Monday, November 8, 2010

Luther on False Teachers -
Portrait of WELS, ELS, LCMS




False Teachers Use Work of Others

J-635.1

"Note the master hand wherewith Paul portrays the character of false teachers, showing how they betray their avarice and ambition. First, they permit true teachers to lay the foundation and perform the labor; then they come and desire to do the work over, to reap the honors and the benefits. They bring about that the name and the work of the true teachers receive no regard and credit; what they themselves have brought—that is the thing. They make the poor simple-minded people to stare open-mouthed while they win them with flowery words and seduce them with fair speeches, as mentioned in Romans 16:18. These are the idle drones that consume the honey they will not and cannot make." Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VII, p. 110. Second Sunday in Lent. 2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9; Romans 16:18.

False Doctrine Tolerated

J-636.1

"And such false teachers have the good fortune that all their folly is tolerated, even though the people realize how these act the fool, and rather rudely at that. They have success with it all, and people bear with them. But no patience is to be exercised toward true teachers! Their words and their works are watched with the intent of entrapping them, as complained of in Psalm 17:9 and elsewhere. When only apparently a mote is found, it is exaggerated to a very great beam. No toleration is granted. There is only judgment, condemnation and scorn. Hence the office of preaching is a grievous one. He who has not for his sole motive the benefit of his neighbor and the glory of God cannot continue therein. The true teacher must labor, and permit others to have the honor and profit of his efforts, while he receives injury and derision for his reward."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VII, p. 110f. Second Sunday in Lent. 2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9. Psalm 17:9.

God Punishes Ingratitude by Allowing False Teachers

J-637.1

"In the second place such teachers are disposed to bring the people into downright bondage and to bind their conscience by forcing laws upon them and teaching works-righteousness. The effect is that fear impels them to do what has been pounded into them, as if they were bondslaves, while their teachers command fear and attention. But the true teachers, they who give us freedom of conscience and create us lords, we soon forget, even despise. The dominion of false teachers is willingly tolerated and patiently endured; indeed, it is given high repute. All those conditions are punishments sent by God upon them who do not receive the Gospel with love and gratitude."Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VII, p. 111. Second Sunday in Lent. 2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9. John 5:43.



False Teachers Flay Disciples to Bone

J-638.1

"In the third place, false teachers flay their disciples to the bone, and cut them out of house and home, but even this is taken and endured. Such, I opine, has been our experience under the Papacy. But true preachers are even denied their bread. Yet this all perfectly squares with justice! For, since men fail to give unto those from whom they receive the Word of God, and permit the latter to serve them at their own expense, it is but fair they should give the more unto preachers of lies, whose instruction redounds to their injury. What is withheld from Christ must be given in tenfold proportion to the devil. They who refuse to give the servant of truth a single thread, must be oppressed by liars." Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VII, p. 111f. Second Sunday in Lent. 2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9.


Avarice in False Teachers

J-639.1

"Fourth, false apostles forcibly take more than is given them. They seize whatever and whenever they can, thus enhancing their insatiable avarice. This, too, is excused in them." Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VII, p. 112. Second Sunday in Lent. 2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9.


They Lord It Over Us

J-640.1

"Fifth, these deceitful teachers, not satisfied with having acquired our property, must exalt themselves above us and lord it over us...We bow our knees before them, worship them and kiss their feet. And we suffer it all, yes, with fearful reverence regard it as just and right. And it is just and right, for why did we not honor the Gospel by accepting and preserving it?"
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VII, p. 112. Second Sunday in Lent. 2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9.



We Are Dogs and Foot-Rags

J-641.1

"Sixth, our false apostles justly reward us by smiting us in the face. That is, they consider us inferior to dogs; they abuse us, and treat us as foot-rags." Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VII, p. 112. Second Sunday in Lent. 2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9.

False Teachers Are Peacocks

J-642.1

"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." What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 642.
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