Church History

The Dark Side of Luther – by Steve Wood

by Steve Ray on March 25, 2020

The Dark Side of Luther  (View online version at Steve Woods site here)

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This is the last of my newsletters responding to the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. I’m sending you some of the overlooked statements of Luther revealing his thoughts on Catholics, his claim to infallibility, and his hatred of the Jews.

All quotations are from Luther’s Own Statements Concerning His Teaching and Its Results by Henry O’Connor, Benzinger, 1884. Google Books offers a free digital copy. A copy is also available by clicking here.

What Luther Said about Catholics
“The Pope, the Cardinals, and the whole Romish Court and mob, are nothing else but a stable full of big, coarse, stupid, disgraceful donkeys.”

“The Pope, the Cardinals…ought to be taken and (as they are blasphemers) their tongue ought to be torn out through the back of their neck and nailed to the gallows…”

[Bishops under the Pope are] “Wolves, tyrants, murderers of souls, and the Apostles of the Antichrist…”

“…why do we not still more attack with every kind of weapon these teachers of perdition, these Cardinals, these Popes, and that whole abomination of the Romish Sodom, which, without ceasing, corrupts the Church of God, and why do we not wash our hands in their blood?”

“It is clear enough that they (the Papists) are the Christians of the Devil.”

Luther’s Claim to Infallibility
“I am certain that I have my teaching from heaven.”

“Whoever teaches differently from what I have taught herein, or condemns me for it, he condemns God, and must be a child of Hell.”

“…so that whoever does not accept my teaching, cannot be saved…Therefore, my judgment is at the same time God’s and not mine.”

downloadWhy Luther Inserted the Word “Alone” in Romans 3:28
“You tell me what great fuss the Papists make, because the word Sola (“alone”) is not in the text of Paul.”

“…If your Papist makes much unnecessary fuss about the word (Sola, alone), say straight out to him, Doctor Martinus Luther will have it so, and says, Papists and donkeys are one and the same thing…(thus I will have it, thus I order it, my will is reason enough). For we will not be the scholars or the disciples of the Papists, but their masters and judges. We must once in a way act a little haughtily and noisily with these jack-asses.”

“…and as to their unnecessary noise about the word Sola, I beg of you not to give those donkeys any other further answer, but simply this much: D. Luther will have it so, and he is a Doctor above all Doctors in the whole of popery.”

“…I knew very well that here, Rom. III, the word (Sola) is not in the Latin and Greek text, and it was not necessary for the Papists to teach me that. It is true, these four letters, S.O.L.A. are not in it, which letter the jack-asses look at as a cow looks at a new gate; but they do not see that nevertheless, it expresses the meaning of the text, and if our German translation is to be clear and powerful; it ought to be put in…”

Editor’s note: To their credit, not a single Protestant English translation of Romans 3:28 inserts the word “alone” as Luther did. This includes the KJV, RSV, NIV, NASB, ESV and several others.

Luther’s Hatred towards the Jews
Luther writes, “Now what are we Christians to do with this rejected, damned people of the Jews? … I will give my honest advice.”

“First, their synagogues or schools are to be set on fire, and whatever will not burn, is to be covered and heaped over with earth, so that never again shall one find stone or cinder of them left. And this is to be done in order to honor the Lord and Christianity, so that God may see that we are Christians…”

“Secondly, their houses are likewise to be broken down and destroyed…”

Editor’s note: No wonder Hitler in “Mein Kampf” names Luther as one of history’s greatest reformers. A copy of Luther’s “On the Jews and Their Lies” was prominently displayed during the Nazi’s Nuremberg rallies.

Family Life Team
In Advent Family Life Team members receive information about a new resource I’ve produced that explains key events preceding the Second Coming. To request this free no-obligation special letter, send an email to team@dads.org.

 

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Catherine of Siena and Leaving the Church

by Steve Ray on February 5, 2020

What this 14th-century mystic can teach us about fidelity to Christ and to a Church in crisis

Thomas McDermott, OP

In the wake of so many clerical sex abuse scandals, too many people the Catholic Church appears hypocritical and bankrupt morally and spiritually. In the midst of such trying times, how can Catholics justify remaining in the Church? The words and deeds of St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), Dominican Mantelatta—or penitential woman—who lived during an earlier crisis, can offer us some guidance and hope.

download (6)Catherine lived in worse times than our own because it was not only the Church that seemed to be collapsing but larger society and even the world itself. The Black Death, or bubonic plague—one of the deadliest pandemics in human history—reached Sicily via Genoese trading ships from the Black Sea the year Catherine was born.

It is said that four-fifths of the population of Siena died from the plague the following year. There would be several successive waves of the disease during Catherine’s lifetime. One anonymous chronicler in Siena at the time wrote: “And no bells tolled, and nobody wept no matter what his loss because almost everyone expected death…. And people said and believed, ‘This is the end of the world.’”

At the time, Italy was a conglomeration of feuding monarchies, communes, and republics with factions such as the Guelphs, who supported the papacy, and the Ghibellines, who supported the northern Italian rulers. The Italian peninsula was beset by foreign mercenaries, the most famous of which was the Englishman John Hawkwood, to whom Catherine directed one of her 381 letters.

download (7)Outside of Italy, the Hundred Years War between England and France was raging, and there was the additional threat of militant Islam as seen in the advance of the Turks twice to Vienna.

