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     ONE HUNDRED BEST LUTHERAN QUOTATIONS

FOR ORTHODOX LAITY AND PASTORS

                                                                                  MEGATRON, THE DATABASE

                                          Gregory L. Jackson

 

                                                                                                                                               

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.  THE CHURCH AND MINISTRY


                                  Management by Objective 1

                                  Feelings                                                                           2

                                  Law                                                                                                                                  4

                                  Preaching:  Is It Worthwhile?                 5

                                  Marriage                                                                          7

                                  Baptism                                                                                  7

                                  Holy Communion                                    8

                                                                                                                 Closed Communion                 9

                                  Bad Tree, Bad Fruit         9

                                  Means of Grace, Negative   9

Love the Word, Love the Pastor                  10 The Effective Word                              10 What's Good about Bad Sects                     12 Good Fruit                                                                 12


                        Teachers and Preachers            12

                        Trials            13

                        Pastors Articulate Sound Doctrine            15

                        A Pastor's Afterlife            15

                        How the Church Fares   15

                        Orthodox Church Growth Eyes            16

                        Lutheran "Community Churches"            16

                        Orthodoxy Is, Is Not            16

                        The Word and the Cross   18

            II.  FALSE DOCTRINE AND FALSE TEACHERS

                        Luther to George Major, A Wavering Wolf    19

                        False Teacher, a Peacock            19

                        False Teachers Beware            20

                        False Doctrine            20

                        Pastors Defeat False Doctrines            20

                        Love                21

                        Unity            21

                        Unionism        22

                        Preachers as Angels            22

                        Zion Wake   23

                        End Times  23

                        Three Stages of Error            23

                        If Justification Goes, Error Arrives            23

                        Pastors Must Correct Errors  24

                        Simony            24

                        Women Preaching            24

                        Pietism Explained and Refuted            25

                        Young Fuller Seminary Student, Old Unitarian            25

                        A Pastor Smites Wolves            26

                        Spineless Conservative Pastors Are Wolves            26

                        False Teachers and the Colored Filter   26

                        Adiaphora and Confessional Crisis  26

                        Luther and Fellowship            27

                        Spoiling the Egyptian Garbage            27

                        Proper Use of Love            28

            III.  THE CONCLUSION OF THE BOOK OF CONCORD

            The following quotations are offered to encourage


Lutheran pastors and laity about the blessings of orthodoxy and to show why we must shun and avoid false teachers and false doctrine.  I culled these quotations from 2,000 in my collection.  They are entered in a Professional File database and can be offered as a delimited ascii file.

            Anyone may copy all or part of this list.  It is not offered for profit or for sale.  Please give the complete citation.

            Suggestions are welcome.  Some authors may be added and some quotations deleted in the future. 

I.  THE CHURCH AND MINISTRY

Management by Objective

"Those, however, who set the time, place and measure, tempt God, and believe not that they are heard or that they have obtained what they asked; therefore, they also receive nothing."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 172.  John 16:23-30.

"In like manner, St. Paul says that God's ability is thus proved, in that He does exceeding abundantly above and better


than we ask or think. Ephesians 3:20.  Therefore, we should know we are too finite to be able to name, picture or designate the time, place, way, measure and other circum­stances for that which we ask of God.  Let us leave that entirely to Him, and immovably and steadfastly believe that He will hear us."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, III, p. 179f.  Fifth Sunday after Easter.  Ephesians 3:20.

"If the world were willing to take advice from a simple, plain man--that is, our Lord God (who, after all, has some experience too and knows how to rule)--the best advice would be that in his office and sphere of jurisdiction everybody simply direct his thoughts and plans to carrying out honestly and doing in good faith what has been commanded him and that, whatever he does, he depend not on his own plans and thoughts but commit the care to God.  Such a man would certainly find out in the end who does and accomplishes more, he who trusts God or he who would bring success to his cause through his own wisdom and thoughts or his own power and strength."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1151.  Luke 5:1-11.

"For people come to the preaching of the Gospel as if they were honest pupils. But under this guise they are seeking nothing else but a full belly and their own benefit.  They consider the Gospel an economic teaching, designed to teach one to eat and drink in plenty."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 304.  John 6:26-27.

"Must Lutheranism be shorn of its glory to adapt it to our times or our land?  No!"

            Charles P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology, Philadelphia:  The United Lutheran Publication House, 1871, p. 208.

"He who holds fast to the Word alone, trusts and abides in it, does not doubt that what the Word says will come to pass; he who does not dictate aim or time or means and ways, but resigns all freely to God's will and pleasure as to when, how, where, and by whom He will fulfill His Word; he, I say, has a true living faith which does not nor cannot tempt God."


            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 367.  Epiphany, Matthew 2:1-12.

Feelings

"Therefore, let God's Word be of more authority to you than your own feelings and the judgment of the whole world; do not give God the lie and rob yourself of the Spirit of truth."

Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed.,

John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, III, p. 304.  Pentecost, Third Sermon.  John 14:23-31.

"You have as much laughter as you have faith."

            Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 692.  Psalm 126:5.  Erin Joy.

"It is not the devil's aim to plague us physically; he is a spirit who is always thirsting for the tears and the drops of blood that come from our hearts.  He wants us to despair and


to perish from sadness.  This would be his joy and delight. But he will not succeed."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1244.  John 15:19.

"The deeper a person is sunk in sadness and emotional upheavals, the better he serves as an instrument of Satan. For our emotions are instruments through which he gets into us and works in us if we do not watch our step. It is easy to water where it is wet.  Where the fence is dilapidated, it is easy to get across.  So Satan has easy access where there is sadness.  Therefore one must pray and associate with godly people."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1243.

"He allows the affliction to remain and to oppress; yet He employs different tactics to bestow peace; He changes the heart, removing it from the affliction, not the affliction from the heart.  This is the way it is done: What you are sunk in affliction He so turns your mind from it and gives you such consolation that you imagine you are dwelling in a garden of roses."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, III, p. 285.  Pentecost Sunday, John 14:23-31.

