beings capable of unspeakable things. The church was already fractured, Dr. Luther applied a nail to a church door and the cracks became undeniable. He became the most read man in Europe thanks to the printing press. 20% of the material published in the German language between 1500 and 1530 was written by Luther. And every ambitious churchman that could get away with it latched onto a local ruler and seized or cobbled up a theological novelty and every doctrine was challenged somewhere.

There is a lot of room for humility on both sides. Rome eventually held the Counsel of Trent, 1563, to address issues raised by Protestants and even invited Dr. Luther to attend, promising him safe passage after decades of offering a price for his head. Dr. Luther understandably declined. Rome went to Trent to close the barn doors, but the horses were long gone.

This does not mean that 16th Century Europe became the religious marketplace we see today. As I write, there is an Adventist church down the street from me, Bruton Parish Episcopal (Anglican when Jefferson and Madison attended there) Church in the Colonial Williamsburg exhibit, still an active church today, a Presbyterian Church next to a Baptist Church a few blocks away, the National Shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham, Saint Bede Catholic Church, Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, and many, many more. All denominations with their own history, their own culture, their own traditions, and their own doctrine. I can attend any or all and can donate to any, all, or none, freely, Covid and my anti-Christ governor notwithstanding. Not back in the day.

There was nothing like that in 16th Century Europe. Instead there was an officially sanctioned church, occasionally some other churches at the periphery of the domain tolerated for whatever reason or about to be quashed or already quashed with remnants meeting in houses and such. And where Jews were tolerated, some form of synagogue. If you expected to get anywhere and be someone, you got your tuchus to the right church every Sunday. In fact, it was the law. And fines were steep.

The Roman Church was often the primary legal authority on the ground depending on how land was held and population centers organized. They had their own courts, collected taxes and fees as well as tithes. The shakers and movers were lesser sons of nobles consigned to a clerical life of nominal chastity to frustrate later claims against noble estates. The Romans themselves found the vow of chastity a useful tool after early disputes over what bishop’s child should inherit a bishopric and where “church” lands held by the bishop personally. And the congregants in a parish were as much under the rule of their priests as a serf was under the rule of their noble. The slackening of the chains that bind would eventually occur, but there was a lot of argument and violence and a whole new continent to conquer on the way to making that happen.

I took part as one of four associate justices sitting with a chief justice in a mock trial at the Courthouse in Colonial Williamsburg. One of the cases was that of a man who had stopped coming to the Anglican services where he was registered, and declared his interest in attending a church under a different denomination, which was allowed for at the time in the colony. The court granted permission for the change of his registered worship congregation, and then came to the matter of fines for a month or so of failing to attend. The head judge, played by one of Williamsburg’s excellent reenactors rather than just another tourist like myself, expressed mild disdain when the four associate judges on the panel elected three to one to wave the rather stiff fines. That is a portrayal of the climate in 1774 as religious liberty was still feeling its way into American culture. We talk today of how the churches used to be full. How God-fearing we were. Whatever happened to us. It’s not the whole story, far from it, but dropping the fines had some impact, I am sure.

Reformation Day is rooted in an era radically different from our own, but if we are to understand where we are, we need to understand where we have been and how we arrived here.

So yes, I commemorate Reformation Day. But I do not celebrate it. It did not begin the fissuring of His church, that had begun by the time of the First Jerusalem Council where Saint Paul contended with Saint Peter over whether gentile Christians were to be saddled with a long list of Jewish customs, but it mapped the cracks for the print age, for the world to see.

Jesus said:

49 “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled 50 I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. 53They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
– Luke 12 (ESV)

I spend this day reflecting on the state of His worshippers, among all peoples and in all languages, and pray that they may firmly find themselves firmly in His mighty hand and live in the eternal peace he promises in the next world after persevering the discord of this world, as we have made it.

I am a Christian first and foremost, and I hail any man earnestly and humbly seeking to learn about and worship my Savior, the only begotten son of the living God, regardless of which fragment of His church they might embrace, and pray that He would somehow guide then and save them all, and unite us under His eternal rule. His will be done. Amen.

The peace of the Lord be with ye, always. Amen.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. StephensJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I once had a post saying the Reformation was a good thing, worth celebrating, because it was what forced the Church to reform, and unfortunately that is what it took.

    What I got for that was a lot of grief. Maybe you have struck a safe middle ground here. I hope so. I, for one, still resent being told my marriage was not valid because it was not performed by a Catholic Priest. 

