The only true reformer? Well, it wasn’t Martin Luther. Read on and learn the truth.
“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” Revelations 21:5.
Can the so-called reformers Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, John Knox, Robert Browne, John Smyth, etc. make that same claim? The one true reformer is Jesus Christ.
The reformation then is not an event that began in 1517, or 1518, or 1528, or at any other time in church history because of a man or any group of men. The reformation occurs wherever the Gospel of Jesus Christ is believed. The one and only true reformer, Jesus Christ, is no demagogue. Men appeal to emotions and prejudices as evidenced by their sects, denominations, synods, creeds, statements etc. Jesus Christ appeals to the heart, because salvation is a heart issue.
Political, social and yes, even religious reforms labor in vain, because they ignore the truth of the Scriptures. This is a great stubborn fact, which ruins all their manmade designs, dogmas and doctrines. Without acknowledging the reality of exactly what the Scriptures teach…the great problems of human nature can never be solved.
Jesus Christ is the only true reformer of mankind. Just in proportion as men are brought under the influence of the Gospel and the path that Jesus walked…will be the increase of peace on earth and goodwill among men.
The more Christ is known and loved, and the more the Scriptures are studied…the more humankind will love one another. The more grace reigns over hearts and lives…the less hatred and violence will there be in the world.
If pure and undefiled beliefs, as taught to us by Jesus Christ, prevailed everywhere…then nuisances as fights, robbery, murder, drunkenness, drug abuse, corruption, immorality, swindling, gambling, idleness, lying, cheating, etc., would be comparatively unknown. Most of the prisons would soon be shut. Wars would be consigned to the pages of history. Lawyers, policemen and soldiers would have little to do. Such possibilities exist because true reform is authored solely by one person. It is based on the life, the teaching, and the death Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. Religion has hijacked this fact, instead attempting to assign true Scriptural reform to the works of men.
What has become known as the “Protestant Reformation” has been errantly attributed to Martin Luther, a Catholic priest who began to publicly challenge numerous teachings of the Catholic denomination. He was eventually excommunicated by the Catholic denomination, and afterward started the “Lutheran” denomination.
The protesting continued through another Catholic named John Calvin. However, he could not come to complete agreement with Luther’s ideas, and so began to form his own denomination (the “Reformed” denomination). Ulrich Zwingli was another who surfaced around the same time, though he could neither come to agreement with Luther nor Calvin.
The floodgates were now opened, and in the years and centuries that have followed, numerous other movements surfaced, such as that initiated by John Knox (starting the Presbyterian denomination in 1560), Robert Browne (starting the Congregational denomination in 1592), John Smyth (starting the Baptist denomination in 1609) and John Wesley (starting the Methodist denomination in 1729) none of which could come to agreement on their doctrines. Denominations have snowballed since, all which lack unity, and today there are literally thousands of them; even though, the Scriptures never speak of any denomination. In Acts 11:26 we read, “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” According to the Scriptures, as believers, we are Christians…not Catholics, Protestants, Lutherans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc.
Martin Luder (His real birth name) started his own church. Imagine if he hadn’t changed his name. The church he started would be known as the Luderan church.
At age 21, Luder was caught up in a large storm. The story goes that he prayed to St. Anna, the mother of the Mary, to save his life, promising to become a monk if he survived. Well, isn’t that special, because the Scriptures never give any genealogy as to the parents of Mary. Roman Catholicism assigns the names Anne and Joachim to the mother and father, respectively, of Mary, but even a source such as the website Catholic Online (http://www.catholic.org/) states, “We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. Any stories about Mary’s father and mother come to us through legend and tradition.” “We get the oldest story from a document called the Gospel of James, though in no way should this document be trusted to be factual, historical, or the Word of God.”
The Lutheran church believes some of the things that the Catholic Church believes. They hold to the Augsburg Confession, which teaches that all men are born in sin, and therefore need to be justified through faith in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Along with faith in Christ, baptism is “necessary for salvation” and therefore children should be baptized; although you will not find any examples of infants being baptized from Genesis to Revelation. As you will learn, if you study the Scriptures, much of religion is based upon manmade traditions operating outside of what the Scriptures actually teach.
The Lutheran church also teaches that all men have some measure of freedom of the will…which is ironic considering Luder comes to the opposite conclusion in one of his most famous books. Most Christians do not even know that the so-called Reformers denied free will. In particular, the denial of free will was to Martin Luder the foundation of the Biblical doctrine of grace, and a hearty endorsement of that denial was the first step for anyone who would understand the Gospel and come to faith in God. Luder not only denied free will concerning salvation, but he destroyed all free will by saying that it is “nothing at all!” Luder denied any kind of free will in man as evidenced in his book, “The Bondage of the Will.”
Much of the belief within the Catholic Church has been carried over into the Lutheran Church. Some sects even believe that it is possible for the Scriptures to be in error concerning some areas, like science or history. The manner in which their faith is lived out can vary from an empty participation in ceremonies to a personal relationship with God. Wow! What a broad stroke! One sect of the Lutheran church even ordains same-sex marriages.
Lutherans believe in the value of offering prayers for those who have gone before us into eternal life. In essence, these are prayers for the dead; much like other cult religions such as Mormonism.
Both Lutherans and Catholics affirm that, in the Eucharist, Christ is “present wholly and entirely, in his body and blood, under the signs of bread and wine” and that this presence of Christ in the Eucharist is more than a mere commemoration or symbol. Lutheranism retains many of the outward symbols and liturgical structure of Catholicism. For instance, most Lutheran churches have altars, and their clergy wear vestments similar to those worn by Catholic priests.
Christianity was to Luder a dogmatic religion, or it was nothing. He believed that fundamental to upholding a doctrinal Christianity is the upholding of logic. If logic is ignored or denigrated, no doctrine can be known to be true or false. Luder was himself a rigorous logician. In 1508, he lectured in Aristotelian logic at the University of Wittenberg.
Martin Luder was often shockingly foul mouthed. Luder is known to have expressed himself with crude and sometimes downright vulgar statements. Probably why fundamentalists overlook Luder’s false beliefs and have promoted him to being the founder of the “Protestant Reformation.”
How many of you learned scholars knew of Luder’s aversion to the Jewish faith was extreme? He proposed seven measures of “sharp mercy” to be taken against the Jewish population in Germany in 1543 which included “setting fire to their synagogues or schools”. His “hatred, offensive abuse and violent annihilation fantasies” only increased until his death.
But you go ahead and celebrate Luder’s anniversary. Make sure you purchase a Martin Luder bobble head…you will be in good company.