Sunday, October 16, 2011

Why Was Luther Wrong? (Part 1)

Why Was Luther Wrong?

The primary reason Luther was wrong is due to his rejection of due authority which God Himself put in place.  I can hear the Protestants, especially the Lutherans now, stating how Luther was right because he stood up to corrupted authority.  To a point, I have to agree!  There WERE some problems in the Catholic hierarchy at the time and there was definitely some need for "reform."   Now we can banter all around about how "wrong" each side was - but ultimately you do not "reform" a church when you're no longer part of it and WANT no part of it! 

The other thing we must consider is that Luther was not really this "Lone Ranger" standing up for a cause.  In reality the German princes did not like the amount of power the Catholic Church had in Germany so they used Luther as a pawn in their battle with Rome.  The found a very willing accomplice in Luther.  The chaos which ensued before, during and after the Peasants War was successful in disrupting the unity of those who may have remained loyal to the Catholic Church - this played right into the hands of the quite willing German princes.  The point being, there were some quite political reasons for Germany's revolt against the Catholic Church - and NOT solely Luther's 95 Theses. 

The Errors of Luther (condemned by Pope Leo X on June 15, 1520 via papal bull Exsurge Domini).
1. It is a heretical opinion, but a common one, that the sacraments of the New Law give pardoning grace to those who do not set up an obstacle.
The sacraments of the New Law, especially the Sacrament of Penance (Reconciliation) does indeed provide pardoning grace for those who do not set up an obstacle!  If ones confession is contrite and not withholding sin - then the confessee indeed receives pardoning grace (Sanctifying Grace) and his soul is made pure again through the absolution given by one validly empowered to grant absolution.  (John 20:23)
2. To deny that in a child after baptism sin remains is to treat with contempt both Paul and Christ.
While a child may be released from Original Sin by the Sacrament of Baptism (another sacrament which bestows pardoning grace to those who do not set up an obstacle, which an infant could not do) this does not change the fact that the child has a corrupt/fallen nature - however, all sin IS gone.  Original Sin is washed away and before the "age of reason" the child has no ability to commit Actual Sin.  
3. The inflammable sources of sin, even if there be no actual sin, delay a soul departing from the body from entrance into heaven.
It is possible, but maybe improbable, that one may be in such a state of grace at the time of their death that there is no impediment for entering Heaven.  We know of at least two such souls, from the Old Testament, who did not even die - and were bodily assumed into Heaven (Enoch and Elijah).
4. To one on the point of death imperfect charity necessarily brings with it great fear, which in itself alone is enough to produce the punishment of purgatory, and impedes entrance into the kingdom.
Luther seemed to have a great struggle with his own fears and sins and it is definitely an error to impute his fears upon others.
5. That there are three parts to penance: contrition, confession, and satisfaction, has no foundation in Sacred Scripture nor in the ancient sacred Christian doctors.
The first two are obvious - there can be no forgiveness if one is not contrite and does not confess his sins to one empowered to forgive sins (John 20:23).  As for "satisfaction" - I must assume Luther refers to "doing the penance" - which is really part of contrition for in doing the penance one demonstrates beyond the mere words that they are contrite.
6. Contrition, which is acquired through discussion, collection, and detestation of sins, by which one reflects upon his years in the bitterness of his soul, by pondering over the gravity of sins, their number, their baseness, the loss of eternal beatitude, and the acquisition of eternal damnation, this contrition makes him a hypocrite, indeed more a sinner.
For a "General Confession" one would go back throughout their life to reflect upon all sins, but this would only be done ONCE - not repeatedly.  Once absolution is given, sins are forgiven.  It is my perception that Luther had a real problem with sin and just how forgiveness was imparted to those who follow Christ.
7. It is a most truthful proverb and the doctrine concerning the contritions given thus far is the more remarkable: "Not to do so in the future is the highest penance; the best penance, a new life."
One could use that as a self-imposed penance - but the "highest penance" is that which comes from your confessor!  It is THAT penance which demonstrates true contrition and ultimately forgiveness of sins through the Sacrament of Penance - how could any penance be "higher" than that which is part of a Sacrament instituted by Christ to dispense grace?
8. By no means may you presume to confess venial sins, nor even all mortal sins, because it is impossible that you know all mortal sins. Hence in the primitive Church only manifest mortal sins were confessed.
It is the responsibility of the faithful Christian to not willfully withhold any mortal sin from the confessional!  If one willfully does so then this person is not truly contrite for their sins - and thus rather than enjoying the graces bestowed by the Sacrament of Penance - they would actually be heaping coals of judgment upon themselves in not making a worthy or valid confession.  Now, if a mortal sin happened to slip ones mind and was not confessed - it is STILL FORGIVEN in the absolution, for Christ through His priest declares ALL your sins are forgiven!  If such a sin were later remembered and it concerned the person, then they should meet with their confessor to discuss it - and not necessarily in a formal confession (but it may turn into that, depending upon how the confessor feels).
9. As long as we wish to confess all sins without exception, we are doing nothing else than to wish to leave nothing to God's mercy for pardon.
This is an error because the desire to confess all sins without exception is PRECISELY throwing ourselves at the Mercy Seat of God and begging forgiveness!  
10. Sins are not forgiven to anyone, unless when the priest forgives them he believes they are forgiven; on the contrary the sin would remain unless he believed it was forgiven; for indeed the remission of sin and the granting of grace does not suffice, but it is necessary also to believe that there has been forgiveness.
This is not true because the priest need not believe sins are forgiven!  If the priest, speaking alter christus (as Christ) declares the sins forgiven - ultimately it is not the priest who forgives the sin - but Christ Himself THROUGH the priest.