     

    • #1
    • October 25, 2020, at 7:04 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. WalterWatchpocket Coolidge

    Thank you:

    a) for noting Reformation Day

    b) taking the time to write a comprehensive history of that era

    c) putting Reformation Day in perspective

    Well Done!

    • #2
    • October 25, 2020, at 7:23 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. Sisyphus Coolidge
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng… (View Comment):

    I once had a post saying the Reformation was a good thing, worth celebrating, because it was what forced the Church to reform, and unfortunately that is what it took.

    What I got for that was a lot of grief. Maybe you have struck a safe middle ground here. I hope so. I, for one, still resent being told my marriage was not valid because it was not performed by a Catholic Priest.

    I remember, although it is not my intent to kowtow to either side. There are planks in every eye I see. I know what the Catholic Church says about that and I know what the Orthodox Church says about that and all the rest. I submit myself to His mercy and make no vain oaths. Any argument will be settled absolutely by and by, while the churches of this world contend with mixed results against the prince of this world. None of them is unscarred.

    When the head of a church places a sacrifice to a demon that demands human sacrifice today on the most sacred altar of his tradition, there has been subversion and capitulation and desecration beyond all reckoning. The wonder of that event was the hundreds of priests across the world who, knowing what was occurring, were holding mass for the perseverance of the church and the resanctification of the desecrated cathedral. I pray for all the followers of Christ, and that His righteousness will prevail and His will be done. Including the followers of Christ who do not.

    I would also say that, by their doctrine, whoever told you that was right. If the Catholic faith is important to you, I would speak to a priest about how to bring the situation into good Catholic order. If you took vows before God in another trinitarian Christian tradition and you feel no strong connection to the Catholic tradition, then their barbs, however well meaning, can only serve to isolate themselves from you. 

    There is a podcast and a book from Father Andrew Stephen Damick titled Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy that gives a broad summary comparing Orthodox Christianity with the gamut of major Christian traditions and even non-Christian traditions. It puts a lot of these issues into some kind of order. 

    Just my two cents, and doubtless now someone will take exception. Oh, and for the record and for what it’s worth, I consider you married.

     

    • #3
    • October 25, 2020, at 7:44 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. Sisyphus Coolidge
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    WalterWatchpocket (View Comment):

    b) taking the time to write a comprehensive history of that era

    If by comprehensive history you mean to say the barest thread of a summary, I thank you. Even that first decade of the Reformation is a massive topic that could consume a lifetime. Calvin, Zwingli, peasant revolts, Luther translates the Bible into a new language he cobbled together, rather like Chaucer melded Old French and colloquial, germanic Middle English into a hybrid that settled the character of Modern English, a language that came to be called New High German, the basis for German literature going forward. A big, big deal also, and probably a major chunk of that 20% of material published in German I mentioned.

    Thank you for the kind words.

    • #4
    • October 25, 2020, at 8:00 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  5. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sisyphus (View Comment):

    WalterWatchpocket (View Comment):

    b) taking the time to write a comprehensive history of that era

    If by comprehensive history you mean to say the barest thread of a summary, I thank you. Even that first decade of the Reformation is a massive topic that could consume a lifetime. Calvin, Zwingli, peasant revolts, Luther translates the Bible into a new language he cobbled together, rather like Chaucer melded Old French and colloquial, germanic Middle English into a hybrid that settled the character of Modern English, a language that came to be called New High German, the basis for German literature going forward. A big, big deal also, and probably a major chunk of that 20% of material published in German I mentioned.

    Thank you for the kind words.

    It is hard to overstate the effect that Luther’s translation had. Going forward, would you publish your work using yet another regional dialect, or that put forward in the #1 best-seller?

    • #5
    • October 25, 2020, at 8:27 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  6. Reckless Endangerment Inactive

    If you want some Reformation Day #hottakes, follow Heritage’s Ryan Anderson on Twitter. He dishes criticism of it from a Catholic perspective and pulls no punches.

    • #6
    • October 25, 2020, at 8:51 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph StankoJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sisyphus (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng… (View Comment):

    I, for one, still resent being told my marriage was not valid because it was not performed by a Catholic Priest.

    I would also say that, by their doctrine, whoever told you that was right.

     

    Not necessarily, a whole lot of Catholics are poorly catechized and misunderstand our own doctrine, sadly.

    A marriage is presumed valid even if it’s performed by a justice of the peace, or at a Vegas wedding chapel. Perhaps this person meant to say your marriage was not a sacramental marriage? But then my understanding is that Luther denied that marriage is a sacrament, so you might agree with that assessment anyhow.