"But wherever a Christian, in spite of the terrors of sin, death and hell, with cheerful heart dies in Christ, there Satan has been truly cast out from his dwelling place, and deprived of his power and kingdom."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 242f.  Ascension Day.  Psalm 110:2.

"When you preach or confess the Word, you will experience both without, among enemies, and also within, in yourself (where the devil himself will speak to you and prove how hostile he is to you), that he brings you into sadness, impatience, and depression, and that he torments you in all sorts of ways. Who does all this?  Certainly not Christ or any good spirit, but the miserable, loathsome enemy...The devil will not bear to have you called a Christian and to cling to Christ or to speak or think a good word about Him. Rather he would gladly poison and permeate your heart with venom and gall, so that you would blaspheme:  Why did He make me a Christian?  Why do I not let Him go?  Then I would at last have peace."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 928.

"But when the tempest comes and the waves fill the boat, their faith vanishes; because the calm and peace in which they trust took wings and flew away, therefore they fly with the calm and peace, and nothing is left but unbelief.  But what is this

unbelief able to do?  It sees nothing but what it experiences. It does not experience life, salvation and safety; but instead the waves coming into the boat and the sea threatening them with death and every danger."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, II, p. 93.  Fourth Sunday after Epiphany.  Matthew 8:23-27.

Law


 

"After a long season of sluggishness and lukewarmness, during which you begin to hate yourself because you saw no way to change your condition, you happen to hear a real Gospel sermon, and you leave the church a changed man and rejoice in the fact that you may believe and are a child of God.  You suddenly become aware of the fact that it is not difficult to walk in the way of God's commandments; you seem to walk in it of your own accord.  How foolish, then, is a preacher who thinks that conditions in his congregation will improve if he thunders at his people with the Law and points hell and damnation for them.  That will not at all improve the people."

C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and

Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 384.

"Unless the rocky subsoil in their hearts has been pulverized by the Law, the sweet Gospel is of no benefit to them."

            C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 119.

"You may tie a hog ever so well, but you cannot prevent it from grunting, until it is strangled and killed.  Thus it is with the sins in our flesh."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 247.  Easter, Second Sermon.  Mark 16:1-8.

Preaching:  Is It Worthwhile?

"The preaching of this message may be likened to a stone thrown into the water, producing ripples which circle outward from it, the waves rolling always on and on, one driving the other, till they come to the shore.  Although the center becomes quiet, the waves do not rest, but move forward.  So it is with the preaching of the Word.  It was begun by the apostles, and it constantly goes forward, is pushed on farther and farther by the preachers, driven hither and thither into the world, yet always being made known to those who never heard it before, although it be arrested in the midst of its course and is condemned as heresy."


                        Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983,

III, p. 202.  Ascension Day.  Mark 16:14-20.

"It is good to extol the ministry of the Word with every


possible kind of praise in opposition to the fanatics who dream that the Holy Spirit does not come through the Word but because of their own preparations.  They sit in a dark corner doing and saying nothing, but only waiting for illumination, as the enthusiasts taught formerly and the Anabaptists teach now."

            Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XIII, The Sacraments, 13, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1959, p. 213.

"This is the province of the work, which the Holy Spirit is to begin in the kingdom of Christ.  It is the teaching office of the apostles, which is to be of such a character that it must convict the world, as it finds it outside of Christ, and nobody is to be excepted, great, small, learned, wise, holy, of high or low condition, etc.  This means in short, to bear the world's anger and to begin strife, and to be struck in the mouth for it.  For the world, which rules on earth, will not and cannot endure its course to be disapproved; therefore

persecution must arise, and one party must yield to the other, the weakest to the stronger.  But, as the office of the apostles is to be only a teaching office, it cannot use worldly power and the world retains its external kingdom and power against the apostles.  But, on the other hand, the apostles' office of conviction of the world shall likewise not be suppressed, because it is the office and work of the Holy Spirit, but shall overcome all and triumph; as Christ promised to them: 'I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to withstand.' Luke 21:15"

Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed.,

John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 136.  Fourth Sunday after Easter, Third Sermon.

John 16:5-15.

"Be not worried because of this! for even though a man preach and continue in the Gospel for many years, he must still lament and say:  Aye, no one will come, and all continue in their former state.  Therefore you must not let that grieve or terrify you."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 305.  Easter Tuesday.  Luke 24:36-47.

"And yet, one single Christian believer, by his preaching and

prayer, can be the means of salvation to uncounted multitudes. In spite of Satan's hatred and desire to hinder, many people hear the Gospel, receive baptism and become teachers of the faith; and through the influence of the Gospel, the sacredness of home and country are preserved."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, III, p. 241.  Ascension Day, Psalm 110:2.

"It must be so, the village must be against them; again, the apostles must despise them and appear before them, for the


Lord will have no flatterer as a preacher.  He does not say: Go around the village, or to the one side of it: Go in bravely and tell them what they do not like to hear.  How very few there are now who enter the village that is against them.  We gladly go into the towns that are on our side.  The Lord might have said:  Go ye into the village before you. That would have been a pleasing and customary form of speech. But he would indicate this mystery of the ministry, hence he speaks in an unusual way:  Go into the village that is over against you. That is: Preach to them that are disposed to prosecute and kill you.  You shall merit such thanks and not try to please them, for such is the way of hypocrites and not that of the evangelists."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, I, p. 46f.  First Sunday in Advent.  Matthew 21:1-9.

"No more splendid work exists than receiving and hearing the Word of God."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 302.  Luke 10:38.

"Therefore the Holy Spirit must come to our rescue, not only to preach the Word to us, but also to enlarge and impel us from within, yea, even to employ the devil, the world and all kinds of afflictions and persecutions to this end.  Just as a pig's bladder must be rubbed with salt and thoroughly worked to distend it, so this old hide of ours must be well salted

and plagued until we call for help and cry aloud, and so stretch and expand ourselves, both through internal and through external suffering, that we may finally succeed and attain this heart and cheer, joy and consolation, from Christ's resurrection."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, II, p. 253.  Easter, Third Sermon.  Mark 16:1-8.

