Martin Luther Speaks Out
Ten things Martin Luther wanted to say:
On the Papacy: “Dost thou hear this, O Pope! Not the most holy, but the most sinful! Would that God would hurl thy chair headlong from heaven and cast it down into the abyss of hell! Who gave you the power to exalt yourself before God? O Lord Christ! Look down upon this….Let the Day of Judgment come and destroy the devil’s liar at Rome! If this is not Antichrist, I do no know what it is!” (Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. VII, p. 212).
“The papacy is the most pestilential abominations of prince Satan that has ever or ever shall be…the fire and fury of silly asses and Thomist wine….But let those swine come on and burn me if they dare. Here I am and I will wait for them, and my ashes alone, having been cast after my death into a thousand seas, will come back and persecute and harass this abominable crowd” (Albert Henry Newman, A Manual of Church History, 1904, p. 67).
On Pope Paul III: “Your Hellishness” and “Most Hellish Father” (Schaff, p. 169).
On Church Councils: Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the Word of God…God help me! Here I stand.”
On the City of Rome: “The court of Rome is more corrupt than Babylon or Sodom…the most lawless den of thieves, the most shameless of all brothels, the very kingdom of sin, death, and hell…so that not even Antichrist if he were to come could devise any addition to its wickedness” (Newman, p. 61, citing letter to Leo X).
On King Henry VIII: “He openly and deliberately lies….now that damnable rottenness and worm deliberately and consciously concocts lies against the majesty of my King in heaven. Granted that he is the defender of the Church, yet it is of the purple-clad harlot, drunken and mother of abominations” (Newman, p. 66-67).
On Holy Scripture: “What God says is true whether my senses corroborate it or not…though I do not fully comprehend it…I shall know it all in the life to come” (Luther, Sermon on the Gospels, 1871, Vol. I, p. 337).
“I am conquered by the Holy Scriptures quoted by me, and my conscience is bound in the word of God; I cannot and will not recant anything since it is unsafe and dangerous to do anything against the conscience” (Schaff, Vol. II, p. 304-306).
“I simply taught, preached, wrote God’s word; otherwise, I did nothing…The word did it all.”
And finally on himself: “Leave my name alone, and do not call yourself Lutherans, but Christians” (Schaff, Vol. VII, p. 473).