    • #7
    • October 25, 2020, at 1:26 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. StephensJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    I would also say that, by their doctrine, whoever told you that was right. If the Catholic faith is important to you, I would speak to a priest about how to bring the situation into good Catholic order. If you took vows before God in another trinitarian Christian tradition and you feel no strong connection to the Catholic tradition, then their barbs, however well meaning, can only serve to isolate themselves from you. 

    Oh it separated me from Catholics for all time. Their actions, here at Ricochet, have forever made me wary and distrustful Catholocs. Laid Bair is their utter disdained for my vows of marriage. I came as a brother in Christ, professing the Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds and they give me this. No apologies ever.

    A Man does not forget that sort of slap in the face. I will, until I die, know that I cannot count on Catholics to have my back. I’ll take young Earth Creationists, because while we disagree on Science, they are not telling me my marriage does not count in the eyes of God.

    • #8
    • October 25, 2020, at 1:53 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. StephensJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Reckless Endangerment (View Comment):

    If you want some Reformation Day #hottakes, follow Heritage’s Ryan Anderson on Twitter. He dishes criticism of it from a Catholic perspective and pulls no punches.

    Ad I now understand. Catholics think Protestants are not real Christians. I had

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng… (View Comment):

    I, for one, still resent being told my marriage was not valid because it was not performed by a Catholic Priest.

    I would also say that, by their doctrine, whoever told you that was right.

     

    Not necessarily, a whole lot of Catholics are poorly catechized and misunderstand our own doctrine, sadly.

    A marriage is presumed valid even if it’s performed by a justice of the peace, or at a Vegas wedding chapel. Perhaps this person meant to say your marriage was not a sacramental marriage? But then my understanding is that Luther denied that marriage is a sacrament, so you might agree with that assessment anyhow.

    They were quite clear someone cannot be a priest unless they are part of the Catholic church. Something about an unbroken line to Peter. The man who married us apparently had not right.

     

    • #9
    • October 25, 2020, at 1:56 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member

    For what it’s worth, Deirdre McCluskey, the Liberal economist/economic historian (and Episcopalian), dates the onset of the Great Enrichment to the date Martin Luther posted his theses. The Great Enrichment she attributes to a change in rhetoric that most valued individual conscience. Perhaps we should all celebrate this event, and God’s grace manifest through it, however fraught the ensuing events.

    • #10
    • October 25, 2020, at 2:01 PM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  11. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. StephensJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    For what it’s worth, Deirdre McCluskey, the Liberal economist/economic historian (and Episopalian), dates the onset of the Great Enrichment to the date Martin Luther posted his theses. The Great Enrichment she attributes to a change in rhetoric that most valued individual conscience. Perhaps we should all celebrate this event, and God’s grace manifest through it, however fraught the ensuing events.

    I celebrate it.

    Heck, I had a post arguing it was part of Western Civilization. 

    Got attacked. 

    • #11
    • October 25, 2020, at 2:03 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member

    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng… (View Comment):

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    For what it’s worth, Deirdre McCluskey, the Liberal economist/economic historian (and Episopalian), dates the onset of the Great Enrichment to the date Martin Luther posted his theses. The Great Enrichment she attributes to a change in rhetoric that most valued individual conscience. Perhaps we should all celebrate this event, and God’s grace manifest through it, however fraught the ensuing events.

    I celebrate it.

    Heck, I had a post arguing it was part of Western Civilization.

    Got attacked.

    No good deed goes unpunished…

    • #12
    • October 25, 2020, at 2:15 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member

    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng… (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    I would also say that, by their doctrine, whoever told you that was right. If the Catholic faith is important to you, I would speak to a priest about how to bring the situation into good Catholic order. If you took vows before God in another trinitarian Christian tradition and you feel no strong connection to the Catholic tradition, then their barbs, however well meaning, can only serve to isolate themselves from you.

    Oh it separated me from Catholics for all time. Their actions, here at Ricochet, have forever made me wary and distrustful Catholocs. Laid Bair is their utter disdained for my vows of marriage. I came as a brother in Christ, professing the Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds and they give me this. No apologies ever.

    A Man does not forget that sort of slap in the face. I will, until I die, know that I cannot count on Catholics to have my back. I’ll take young Earth Creationists, because while we disagree on Science, they are not telling me my marriage does not count in the eyes of God.