Marriage

"Note that when that wise harlot, natural reason (whom the heathen have followed when they wanted to be very wise), looks at married life, she turns up her nose and says:  Ah, should I rock the baby, wash diapers, make the bed, smell foul odors, watch through the night, wait upon the bawling youngster and heal its infected sores, then take care of the wife, support her by working, tend to this, tend to that, do this, do that, suffer this, suffer that, and put up with whatever additional displeasure and trouble married life brings?  Should I be so imprisoned?  O you poor, miserable fellow, did you take a wife?  Shame, shame, on the trouble and displeasure.  It is better to remain free and to lead a quiet life without care."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 885f.

"The husband should take the initiative and contribute toward keeping unity and love in the marriage relation.  But he does this by using reason and not force and by letting things pass without reproving his wife.  This he should do because woman is a frail creature and does not have the courage and stout heart of a man.  They are easily disturbed, take something to heart quickly, and are moved to joy and sorrow sooner than men."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 903.  1 Peter 3:7.

Baptism

"Thus we see what a very splendid thing Baptism is.  It snatches us from the jaws of the devil, makes us God's own, restrains and removes sin, and then daily strengthens the new man within us.  It is and remains ever efficacious until we pass from this state of misery to eternal glory.  For this reason everyone should consider his Baptism as his daily dress, to be worn constantly.  Every day he should be found in the faith and its fruits, suppressing the old man, and growing up in the new; for if we want to be Christians, we must practice the work whereby we are Christians.  But if anyone falls from baptismal grace, let him return to it.  For as Christ, the Mercy Seat, does not withdraw from us or forbid us to come to Him again even though we sin, so all His treasures and gifts also remain with us."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 61.  Article on baptism, 1529.

"There are the infants, bare and naked in body and soul, having neither faith nor works.  Then the Christian Church comes forward and prays, that God would pour faith into the child; not that our faith should help the child, but that it may obtain a faith of its own.  If it has faith, then after that whatever it does is well done, whether it suckle its mother's breast, or whether it soil itself, or whatever it may please to do."


            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, IV, p. 378.  Twelfth Sunday after Trinity.  Mark 7:31-37.

Holy Communion

Chemnitz:  "Very fitting is this statement of Bernard:  'The body of Christ is to the sick a medicine, to pilgrims a


way; it strengthens the weak, delights the strong, heals weariness, preserves health.  Through it man becomes more gentle under reproof, more patient under labor, more ardent for love, wiser for caution, more ready to obey, more devoted to giving of thanks.'"

Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent,

Fred Kramer, translator, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1986, II, p.     234.

Chrysostom says:  "If those who touched the hem of His garment were properly healed, how much more shall we be strengthened if we have Him in us whole?  He will quiet in us the savage law of our members, He will quench the perturbations of the mind, drive out all sicknesses, raise us up from every fall, and, when the power of the enemy has been overcome, He will incite us to true piety and indeed will transform us into His own image."

            Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1986, II, p. 234.

Closed Communion

"Is the Lord's Supper the place to display my toleration, my Christian sympathy, or my fellowship with another Christian, when that is the very point in which most of all we differ; and in which the difference means for me everything--means for me, the reception of the Savior's atonement?  Is this the point to be selected for the display of Christian union, when in fact it is the very point in which Christian union does not exist?"

            Theodore E. Schmauk and C. Theodore Benze, The Confessional Principle and the Confessions, as Embodying the Evangelical Confession of the Christian Church, Philadelphia: 1911, p. 905f.

                                                            Bad Tree, Bad Fruit

"No work is so evil that it can damn a man, and no work is so good that it can save a man; but faith alone saves us, and unbelief damns us.  The fact that someone falls into adultery does not damn him.  Rather the adultery indicates that he has fallen from faith.  This damns him; otherwise adultery would be impossible for him.  So, then, nothing makes a good tree except faith."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 475.  Matthew 7:15-23.

Means of Grace, Negative

"Observe, then, the depreciative, contemptuous, and scorning ring in the words of the Reformed when they speak of the sacred Means of Grace, the Word and the Sacraments, and the when they speak of these matters...The true reason for the Reformed view is this:  They do not know how a person is to come into possession of the divine grace, the forgiveness of

sin, righteousness in the sight of God, and eternal salvation. Spurning the way which God has appointed, they are pointing


another way, in accordance with new devices which they have invented."

            C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 152f.

Means of Grace, Positive

"The doctrine of the means of grace is a peculiar glory of Lutheran theology.  To this central teaching it owes its sanity and strong appeal, its freedom from sectarian tendencies and morbid fanaticism, its coherence and practicalness, and its adaptation to men of every race and every degree of culture.  The Lutheran Confessions bring out with great clearness the thought of the Reformers upon this subject."

            "Grace, Means of," The Concordia Cyclopedia, L. Fuerbringer, Th. Engelder, P. E.  Kretzmann, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1927, p. 299.

"Accordingly, we should and must constantly maintain that God will not deal with us except through his external Word and sacrament.  Whatever is attributed to the Spirit apart from such Word and sacrament is of the devil."

Smalcald Articles, Part III, Article VIII, Confession,

The Book of Concord, ed., Theodore G. Tappert,

Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1983, p. 313.

Love the Word, Love the Pastor

"Whoever does not receive the Word for its own sake, will never receive it for the sake of the preacher, even if all the angels preached it to him.  And he who receives it because of the preacher does not believe in the Word, neither in God through the Word, but he believes the preacher and in the

preacher.  Hence the faith of such persons does not last long. But whoever believes the Word, does not care who the person is that speaks the Word, and neither will he honor the Word for the sake of the person; but on the contrary, he honors the person because of the Word, and always subordinates the person to the Word."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,


ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 162. Second Christmas Day, Luke 2:15-20.

The Effective Word

"We shall now set forth from the Word of God how man is converted to God, how and by what means (namely, the oral Word and the holy sacraments) the Holy Spirit wills to be efficacious in us by giving and working true repentance, faith, and new spiritual power and ability for good in our hearts, and how we are to relate ourselves to and use these means."

Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article II, Free

Will, 48, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1959, p. 530.

"On the one hand, it is true that both the preacher's planting and watering and the hearer's running and willing would be in vain, and no conversion would follow, if there were not added the power and operation of the Holy Spirit, who through the Word preached and heard illuminates and converts hearts so that men believe this Word and give their assent to it.  On the other hand, neither the preacher nor the hearer should question this grace and operation of the Holy Spirit, but

should be certain that, when the Word of God is preached, pure and unalloyed according to God's command and will, and when the people diligently and earnestly listen to and meditate on it, God is certainly present with his grace and gives what man is unable by his own powers to take or to give.  We should not and cannot pass judgment on the Holy Spirit's presence, operations and gifts merely on the basis of our feeling..."

Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article II, Free

Will, 55-56, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1959, p. 531f.

"For Christ wants to assure us, as was necessary, that the Word is efficacious when it is delivered by men and that we should not look for another word from heaven."

            Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XXVIII, Eccles.  Power, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1959, p. 284.

"For the Word through which we are called is a ministry of the Spirit--'which gives the Spirit' (2 Corinthians 3:8) and a 'power of God' to save (Romans 1:16).  And because the Holy Spirit wills to be efficacious through the Word, to strengthen us, and to give us power and ability, it is God's will that we should accept the Word, believe and obey it."

            Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article XI., Election, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1959, p. 621.

"Every poor sinner must therefore attend on it, hear it with diligence, and in no way doubt the drawing of the Father because the Holy Spirit wills to be present in the Word and to be efficacious with his power through it.  And this is the drawing of the Father."

            Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article XI., Election, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1959, p. 629.

"The reason for such contempt of the Word is not God's foreknowledge but man's own perverse will, which rejects or perverts the means and instrument of the Holy Spirit which God offers to him through the call and resists the Holy Spirit who wills to be efficaciously active through the Word, as Christ says, 'How often would I have gathered you together and you would not!' (Matthew 23:37)."

            Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article XI, Election, 41, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1959, p. 623.

What's Good about Bad Sects

"But now these sects are our whetstones and polishers; they whet and grind our faith and doctrine so that, smooth and clean, they sparkle as a mirror.  Moreover we also learn to know the devil and his thoughts and become prepared to fight against him."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p.   1269.

Sects' Appeal

"The sects have two great advantages among the masses.  The one is curiosity, the other is satiety.  These are the two great gateways through which the devil drives with a hay wagon, aye, with all hell."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House,

1959, III, p. 1268.  1 Corinthians 15.

Good Fruit

"The Holy Spirit is given to none except to those who are in sorrow and fear; in them it produces good fruit.  This gift is so precious and worthy that God does not cast it before dogs. Though the unrepentant discover it themselves, hearing it preached, they devour it and know not what they devour." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 281f.  Pentecost Sunday.  John 14:23-31.

Teachers and Preachers

"True, the estate of teachers has, in general, been little respected, especially in ages gone by; and as far as the teachers of the Word of God are concerned, they are, of all men, most despised and even hated by the world.  Nevertheless their estate and office is the most glorious of all, for the following reasons:--  1.  The work of their office centers about man's spiritual welfare, his immortal soul.  2.  They employ the salutary means and instrument in their work, namely, the Word of the living God.  3.  They aim at the salutary and glorious end, namely, to make man truly happy in

the present life and to lead him to the life of eternal bliss. 4.  They are most wholesomely engaged in an occupation which entirely satisfies their spirits and advances their own selves in the way of salvation.  5.  Their labor yields the most precious result, namely, the salvation of man.  6.  Their labors have the most glorious promise of the cooperation of


the Lord, so that they are never entirely futile and in vain. 7.  Their labors have the promise of a gracious reward, which consists in a glory in the world to come that is unutterably great, exceeding abundantly above all they ever could have asked and prayed for in this life."

            C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 285.

Trials

"One Christian who has been tried is worth a hundred who have not been tried, for the blessing of God grows in trials.  He who has experienced them can teach, comfort, and advise many in bodily and spiritual matters."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1381.  Genesis 27:28-29.

"In order to keep your faith pure, do nothing else than stand still, enjoy its blessings, accept Christ's works, and let him bestow His love upon you.  You must be blind, lame, deaf, dead, leprous and poor, otherwise you will stumble at Christ. That Gospel which suffers Christ to be seen and to be doing good only among the needy, will not belie you."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 110.  Third Sunday in Advent.  Matthew 11:2-10.

"We have the comfort of this victory of Christ--that He maintains His Church against the wrath and power of the devil; but in the meantime we must endure such stabs and cruel wounds from the devil as are necessarily painful to our flesh and blood.  The hardest part is that we must see and suffer all these things from those who call themselves the people of God

and the Christian Church.  We must learn to accept these things calmly, for neither Christ nor the saints have fared better."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 263.  Sunday after Ascension, Exaudi.  John 15:26-16:4.

"Therefore God must lead us to a recognition of the fact that it is He who puts faith in our heart and that we cannot produce it ourselves.  Thus the fear of God and trust in Him must not be separated from one another, for we need them both, in order that we may not become presumptuous and over­confident, depending upon ourselves.  This is one of the reasons why God leads His saints through such great trials."

Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 21.  First Sunday after Epiphany.  Luke 2:41-52.

"Secondly, God permits His saints to suffer these trials as an example for others, both to alarm the carnally secure and to comfort the timid and alarmed...But when we see and hear that God has in like manner dealt with His saints and did not spare even His own mother, we have the knowledge and comfort that we need not despair in our trials, but remain quiet and wait until He helps us, even as He has helped all His saints."

Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed.,

John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, II, p. 40f.  First Sunday after Epiphany, Second Sermon.  Luke 2:41-52.

"Now it is the consolation of Christians, and especially of preachers, to be sure and ponder well that when they present and preach Christ, that they must suffer persecution, and nothing can prevent it; and that it is a very good sign of the preaching being truly Christian, when they are thus persecuted, especially by the great, the saintly, the learned and the wise."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, II, p. 97.  Fourth Sunday after Epiphany.  Matthew 8:23-27.

