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11302Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Of the Papacy and their merry men (Spurgeon)

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  • Barry Ferguson
    Oct 2, 2004
            When I used to believe that every word proceeded from Luther's mouth was inspired by the Holy Ghost, I loved his ferocious language.
             I was a much younger man and I was captivated by his language - and I was a bit of a "rager" myself.
             Did you read my entire post?
             If you want my opinion on what Luther was right about, I'll say he was right about the fact that God embraces sinners wholly in Christ crucified apart from works of righteousness which we have done; he was right about the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist; he was right about retaining infant baptism; he was right about taking songs from drunkards and transforming them for the glory of Christ; he was right about composing hymns of his own for the common people; he was right about drawing up catechisms that reflected the apostolic faith as well as the pure, free, and unmerited favor of God our heavenly father; he was right about translating the scriptures into the language of the people; he was right about God's right hand and the mystery of Christ's "ubiquity"; he was right about "in, with and under" as an alternative interpretation to Rome that does justice to the Word of Christ, the mystery of the Eucharist and the reality of what appears before our eyes and senses.   He retained to the best of his ability what he truly believed was apostolic and Christian.   He showed a great deal of courage and heroism to take his stand.
              So if you don't believe in the real presence of Christ in the eucharist, if you don't believe in infant baptism, if you don't believe in the free use of hymns in the church, if you don't believe in the rich mercy and lavish generosity of God poured out on undeserving sinners through Christ, then you are on the wrong side of Luther, and I am with him on all these points.
              Did he vent his spleen in harmful ways that did a great deal of damage that could have been prevented were he more humane to the peasants, to the Jews, and to others?
      Had he been more moderate, he wouldn't have been Luther.   Melanchton tried to smooth over and calm the storm, and Luther described himself as a ruffian and Phillip as a tactician.  
              Luther was a reformer and he had the temper and disposition of a prophet, so there are probably many things that are "hard sayings of Luther" that seem more like Amos from the Old Testament than St. Paul in First Corinthians thirteen.   He knew God's wrath in the lightning bolt and he knew God's tenderness in the dear Lord Jesus.   He experienced the full range from God's proper work to God's "strange" work, and he expressed that full range quite clearly and boldly.   He thundered and that is probably what was required to shake the complacency of the crap he saw in Rome when he visited.  
             Did he know the motives of everyone who opposed him?
             Could he read into human hearts with omniscient clarity?
             Could he set himself up as God in the temple of God with regard to the heart of Erasmus, who performed a great service for Christianity, or with the heart of several other of his opponents?
             He was simply wrong, wong, wrong, on several personal fronts.
             He was only a man, he had all that treasure in a fallen earthly vessel, and he was not the infallible Pope of the Protestants, and neither was John Calvin and neither are you, g.m.w., nor is anyone who writes in this forum.   When our founding fathers were drawing up their Constitution they came to a stalemate; so Ben Franklin stood up and suggested everyone drop their own pretense of infallibility and look to God in heaven who raises up and puts down kingdoms and who sees the fall of every sparrow.
             The presumptive infallibility of people who condemn the motives of those who disagree with them is an easy out for people who would rather vent their spleen than think, or pray, or beg God for more light for either their opponent or for themselves. 
             Barry Ferguson

      gmw <raging.calvinist@...> wrote:

      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Barry Ferguson
      <gogon789@y...> wrote:

      > But Luther cuts a pretty wide swath in here below in terms of
      > character assassination.

      When unable to answer Luther, most immediately point out that he was
      harsh with his words.  Anyone who reads Luther knows that Luther was
      harsh with his words.  The point is, was he right or wrong?


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