    Bryan, I ask this in a spirit of charity: have you bothered to talk to a Catholic priest to see if what members here on Ricochet and elsewhere said is even correct? As far as I know, if one member of a couple, married in a Protestant church, later joins the Roman Catholic Church, that person is not told he or she is “living in sin” or fornicating. The RC does not deny that person the Sacraments. Everything I’ve seen tells me that the RC Church itself holds that as a valid marriage. You could be holding your anger against a Church (and Catholics in general) for something it doesn’t even teach. And I am sure that’s not good for one’s soul.

    Of course, I could be wrong, and I’m sure if I am I’ll hear about it.

    • #13
    • October 25, 2020, at 2:20 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph StankoJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):
    As far as I know, if one member of a couple, married in a Protestant church, later joins the Roman Catholic Church, that person is not told he or she is “living in sin” or fornicating. The RC does not deny that person the Sacraments. Everything I’ve seen tells me that the RC Church itself holds that as a valid marriage.

    That is correct. 

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):
    Of course, I could be wrong,

    But you’re not. 

    • #14
    • October 25, 2020, at 2:33 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):
    As far as I know, if one member of a couple, married in a Protestant church, later joins the Roman Catholic Church, that person is not told he or she is “living in sin” or fornicating. The RC does not deny that person the Sacraments. Everything I’ve seen tells me that the RC Church itself holds that as a valid marriage.

    That is correct.

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):
    Of course, I could be wrong,

    But you’re not.

    Not a Catholic (former Southern Baptist, current Orthodox), so I wanted to give myself some leeway.

    • #15
    • October 25, 2020, at 2:36 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. StephensJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Well, I will still celebrate in my heart, the reformation that both helped right the Catholic church and lead to a diversity of ways to know God such that the faith spread more across the world. 

     

    • #16
    • October 25, 2020, at 2:45 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. J Climacus Member

    My point is not to shame Catholics because Tetzel was Catholic or because the Roman Church was beset by corruption and human frailty..

    Go ahead and shame us.

    I, at least, don’t mind. It’s an acknowledgment that as a Catholic I have a special connection to Catholics of the past, present, and future; not just in my parish but everywhere on Earth and from all eternity. To be a Catholic is to be part of an eternal Church that transcends time and space; it exists here on Earth, in Heaven and in Purgatory.

    Sure, I am embarrassed by the misdeeds of Catholics past, as I would be of an uncle in jail. Or of family ancestors who may have been slave owners. But I would never think of disowning my family over such people or their bad behavior. You take the good with the bad in a family. 

    When Martin Luther separated himself from the Church, he separated himself from the bad bishops and corrupt practices. Yes.

    But not just those. He also separated himself from the long tradition of holy saints – St. Francis, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine, etc. And not just the bad bishops but the holy bishops and Popes like St. Gregory the Great. He abandoned the family – both good and bad.

    St. Francis was a true reformer of the Church. He was just as disturbed by the corruption he saw in the Church as was Luther. But he saw that the true path of reform is to reform the Church that Christ gave us through holiness. Francis is for me, and all Catholics, more than just a historical figure or an inspiring example. He is a brother; a brother praying for me right now. 

    A few years ago I was handed a pamphlet by an Evangelical Protestant. Apparently he didn’t think I was saved. What sticks in my mind about that pamphlet was a drawing it had of the individual before the judgement seat of Christ. The scene had two people: Christ in the seat of judgment and the individual trembling before Him. I guess that is the Protestant vision.

    I’ve never thought of the scene that way. I don’t expect to be alone before the judgement seat of Christ; I expect St. Francis, St. Philip Neri (another great reformer), St. Therese, and all the Saints to be there praying “Lord, have mercy on our brother.” As we say in the Mass, “Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church.” 

    So yes, put the sins of Johan Tetzel to my account. For by accepting those sins as mine, it means the faith of Sts. Peter and Paul, Gregory, John of the Cross, and all the rest are also put to my account. I’ll take that trade.

    Martin Luther – you’re on your own.

     

    • #17
    • October 25, 2020, at 3:23 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Kevin Schulte Member

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    My point is not to shame Catholics because Tetzel was Catholic or because the Roman Church was beset by corruption and human frailty..

    Go ahead and shame us.

    I, at least, don’t mind. It’s an acknowledgment that as a Catholic I have a special connection to Catholics of the past, present, and future; not just in my parish but everywhere on Earth and from all eternity. To be a Catholic is to be part of an eternal Church that transcends time and space; it exists here on Earth, in Heaven and in Purgatory.

    Sure, I am embarrassed by the misdeeds of Catholics past, as I would be of an uncle in jail. Or of family ancestors who may have been slave owners. But I would never think of disowning my family over such people or their bad behavior. You take the good with the bad in a family.

