16 August 2009

Is there a special place in hell...

...for these kinds of false preachers? WWDS: What Would Dante Say?

The readings for Trinity 8 in the LSB one year series come to mind: Jer 23:16-29, Acts 20:27-38, Matt 7:15-23.

--- Rev. Larry Beane


Chad Myers said...

I hate to be the eye-poker of burning irony here, but Dante was Catholic and would've included Luther in the list of false preachers. Prosperity Gospel joins a long list of heresies that mislead people and cause many problems and distorted faith traditions, but it hasn't done nearly the damage that Sola Scriptura or Sola Fide have done. Keep in mind, what enabled these preachers to just make up theology as they go along was the heresies of Sola Scriptura -- by excusing themselves from having any culpability to authority, they are free to interpret Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture however they want -- not surprisingly, that eventually leads to all sorts of nonsense like Prosperity Theology and leading people away from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and from a proper understanding of the sacramental economy and how grace flows from God.

Satan is a predator and predators split the weak from the herd and then prey on them. American Evangelicals are weak in theology and are being preyed upon. This is due in no small part to the misguided theology of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, etc.

Put simply, this is their legacy.

For educated Lutherans to mock it is, well, somewhat hypocritical.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Chad:

Here's another poker for you:

Dante (like Luther) was always in trouble with the RC authorities because of his mockery of their corruption.

His "interview" with Pope Nicolas III in the 8th circle of hell (in open mockery of the latter's simony) is as biting as any of Luther's criticisms.

Dante paid for his literary genius by being exiled, good Catholic and all that...

Luther stood in a long chain of reformers and critics of the papacy, of which Dante was one.

And your lumping of Luther in with Zwingli and Calvin was the trick that Eck tried in order to tarbrush the Wittenberg reformers with the rest. It is as intellectually dishonest now as it was then.

When these lies were refuted at the reading of the Augsburg Confession, it was no less than the bishop of Augsburg who admitted that he had been deceived about what the "Lutherans" believed.

Your Teutonic pope is also disposed to favorably quote the Blessed Reformer from time to time.

And, of course it goes without saying that holding the Mass in the vernacular, restoring the chalice to the laity, speaking the Words of Institution audibly, and restoring preaching to the Holy Mass were all Lutheran reforms that Rome was to finally implement 400 years later.

Blessed Dante and Blessed Martin have much in common.

Rev. Paul Beisel said...

Myers: "...from a proper understanding of the sacramental economy and how grace flows from God."

Me: It was a return to the clear words of Scripture that allowed Luther to see that grace is not some substance that God pours into man that enables him to merit forgiveness and salvation, but rather a kind disposition on the part of God towards sinful men in the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb.

It was a return to the clear words of Scripture that allowed Luther to see that the Lord's Supper is not something that man is offering God, as in the sacrifice of the Mass, but something that we sinful beggars come to receive from God.

You are confusing sola Scriptura with nuda Scriptura. Lutherans don't reject all of Christian tradition--only those parts that are contrary to Holy Scripture.

Chad Myers said...

It never ceases to amaze me how people (like Father Hollywood) seem to equate the fact that there are bad Catholics or people who have abused the faith with Catholicism being evil.

There are bad Lutherans doing evil things, but I don't throw out Lutheranism because of it.

Stick to the theology. Luther did a lot of good things and had a lot of good points about the Church establishment and especially about the Hierarchy at the time (most of these points were later acknowledged and corrected in the Councils of Trent, you should note).

Also, about the Vernacular and the Ad Orientum, these were Protestant corruptions of Vatican II and due to weak and liberal Catholic Cardinals. Do some googling, you'll hear more than you care to.

Fortunately, Pope Benedict is reversing this with things like Summorum Pontificum. The American liberal corruption of the Church is slowly being turned back.

@Rev Paul: I completely disagree, not surprisingly :)

Luther didn't throw out parts that were contrary to scripture, he threw out the parts that didn't jive with his anti-Papist/anti-Hierarchical view.

If you don't have a sacrifice, you don't need priests and if you don't need priests you don't need Bishops and the Hierarchy and if you don't have that, then you can make up the rest of your theology. This was quite a popular idea in his time as many Nobles were tired of seeing all their tax money flowing to the Church who later abused that power and money against them.

Christ said "this IS my body", the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is entirely consistent throughout the Old and New Testament.

Luther's arguments have nothing to do with Scripture and everything to do with Authority. He argued his way out of Authority which allowed him to take all the theology on himself.

His contemporaries had the same idea and it spawned centuries of bad and hurtful theology that we now see manifest in things like Prosperity Theology.