"Not only is Christ hidden from the world, but a still harder thing is it that in such trials Christ conceals himself even from His church, and acts as if He had forgotten, aye, had entirely forsaken and rejected it, since He permits it to be oppressed under the cross and subjected to all the cruelty of the world, while its enemies boast, glory and rejoice over it, as we shall hear in the next Gospel."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 67.  Second Sunday after Easter.  John 10:11-16.

"There is another temptation also in the time of trouble which was punished severely among the people of Israel and which alas is common as compared to the other temptation and equally irrational.  That temptation occurs before God's Word is heard; this after we hear the Word, namely thus:  when we know that God has promised help in the time of any trouble, but are not content with it, go forward and will not abide His promise, but prescribe time, place, and manner for His help; and then if He does not come as we expect and desire, faith vanishes."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,


ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 366.  Epiphany.  Matthew 2:1-12.

 

Pastors Articulate Sound Doctrine

"That is the reason why our Church from the very beginning declared that it requires its preachers 'not to depart an inch' from its confessions, not to turn aside from the doctrines laid down in them, non tantum in rebus, sed etiam in phrasibus, that is, both as regards the matter offered in their sermons and the manner of their teaching."

            C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 277.

A Pastor's Afterlife

"When the time comes that the worldly shall gnash their teeth, they shall witness all the elect and angels saying to God: 'This man has been a faithful minister and teacher.  He has proclaimed the saving Word of God to a world of castaways.  On yonder earth he was despised, persecuted, and maligned, but he shines now as a star with imperishable luster.'"

            C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 402.  Daniel 12:3.

How the Church Fares

"Yet this is also true, that Christ often delays the bestowal of His help, as He did on this occasion, and on another, John 21, when He permitted the disciples to toil all the night without taking anything, and really appeared as if He would forget His own Word and promise."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,

ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, IV, p. 154.  Fifth Sunday after Trinity.  Luke 5:1-11.

"The word translated 'desolate' literally means 'orphans.'  By use of this word Christ would intimate the condition of the Church.  In the eyes of the world, and even in her own estimation, she has not the appearance of a prosperous and well ordered organization; rather she is a scattered group of poor, miserable orphans, without leader, protection or help upon earth.  All the world laughs at her and ridicules her as a great fool in thinking that she is the Church and comprises the people of God.  Furthermore, each individual is so burdened and oppressed in his need and suffering as to feel that no one else lies so low or is so far from help as he."

Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed.,

John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 304f.  Pentecost, Third Sermon.  John 14:23-31.

Orthodox Church Growth Eyes

"Let us learn more and more to look upon the Lutheran Church with the right kind of spiritual eyes:  it is the most beautiful and glorious Church; for it is adorned with God's pure Word.  This adornment is so precious, that even though an orthodox congregation were to consist of very poor people ­let us say nothing but woodchoppers - and met in a barn (as the Lord Christ also lay here on earth in a barn, on hay and straw), every Christian should much, much rather prefer to affiliate himself with this outwardly so insignificant congregation, rather than with a heterodox congregation, even if its members were all bank presidents and assembled in a church built of pure marble.  Let us be sure that our flesh, and the talk of others does not darken the glory of the

orthodox Church, or crowd it out of our sight."

            Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon:  St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 47.

Lutheran "Community Churches"

"Shall we permit this to be done!  is the name of Christian unity! and by a latitudinarianism that is our own heritage, which rises ever anew from the embers of the past to find such veiled support and strength in the citadel of Zion that Confessionalism is told to whisper low in Jerusalem lest she be heard on the streets of Gath."

            Theodore E. Schmauk and C. Theodore Benze, The Confessional Principle and the Confessions, as Embodying the Evangelical Confession of the Christian Church, Philadelphia: 1911, p. 941.

Orthodoxy Is, Is Not

"If any one shows us that even only one pastor preached false doctrine, or that even only one periodical is in the service of false doctrine, and we did not remove this false doctrine, we thereby would have ceased to be an orthodox Synod, and we would have become a unionistic fellowship." (Ephasis in original; Lehre und Wehre, Jahrgang 36, Nummer 8, S.  262-3)

Francis Pieper, The Difference Between Orthodox And

Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon:  St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 55.

"You may say: 'I want to remain in the heterodox church in order to accomplish good in it, namely to prevent it from losing the truth altogether.' If you happen to be in a heterodox church, then first of all, bear witness to the truth clearly and definitely.  If they listen to you, good. Under certain circumstances, you can wait a little, to see

whether the truth is accepted.  But as soon as it is clear that they will not accept the truth, you must separate yourself from that group which holds to the error.  If you, nevertheless, remain in it, then you are no longer reinforcing the truth, but rather, the error...It is an absolute contradiction to be both a witness-bearer for the truth, and an associate of false teachers."

            Francis Pieper, The Difference Between Orthodox

And Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 49.

"Furthermore, consider this:  All doctrines of the Bible are connected with one another; they form a unit.  One error draws others in after it.  Zwingli's first error was the denial of the presence of Christ's body and blood in the Lord's Supper. In order to support this error, he had to invent a false doctrine of Christ's Person, of heaven, of the right hand of God, etc."

            Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon:  St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 41.

"Thus in heterodox churches, in order to defend false doctrine, God's Word must continually be denied.  It is rightly said:  'It cost nine lies to maintain one lie.' Whoever allows himself such liberties with the Word of God, let him beware, lest the devil also make this clear Word doubtful for him in the hour of death:  'The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.' 1 John 1:7"

Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and

Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon:  St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 40.  1 John 1:7.

"The orthodox character of a church is established not by its mere name nor by its outward acceptance of, and subscription to, an orthodox creed, but by the doctrine which is actually taught in its pulpits, in its theological seminaries, and in its publications.  On the other hand, a church does not forfeit its orthodox character through the casual intrusion of errors, provided these are combated and eventually removed by means of doctrinal discipline." (A Brief Statement of the Missouri Synod's Doctrinal Position, 1932)

            Francis Pieper, The Difference Between Orthodox

And Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 2.