    When Martin Luther separated himself from the Church, he separated himself from the bad bishops and corrupt practices. Yes.

    But not just those. He also separated himself from the long tradition of holy saints – St. Francis, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine, etc. And not just the bad bishops but the holy bishops and Popes like St. Gregory the Great. He abandoned the family – both good and bad.

    St. Francis was a true reformer of the Church. He was just as disturbed by the corruption he saw in the Church as was Luther. But he saw that the true path of reform is to reform the Church that Christ gave us through holiness. Francis is for me, and all Catholics, more than just a historical figure or an inspiring example. He is a brother; a brother praying for me right now.

    A few years ago I was handed a pamphlet by an Evangelical Protestant. Apparently he didn’t think I was saved. What sticks in my mind about that pamphlet was a drawing it had of the individual before the judgement seat of Christ. The scene had two people: Christ in the seat of judgment and the individual trembling before Him. I guess that is the Protestant vision.

    I’ve never thought of the scene that way. I don’t expect to be alone before the judgement seat of Christ; I expect St. Francis, St. Philip Neri (another great reformer), St. Therese, and all the Saints to be there praying “Lord, have mercy on our brother.” As we say in the Mass, “Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church.”

    So yes, put the sins of Johan Tetzel to my account. For by accepting those sins as mine, it means the faith of Sts. Peter and Paul, Gregory, John of the Cross, and all the rest are also put to my account. I’ll take that trade.

    Martin Luther – you’re on your own.

     

    My won’t you be surprised when you see Luther at the table too !

    • #18
    • October 25, 2020, at 3:32 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. J Climacus Member

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    St. Francis was a true reformer of the Church. He was just as disturbed by the corruption he saw in the Church as was Luther. But he saw that the true path of reform is to reform the Church that Christ gave us through holiness. Francis is for me, and all Catholics, more than just a historical figure or an inspiring example. He is a brother; a brother praying for me right now.

    A few years ago I was handed a pamphlet by an Evangelical Protestant. Apparently he didn’t think I was saved. What sticks in my mind about that pamphlet was a drawing it had of the individual before the judgement seat of Christ. The scene had two people: Christ in the seat of judgment and the individual trembling before Him. I guess that is the Protestant vision.

    I’ve never thought of the scene that way. I don’t expect to be alone before the judgement seat of Christ; I expect St. Francis, St. Philip Neri (another great reformer), St. Therese, and all the Saints to be there praying “Lord, have mercy on our brother.” As we say in the Mass, “Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church.”

    So yes, put the sins of Johan Tetzel to my account. For by accepting those sins as mine, it means the faith of Sts. Peter and Paul, Gregory, John of the Cross, and all the rest are also put to my account. I’ll take that trade.

    Martin Luther – you’re on your own.

     

    My won’t you be surprised when you see Luther at the table too !

    It’s not for me to judge Luther – and I didn’t (read what I wrote more carefully).

    • #19
    • October 25, 2020, at 3:43 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Kevin Schulte Member

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    St. Francis was a true reformer of the Church. He was just as disturbed by the corruption he saw in the Church as was Luther. But he saw that the true path of reform is to reform the Church that Christ gave us through holiness. Francis is for me, and all Catholics, more than just a historical figure or an inspiring example. He is a brother; a brother praying for me right now.

    A few years ago I was handed a pamphlet by an Evangelical Protestant. Apparently he didn’t think I was saved. What sticks in my mind about that pamphlet was a drawing it had of the individual before the judgement seat of Christ. The scene had two people: Christ in the seat of judgment and the individual trembling before Him. I guess that is the Protestant vision.

    I’ve never thought of the scene that way. I don’t expect to be alone before the judgement seat of Christ; I expect St. Francis, St. Philip Neri (another great reformer), St. Therese, and all the Saints to be there praying “Lord, have mercy on our brother.” As we say in the Mass, “Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church.”

    So yes, put the sins of Johan Tetzel to my account. For by accepting those sins as mine, it means the faith of Sts. Peter and Paul, Gregory, John of the Cross, and all the rest are also put to my account. I’ll take that trade.

    Martin Luther – you’re on your own.

     

    My won’t you be surprised when you see Luther at the table too !

    It’s not for me to judge Luther – and I didn’t (read what I wrote more carefully).

    The last line you wrote ” Martin Luther – your’re on your own”

    It is easy to infer you do not think Luther a brother in Christ , or you think it in question. 

    If not, then clear me up ?