Christ gave us the Church, designated its leader, and promised that the forces of Hell would not prevail against it. He did not prescribe that people should each interpret Scripture according to their own will, seeking their own ends and corrupting generations of followers.

Protestant denominations now number in the tens of thousands (35,000+ last I heard). This is the legacy of, among others, Martin Luther.

He wasn't all bad, but it just goes to show you how far evil can travel if you give it a few inches of leeway in your theology.

Sacred Tradition gave us Sacred Scripture and guides its proper interpretation. You can't have one without the other or all you end up with is Chaos.

Looking at the current, fractured state of Christianity, how could you not call it Chaos?

Yet only one denomination has remained entirely doctrinally consistent since Christ first created it: The Roman Catholic Church. There was, is, and always will be One Church and its head is Peter and his successors. Christ ordained it and promised it. All other Christian traditions are fractured splinters from the singular truth of Christ.

All the fractures were over doctrinal authority -- that is, all other denominations broke away because THEY (usually a single individual) wanted doctrinal authority for themselves. In all cases it has resulted in a big mess of criss-crossing inconsistent theology that confuses the masses and wastes time while evil grows and people eventually give up and fall away to false religions.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Chad:

I never said Roman Catholicism is "evil." Who said any such thing? Luther was a Catholic. We are Catholic.

My point is this: Dante and Luther were both Catholic reformers, both criticized the papacy and the corruption of their day, and were both treated shabbily by the Roman Church for telling the truth about the state of the Church.

You were trying to portray Dante as uncritical of Rome, and Luther as the equivalent of Zwingli and Calvin. This was simply not the case. Dante and Luther had much in common.

"Ad orientem" (not "orientum") describes the *pre-Vatican II* altar, not a "Protestant corruption." And the vernacular had been in use pre-Trent (though not common under the Bishop of Rome), such as in the missionary endeavors of Cyril and Methodius - not to mention in the Eastern Church where Greek was used from the earliest centuries.

In allowing vernacular Masses (while still permitting Latin Masses) the Lutherans were reverting to a more ancient practice - as was the Second Vatican Council in this case (though I think Vatican II was indeed, as it was said by Cardinal Ratzinger, too much Teilhard de Chardin and not enough Luther).

My altar differs from that of the local RC parish insofar as *mine* is ad orientem, whereas the Roman altar "faces the people." My Lutheran sanctuary is more traditionally Catholic than the local Roman sanctuary. Our people kneel and receive the Lord's body on their tongue, while the local RC parish serves the Lord's body cafeteria style, with people standing up, and host not normally placed on the tongue. The elements are often distributed by ladies (who also bid the prayers and read the readings). A traditionalist Catholic (Roman or otherwise) would be much more comfortable with the liturgy at my parish, if they could get used to English.

Also, Lutheranism does not deny that the Mass is a sacrifice in any way, shape, or form. Rather, we deny that it is a "propitious" sacrifice (as well as ex opera operato for the living and the dead) - but rather, we confess the Mass is a "eucharistic" sacrifice. This is laid out nicely in our Formula of Concord.

Rather than "googling" (an absolutely wretched way of doing theological research, I would recommend that you read the Book of Concord. If you want to be an expert on Lutheranism in order to debunk it, you might want to go "ad fontes" rather than "ad googlem."

And, BTW, Luther was not "anti-hierarchical." You are confusing the Lutheran reformation with other reforming movements. In Scandinavian Lutheranism, for example, they retained bishops in apostolic succession, and this form of polity is actually preferred in our confessions (though not mandated by scripture). Today, African, Russian, Scandinavian, and Baltic Lutherans all have a hierarchical ministry with apostolic succession.

You have a rather cartoonish view of Lutherans, and sadly, a lot of Lutherans likewise have a shallow view of Roman Catholicism as well.

My original post was in no way critical of the Roman Church, but rather of the modern-day shysters pushing this "prosperity gospel" - which BTW, Luther had dealings with in his day calling it the Theology of Glory. It is ridiculous for you to call my criticism of these husksters as "hypocrisy." I am a Lutheran pastor, and it is my duty to warn my sheep against the dangers of these crooks - just as I would hope RC pastors would likewise protect their sheep from these crooks and their diabolical theology.

Matthias Flacius said...

It could also be noted that the Reformation began as a preaching of biblical, traditional repentance as opposed to the innovations that the Roman Church had foisted on Western Christendom beginning around c.1100. Yes I mean the damnable heresy of indulgences. Ironically, indulgences from the 12th century became common ways to raise funds for new building projects.