Catherine lived during a time of pessimism and cynicism. Barbara Tuchman, in her historical narrative A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, described the period as “a time of turmoil, diminished expectations, loss of confidence in institutions, and feelings of helplessness at forces beyond human control.”

The popes lived in exile in Avignon between 1309 and 1377, only returning to Rome after Catherine went personally to the papal court and pleaded with Gregory XI. Monasteries and convents in Europe were decimated by the Plague, and in order to re-populate them unsuitable candidates were often accepted. The secular literature at the time described clerical celibacy as a joke. By the time Catherine died in 1380, the Church was in schism with the election of an anti-pope, Clement VII.

Yikes! For the whole encouraging article, click here.

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For 1,000 years the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (today’s Istanbul) was the largest church in the world.

What would it have sounded like to attend the Easter Vigil with all those newly baptized Christians singing in their native language of Greek with Doctor of the Church, St. John Chrysostom presiding.

Coming in from the farms miles away with the smell of manure as their daily fare coming into the splendor of this church, with the smell of incense and the heavenly music and the preaching of the Word of God and miracle of the Eucharist.

They must have thought they’d entered heaven.

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Did St. Ignatius of Antioch REALLY Believe in Transubstantiation in the 1st Century?

January 6, 2020

A friend and fellow pilgrim got in a row with a friend on Facebook and asked for my help. You might enjoy the question and the answer. My friend wrote: “I have a quick apologetic question.  A Protestant Facebook page was denying the Eucharist and I pasted St Ignatius’ quote about the Eucharist, “Let us […]

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Aztecs, Human Sacrifice, Abortion and Our Lady of Guadalupe

December 12, 2019

Today we visited the Aztec Temple in Mexico City. The cathedral of Mexico City was built right next to the 500-year temple. I did a lot of study on the Aztecs and their massive human sacrifices and cannibalism. I realized there was a great tie-in with the Catholic faith, the sacrifice of Christ and abortion […]

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Did the Church Ever Support Slavery?

October 20, 2019

By Steve Weidenkopf   September 18, 2017 Many years ago I attended a conference organized by a national Catholic organization on the topics of marriage and human sexuality. One of the speakers was a professor from Creighton University who, in the middle of his talk on contraception, launched into a long tangent about how the Church had […]

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My EWTN Live Show on the Papacy now on YouTube

August 16, 2019

On August 14, I was in Birmingham Alabama to do the EWTN Live show with Fr. Mitch Pacwa. He’s a classy guy, by the way, and I really enjoyed my time with him again. He’s a hunter and outdoorsman and a pleasure to be with — lots of great stories. (Courtesy of EWTN Global Catholic […]

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In 1521 “Reformers” Disagreed among themselves – was it really THAT bad?

August 8, 2019

A friend named Philip wrote and asked me this question: Christ is Risen. And we with him. I was talking to Evangelical friends who directed me to some historical websites about the Marburg meeting of the Protestant Reformers. You have just finished your Dr. Luther tour of Germany. It seems that the Protestants did agree […]

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Steve “Appearance” on Catholic Answers Live – Martyrs!

July 25, 2019

Steve Ray discusses the Catholic Church’s history of martyrs who refused to deny Christ. Questions Covered: 18:20 – How can you historically prove that the writings of the martyrs are theirs? Do most Protestants believe that these writings existed and were true?  21:55 – How can we defend the bad practices of popes in the early Church?      […]

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In response to a “Bible Christian’s“ Critique & Criticism of Catholics Reading the Bible

June 2, 2019

A man named and Alan posted a comment on my blog. He claims that he was once a Catholic and therefore he is eminently qualified to comment on Catholics reading Bibles. He said they don’t read Bibles and they “don’t even own Bibles”. His ignorant exaggerations discredit everything else he says but I still thought […]

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One of my favorite 1-minute videos about the Church! Swelling with pride again…

June 1, 2019

This short one-minute video is a few years old now, but it always makes me swell with pride. I am sharing it again to remind us that the Catholic Church is a blessed and elegant and universal Church that needs to be loved and defended. Enjoy, again! Maybe share with a friend or family that […]

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How We REALLY Got the Bible – the Facts Simply Presented (print this out, hand it out)

May 16, 2019

This is just one page of Bob Sullivan’s excellent little tri-fold handout to explain how we got the Bible. It is from the Catholic and historical perspective without all the Protestant biases and twisting of history. I think you enjoy the whole thing which you can see here. You can print this out, fold it […]

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What Happened to the Apostles after the New Testament?

May 14, 2019

 

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The Technology of Scripture Study: The Middle Ages (and a hilarious video at the end)

April 30, 2019

“I am an ecclesiastical historian by training and a Bible software guy by trade. Which, I think, puts me in the unique position to write about the history of the intersection of technology and Scripture study in a series of posts.” Written by my friend Andrew Jones PhD: “We might start with a description of […]

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How Many Churches Did Jesus Intend?

April 28, 2019

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony. My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father… so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent […]

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Wow! Sistine Chapel Explained; Now You See Why We Only Use Liz as our Guide in Rome!

April 21, 2019

We have a special Advent Pilgrimage to Italy in early December this year AND LIZ IS OUR GUIDE! Take a look at this video to see Liz’s amazing knowledge, passion for the Catholic Faith and eloquence. Enjoy this amazing video. To join our upcoming pilgrimages, visit our page here. We will spend two nights in […]

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