    • #20
    • October 25, 2020, at 3:50 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. J Climacus Member

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    My won’t you be surprised when you see Luther at the table too !

    It’s not for me to judge Luther – and I didn’t (read what I wrote more carefully).

    The last line you wrote ” Martin Luther – your’re on your own”

    It is easy to infer you do not think Luther a brother in Christ , or you think it in question.

    If not, then clear me up ?

    I’m not judging Luther’s eternal soul – that is up to Christ, not me.

    It’s Luther who put the brotherhood in question, not me. The OP assures Catholics that he is not trying to shame us for people like Johann Tetzel. Well, is Johann a brother in Christ? Why, then, should Catholics be particularly embarrassed by him more than Protestants? Because to be a Protestant is precisely to separate oneself from the Church to avoid association with the likes of Johann Tetzel. That’s why Protestants aren’t embarrassed of Tetzel. Fair enough.

    Well, the Protestant also disassociates himself with me at the same time, because Tetzel and I are in the same family. That’s how families work. You can’t pick and choose in the family and say I’ll be his brother, and his brother, but not his or hers. It’s all or nothing. So, no, I don’t think of Luther as a brother the way I do St. Francis, but only because that is the way he wanted it.

    • #21
    • October 25, 2020, at 4:02 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  22. Instugator Thatcher
    InstugatorJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    Oh, and for the record and for what it’s worth, I consider you married.

    #metoo

    • #22
    • October 25, 2020, at 4:24 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Patrick McClure Coolidge

    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng… (View Comment):

    I once had a post saying the Reformation was a good thing, worth celebrating, because it was what forced the Church to reform, and unfortunately that is what it took.

    What I got for that was a lot of grief. Maybe you have struck a safe middle ground here. I hope so. I, for one, still resent being told my marriage was not valid because it was not performed by a Catholic Priest.

     

    Whoever said that is stupid. Marriage is a sacrament the couple administer to each other. The sacramental validity of your marriage depends on that. If the person represented to you anything other than that, they are ignorant.

    • #23
    • October 25, 2020, at 4:25 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. Kevin Schulte Member

    Well, J. I was baptized confirmed and raised Catholic. I was a CINO. When I met Jesus I became Protestant. 

    I am not an anti Catholic but am not Catholic for doctrinal reasons. However, I consider Catholics brothers and sister’s in Christ. Christ is the unifying constant. 

    If you feel different. So be it. See you at the table.

    • #24
    • October 25, 2020, at 4:32 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Instugator Thatcher
    InstugatorJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    J Climacus (View Comment):
    So yes, put the sins of Johan Tetzel to my account.

    Jesus already claimed them to himself.

    My sins are too numerous to count and I am not so arrogant to be claiming someone else’s as my own too. Christ already took them to himself and that is all I need.

     

    • #25
    • October 25, 2020, at 4:34 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Instugator Thatcher
    InstugatorJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    J Climacus (View Comment):
    Because to be a Protestant is precisely to separate oneself from the Church

    I would say, “that church”. Lowercase.

    • #26
    • October 25, 2020, at 4:37 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Sisyphus Coolidge
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng… (View Comment):

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    For what it’s worth, Deirdre McCluskey, the Liberal economist/economic historian (and Episopalian), dates the onset of the Great Enrichment to the date Martin Luther posted his theses. The Great Enrichment she attributes to a change in rhetoric that most valued individual conscience. Perhaps we should all celebrate this event, and God’s grace manifest through it, however fraught the ensuing events.

    I celebrate it.

    Heck, I had a post arguing it was part of Western Civilization.

    Got attacked.

    “But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.” -John 15:21

    Pray for them. 

    • #27
    • October 25, 2020, at 5:32 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil FawltyJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng… (View Comment):
    A Man does not forget that sort of slap in the face.

    Even a Christian man?

    • #28
    • October 25, 2020, at 5:44 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  29. Sisyphus Coolidge
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    So yes, put the sins of Johan Tetzel to my account. For by accepting those sins as mine, it means the faith of Sts. Peter and Paul, Gregory, John of the Cross, and all the rest are also put to my account. I’ll take that trade.

    Martin Luther – you’re on your own.

    Dr. Luther protected the communion of the saints throughout his career. And a statue of him has been erected at the Vatican. Leaving aside the technical question of error for a moment, he was never, ever alone. You presume to speak for the communion of the saints against a fellow sinner, I pray that that is not counted against you.

    • #29
    • October 25, 2020, at 5:48 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. Instugator Thatcher
    InstugatorJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member