(End of Part 1)


  1. From your answer to #6:
    "Once absolution is given, sins are forgiven. It is my perception that Luther had a real problem with sin and just how forgiveness was imparted to those who follow Christ."

    It reminds me a lot of the story of Jonah. After he finally obeyed God and went to Ninevah, the people repented of their sin and God forgave them. Jonah, however, was really ticked off that God did not destroy Ninevah anyway. He thought he knew better than God what Ninevah deserved.

    Luther seems to be the same way. He decided that he knew better what God would and would not do--what God would forgive or not. Luther seems to be bitter, like Jonah, and wanted every person, whether contrite or not, to be seen as a sinner and unforgivable.

    We can see through Christ's life and works that God is much more compassionate than Luther portrayed. God is a God of love, compassion and forgiveness. Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son shows us this very thing.

    1. On the contrary, Luther was in fact distraught by how unforgiving God seemed to be according to the Church and preached the idea of a more loving, compassionate God.

  2. Luther was not a reformer, he was a revolutionary. His solution was to reject the God ordained structures of sacred and secular society. He attacked the government of the church be calling the Papacy very Anti-Christ. He subverted the family by teaching divorce was permissable under certain circumstances (which he just happened to know about!) He lashed out at secular authoriies who had the gall to disagree with him, thus undermining peoples trust in their governments, and leading to revolutions in his time and ours. Yep, ol' Marty was the spiritual ancestor of the folks who brought us 1789, 1848, and 1917. Let's hope in 2017, the 500th anniversity of his great folly, that a counter-revolution might will occur to destroy his evil works!

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  5. i like your blog. it is great. I'll be back on your post hope will get new update.

    Prophecy news watch

  6. Dear Bernard,
    Thank you for the compliment. Am I to assume you are considering converting to the Catholic Faith? I mean, if you have looked through my blog at all - you must know that I would oppose your "prophetic" ministry at just about every turn. So, if you like what you see here, I can assume you're liking the Catholic Faith. Or, perhaps you would be interested in discussing your ministry here and you believe I'll give you fair treatment? I can assure you, I would be quite fair with you and answer any honest and respectful questions you might have for me regarding the Catholic Faith.

    In JMJ,

  7. PS- As for "updates" - if you're referring to this article on the errors of Martin Luther, yes - there will be at least 2 or 3 more.

  8. Luther was no more wrong than was Savonarola a century earlier. Do we know the real story of Savonarola or even care?
    Here was a true Catholic Priest, in every sense, who studied the scriptures, and who delivered the most profound sermons ever heard at that time. He denounced sin, exhorted righteousness and condemned evil! We hear no such preaching today. He calls for Christian revival. He denounced clerical corruption, despotic rule and the exploitation of the poor. He sought reform from within the Church and the Church Killed him.

    Luther was also a Priest, an devout Augustinian Monk. And like Savonarola, he battled against the forces of deception and spiritual decay.
    He did not possess the kinder qualities of Savonarola, unfortunately. He was goaded on by selfish kings and princes who wanted earthly glory and power. And when the Church finally pronounced a death sentence upon Luther, at that point the schism commenced, but not before. Again I tell you the historic record, Luther did earnestly seek reform within the church, and the church was recalcitrant and oppesed to anything that might affect their power. Because of Luther there were reforms within the church brought on by the counter-reformation led by St. Theresa of Avila and St. Ignatius of Loyola.


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