The Word and the Cross

(Luther makes the following general comment on Romans 2:6­10):  "Patient continuance is so altogether necessary that no work can be good in which patient continuance is lacking. The world is so utterly perverse and Satan is so heinously wicked that he cannot allow any good work to be done, but he must persecute it.  However, in this very way God, in His wonderful wisdom, proves what work is good and pleasing to Him.  Here the rule holds:  As long as we do good and for our good do not encounter contradiction, hatred, and all manner of disagreeable and disadvantageous things, so we must fear that our good work as yet is not pleasing to God; for just so long it is not yet done with patient continuance.  But when our good work is followed by persecution, let us rejoice and firmly believe that it is pleasing to God; indeed, then let us be assured that it comes from God, for whatever is of God is bound to be crucified by the world.  As long as it does not bring the cross, that is, as long as it does not bring shame and contempt as we patiently continue in it, it cannot be esteemed as a divine work since even the Son of God was not free from it--(suffering for the sake of the good He did) --but left us an example in this.  He Himself tells us in Matthew 5:10, 12: 'Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake..Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven.'"

Martin Luther, Commentary on Romans, trans. J. Theodore

Mueller, Grand Rapids:  Kregel Publications, 1976, p. 55. Matthew 5: 10, 12.


II.  FALSE DOCTRINE AND FALSE TEACHERS

Luther to George Major, A Wavering Wolf

It is by your silence and cloaking that you cast suspicion upon yourself.  If you believe as you declare in my presence, then speak so also to the church, in public lectures, in sermons, and in private conversations, and strengthen your brethren, and lead the erring back to the right path, and contradict the contumacious spirits; otherwise your confession is sham pure and simple, and worth nothing. Whoever really regards his doctrine, faith, and confession as true, right, and certain cannot remain in the same stall with such as teach, or adhere to, false doctrine; nor can he keep on giving friendly words to Satan and his minions.  A teacher who remains silent when errors are taught, and nevertheless pretends to be a true teacher, is worse than an open fanatic and by his hypocrisy does greater damage than a heretic.  Nor can he be trusted.  He is a wolf and a fox, a hireling and a servant of his belly, and ready to despise and to sacrifice doctrine, Word, faith, Sacrament, churches, and schools.  He is either a secret bedfellow of the enemies or a skeptic and a weathervane, waiting to see whether Christ or the devil will prove victorious; or he has no convictions of his own whatever, and is not worthy to be called a pupil, let alone a teacher; nor does he want to offend anybody, or say a word in favor of Christ, or hurt the devil and the world.

            Martin Luther, quoted in Bente's Historical Introduction, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 94.

False Teacher, a Peacock

"The peacock is an image of heretics and fanatical spirits. For on the order of the peacock they, too, show themselves and strut about in their gifts, which never are outstanding. But if they could see their feet, that is the foundation of their doctrine, they would be stricken with terror, lower their crests, and humble themselves.  To be sure, they, too, suffer from jealousy, because they cannot bear honest and true teachers.  They want to be the whole show and want to put up with no one next to them.  And they are immeasurably envious, as peacocks are.  Finally, they have a raucous and unpleasant voice, that is, their doctrine is bitter and sad for afflicted and godly minds; for it casts consciences down more than it lifts them up and strengthens them."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 642.

                                                            False Teachers Beware

"On that day every false teacher will wish that he had never been born and will curse the day when he was inducted into the sacred office of the ministry.  On that day we shall see that false teaching is not the trifling and harmless matter that people in our day think it is."

            C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 88.

False Doctrine

"In philosophy an error that is small at the beginning becomes very great in the end.  So a small error in theology overturns the whole body of doctrine...That is why we may not surrender or change even an iota (apiculum) of doctrine."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1365.  Galatians 5:9.

"Error loves ambiguities."

Charles P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its

Theology, Philadelphia:  The United Lutheran Publication House, 1913 (first edition, 1871), p. 215.

Pastors Defeat False Doctrines

"Christendom must have men who are able to floor their adversaries and take armor and equipment from the devil, putting him to shame.  But this calls for strong warriors who have complete control of Scripture, can refute a false interpretation, know how to wrest the sword they wield, that is, their Bible passages, from the hands of the adversaries and beat them back with them."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 419.  Ephesians 6:10-17.

"It is true, the injury is not so glaring, and it appears to be much worse if a person's head is struck off, than if a false prophet or writer comes forward; but a false sermon, yea even a false word, which comes whirling along in God's name, will cut off a great number of souls, so that an entire city or country may fall under it."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, IV, p. 386. Twelfth Sunday after Trinity, Second Sermon.  Mark 7:31-37.

                                    Love

"But this tender mercy is to be exercised only toward Christians and among Christians, for toward those who reject and persecute the Gospel we must act differently; here I am not permitted to let my love be merciful so as to tolerate and endure false doctrine.  When faith and doctrine are concerned and endangered, neither love nor patience are in order.  Then it is my duty to contend in earnest and not to yield a hairbreadth."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 637f.

"In matters concerning faith we must be invincible, unbending, and very stubborn; indeed, if possible, harder than adamant. But in matters concerning love we should be softer and more pliant than any reed and leaf and should gladly accommodate ourselves to everything."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 412f.  Galatians 2:8.

"Doctrine is our only light.  It alone enlightens and directs us and shows us the way to heaven.  If it is shaken in one quarter (in une parte), it will necessarily be shaken in its entirety (in totum).  Where that happens, love cannot help us at all."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 414.  Gal. 5:10.

"Therefore, do not speak to me of love or friendship when anything is to be detracted from the Word or the faith; for we

are told that not love but the Word brings eternal life, God's grace, and all heavenly treasures."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1411.  Ephesians 6:10-17.

Unity

"Therefore nothing but a satanic, seductive, and sinister strategy is involved when we are called upon to yield a bit and to connive at an error for the sake of unity.  In this way the devil is trying cunningly to lead us away from the Word. For if we adopt this course and get together in this matter, he has already gained ground; and if we were to yield him a fingerbreadth, he would soon have an ell."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1411f.  Ephesians 6:10-17.

"However, if anything is undertaken against the Word, faith, and the honor of God, we are in no wise to preserve silence, are to bear it far less patiently.  Then we should offer stubborn resistance."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1308.  Sermon, 1523.

Unionism

"We find this attitude of tolerance quite frequently among unionists.  It is often used to assuage a troubled conscience, one's own as well as that of others; for the unionist declares that every one may continue to hold his own private convictions and merely needs to respect and tolerate those of another.  This attitude is totally wrong, for it disregards two important factors: (a) in tolerating divergent doctrines one either denies the perspicuity and clarity of the Scriptures, or one grants to error the right to exist alongside of truth, or one evidences indifference over against Biblical truth by surrendering its absolute validity;and (b) in allowing two opposite views concerning one doctrine to exist side by side, one has entered upon an inclined plane which of necessity leads ever further into complete doctrinal indifference, as may plainly be seen from the most calamitous case on record, viz., the Prussian Union."

            M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus:  The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 20.

"Doctrinal indifference is at once the root of unionism and its fruit.  Whoever accepts, in theory as well as in practice, the absolute authority of the Scriptures and their unambiguousness with reference to all fundamental doctrines, must be opposed to every form of unionism."

            M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus:  The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 20.

Preachers as Angels

"The preachers are to be angels, that is God's messengers, who are to lead a heavenly life, are to be constantly engaged with God's Word that they under no circumstances preach the doctrine of men.  It is a most incongruous thing to be God's messenger and not to further God's message."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 153.  Christmas Day.  Luke 2:1-14.

                                                                                    Zion Wake

"When a theologian is asked to yield and make concessions in order that peace may at last be established in the Church, but refuses to do so even in a single point of doctrine, such an action looks to human reason like intolerable stubbornness, yea, like downright malice.  That is the reason why such theologians are loved and praised by few men during their lifetime.  Most men rather revile them as disturbers of the peace, yea, as destroyers of the kingdom of God.  They are regarded as men worthy of contempt.  But in the end it becomes manifest that this very determined, inexorable tenacity in clinging to the pure teaching of the divine Word by no means tears down the Church; on the contrary, it is just this which, in the midst of greatest dissension, builds up the Church and ultimately brings about genuine peace. Therefore, woe to the Church which has no men of this stripe, men who stand as watchmen on the walls of Zion, sound the alarm whenever a foe threatens to rush the walls, and rally to the banner of Jesus Christ for a holy war!"

            C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, trans. W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p.         28.

End Times

"These are the last and mad times of a world grown old." Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent,

trans.  Fred Kramer, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1971, I, p. 50.

Three Stages of Error

"When error is admitted into the Church, it will be found that the stages of its progress are always three.  It begins by asking toleration. Its friends say to the majority:  You need not be afraid of us; we are few, and weak; only let us alone; we shall not disturb the faith of others...Indulged in this for a time, error goes on to assert equal rights.  Truth and error are two balancing forces...From this point error soon goes on to its natural end, which is to assert supremacy."

Charles P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its

Theology, Philadelphia:  The United Lutheran Publication House, 1871, p. 195f.

If Justification Goes, Error Arrives

"I often say that there is no power or means to resist the sects except this one article of Christian righteousness.  If we have lost it, we cannot resist any errors or sects."


                                    Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House,

1959, III, p. 1225.  Galatians 2:20.

                                                Pastors Must Correct Errors

"If a minister who is otherwise conscientious has had the


misfortune of putting something into his manuscript that is wrong and even saying it from the pulpit, he must, if he notices his mistake while preaching, immediately correct himself and tell his hearers that he really did not mean to say what they have just heard from him.  If he notices his mistake later and the matter is of considerable importance, he must make the correction later, lest his hearers be led utterly astray.  Yea, he may not only have to correct his wrong statement, but solemnly to revoke it.  That will not

lower him in the esteem of his listeners; on the contrary, his conscientious striving for accuracy will rather impress them favorably.  He must not rely on the ability of his hearers to give the correct interpretation to incorrect statements of his, but must speak so as not to be misunderstood in what he says."

            C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, trans. W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 296f.

Simony

"This verse has been explained as having reference to those who climb, by their presumption, into the best church livings through favor and wealth, recommendations or their own power, not obtaining them by regular appointment and authority.  And at present the most pious jurists are punishing people for running to Rome after fees and benefices, or after

ecclesiastical preferment and offices.  This they call simony. The practice is truly deplorable.  No one should step into the office and preach from his own presumption and without a commission from those having the authority."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, III, p. 374.  Pentecost Tuesday.  John 10:1-11.

Women Preaching

"Likewise, in the matter of preaching, we must make selection that order may be preserved.  But since all who are Christians have authority to preach, what will be the outcome? for women will also want to preach.  No so.  St. Paul forbids women to put themselves forward as preachers in a congregation of men and says:  'They should be subject to their husbands.'"


                        Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983,

III, p. 375.  Pentecost Tuesday.  1 Timothy 2:11-12.

                                    Pietism Explained and Refuted

"What may be the reason why the Pietists, who were really well-intentioned people, hit upon the doctrine that no one


could be a Christian unless he had ascertained the exact day and hour of his conversion?  The reason is that they imagined a person must suddenly experience a heavenly joy and hear an inner voice telling him that he had been received into grace and had become a child of God.  Having conceived this notion of the mode and manner of conversion, they were forced to declare that a person must be able to name the day and hour when he was converted, became a new creature, received forgiveness of sins, and was robed in the righteousness of Christ.  However, we have already come to understand in part what a great, dangerous, and fatal error this is."

            C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 194f.  Thesis IX.

"'Pay more attention to pure life, and you will raise a growth of genuine Christianity.'  That is exactly like saying to a farmer: 'Do not worry forever about good seed; worry about good fruits.'  Is not a farmer properly concerned about good fruit when he is solicitous about getting good seed? Just so a concern about pure doctrine is the proper concern about genuine Christianity and a sincere Christian life. False doctrine is noxious seed, sown by the enemy to produce a progeny of wickedness.  The pure doctrine is wheat-seed; from

it spring the children of the Kingdom, who even in the present life belong in the kingdom of Jesus Christ and in the life to come will be received into the Kingdom of Glory."

            C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 21.

Young Fuller Seminary Student, Old Unitarian

"...it is exceedingly difficult to prevent this low view from running out into Socinianism [Unitarianism], as, indeed, it actually has run in Calvinistic lands, so that it became a proverb, often met with in the older theological writers--'A young Calvinist, an old Socinian.'  This peril is confessed and mourned over by great Calvinistic divines.  New England is an illustration of it on an immense scale, in our own land."

Charles P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its

Theology, Philadelphia:  The United Lutheran Publication House, 1871, p. 489.

A Pastor Smites Wolves

"It is not enough that we preach correctly, which the hireling can also do; but we must watch over the sheep, that the wolves, false teachers, may not break in, and we must contend for the sheep against the wolves, with the Word of God, even to the sacrifice of our lives.  Such are good shepherds, of whom few are found."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 34.  Second Sunday after Easter.  John 10:11-16.

Spineless Conservative Pastors Are Wolves

"For nothing can feed or give life to the soul, which is not the doctrine of Christ.  Although the hireling does not himself slay and destroy, he does not restrain the wolf. Therefore, because you neither point out nor teach this shepherd, you shall not and ought not to be heard, but you shall be shunned as a wolf."

            Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House,  1983, III, p. 58f.  Second Sunday after Easter.  John 10:11-16.

False Teachers and the Colored Filter

"They [the false teachers] fared like a man who looks through a colored glass.  Put before such a man whatever color you please, he sees no other color than that of the glass.  The fault is not that the right color is not put before him but that his glass is colored differently, as the word of Isaiah 6:9 puts it: You will see, he says, and yet you will not see it."

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 644.  Isaiah 6:9.

Adiaphora and Confessional Crisis

"We believe, teach, and confess that at a time of confession, as when enemies of the Word of God desire to suppress the pure doctrine of the holy Gospel, the entire community of God, yes, every individual Christian, and especially the ministers of the Word as the leaders of the community of God are obligated to confess openly, not only by words but also through their deeds and actions, the true doctrine and all that pertains to

it, according to the Word of God.  In such a case we should not yield to adversaries even in matters of indifference, nor should we tolerate the imposition of such ceremonies on us by adversaries in order to undermine the genuine worship of God and to introduce and confirm their idolatry by force or chicanery.  It is written, 'For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.' (Galatians 5:1)."

            Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article X, 10-11, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983, p. 612.  Galatians 5:1.

Luther and Fellowship

"Dr. Luther, who understood the true intention of the Augsburg Confession better than any one else, remained by it steadfastly and defended it constantly until he died. Shortly before his death, in his last confession, he repeated his faith in this article with great fervor and wrote as follows: 'I reckon them all as belonging together (that is, as Sacramentarians and enthusiasts), for that is what they are who will not believe that the Lord's bread in the Supper is his true, natural body, which the godless or Judas receive orally as well as St Peter and all the saints.  Whoever, I say, will not believe this, will please let me alone and expect no fellowship from me.  This is final." [WA 54:155, 156]

            Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article VII, Lord's Supper, 33, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1959, p. 575.

Spoiling the Egyptian Garbage

"Is it possible that one who has such models as Luther, Walther, Stoeckhardt, Lochner, Sieck, C. C. Schmidt, and Wessel, etc., etc., should leave these rich pastures to feed upon such garbage heaps as those from whom I have quoted?"

Martin S. Sommer, Concordia Pulpit for 1932, St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House, 1931, p. viii.

"It is the purpose of this volume to aid in displacing books of Reformed preachers.  We would encourage the cultivation of distinctly Lutheran preaching.  Therefore, we now appeal to our brethren always to consult Luther when preparing to preach.  Quo propior Luthero, eo melior theologus!  Let us who are called Lutheran preachers be sure that in every one of our sermons we preach God's Word and Luther's doctrine pure. It is that preaching which God demands of us, 1 Peter 4:11. It was that preaching which conquered the Roman Goliath, Revelation 12:11.  By that preaching we shall truly build the walls of Zion, not with hay, straw, and stubble, but with such stones as all the powers of hell shall never overthrow, Luke 21:15."

Martin S. Sommer, Concordia Pulpit for 1932, St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House, 1931, p. ix.

                                                            Proper Use of Love

"In like manner we will also do to our princes and priests;


when they attack our manner of life, we should suffer it and show love for hatred, good for evil; but when they attack our doctrine, God's honor is attacked, then love and patience should cease and we should not keep silent, but also say:  I honor my Father, and you dishonor me; yet I do not inquire whether you dishonor me, for I do not seek my own honor."

Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed.,

John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983,


II, p. 176.  Fifth Sunday in Lent.  John 8:46-59.

III.  THE CONCLUSION OF THE BOOK OF CONCORD

"We have no intention of yielding aught of the eternal, immutable truth of God for the sake of temporal peace, tranquility, and unity (which, moreover, is not in our power to do).  Nor would such peace and unity, since it is devised against the truth and for its suppression, have any permanency.  Still less are we inclined to adorn and conceal a corruption of the pure doctrine and manifest, condemned errors.  But we entertain heartfelt pleasure and love for, and are on our part sincerely inclined and anxious to advance, that unity according to our utmost power, by which His glory remains to God uninjured, nothing of the divine truth of the Holy Gospel is surrendered, no room is given to the least error, poor sinners are brought to true, genuine repentance, raised up by faith, confirmed in new obedience, and thus justified and eternally saved alone through the sole merit of Christ."

                 Of God's Eternal Election, Article XI, S.D., Formula of Concord, Concordia Triglotta,St. Louis:  1921, p. 1095.  The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore Tappert, Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, p.              632.