Plus, whenever the “Luther hated the Jews” or the not used a lot “Luther hated the Muslims” mantra comes up from a Roman Catholic priest, there is an easy response: The Pope of the Roman Catholic Church did nothing and said nothing to stop Hitler from trying to exterminate the Jews, and it was the Roman Catholic Church who led the Crusades to kill the Muslims.
Let’s be honest – show me an anti-Semitic Lutheran Church. You can’t. Lutherans believe and want all people to come to faith in Jesus Christ. This is and has always been our mission, one that was given to us by Jesus in Matthew 28. Luther’s anti-Jewish writings and his anti-Muslim writings are his own. They are not mine. Luther was not perfect. None of us are. We are not God-like or equal to God (like the Roman Catholic Church believed at one time the Pope was). All of us do and say dumb things, at times. Luther was not immune from it.
We Lutherans follow God’s Word as the core of our lives and faith. I can’t get to heaven because I may have read and believe one of Luther’s Table Talk writings.
I only get to heaven by faith alone in Jesus Christ.
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It is the comparing of Luther’s use of a printing press to Donald Trump’s use of the media that made me scratch my head. It is a tired and failed argument.
The reality is that the entire media hated Donald Trump and still does. And if you watch the media and all you hear is negative attacks, people will end up believing the attacks. It’s common sense. Why do you think politicians use negative campaigning? Because it works. They will attack, attack, attack, and their opponent’s polling numbers will drop.
Have you ever read Facebook or Twitter and what people have written about Trump the candidate and Trump the president? They hated him as a candidate. They hate him as president. They hate him when does good things. Twitter, Facebook, every social media network – Trump is their whipping boy.
Even though Trump tweets nearly everyday, a vast majority of his followers don’t use Twitter.
Martin Luther was able to write and have his sermons and ideas printed. Luther’s message was simple – you are saved by the works of Jesus Christ, not your own. It was preached from pulpits and in university classrooms. People heard the message grounded in Scripture and compared it to the Roman Catholic Church’s indulgence creed or Papal decrees and they believed Martin Luther.
The argument of the anti-Luther or anti-Trump sides comes down to one point: manipulation. They believe that in order for Luther or Trump to have succeeded, they needed to manipulate the people, in Luther’s case, into ignoring the establishment of the Church, or in the case of Trump, into ignoring the mainstream media. Both arguments don’t hold water. It is a simplistic complaint to say that Luther and Trump are master manipulators but previous presidents and church leaders weren’t. The facts are if their arguments against the establishments of their days were based on a lie, they would have failed.
Luther spoke the Gospel truth.
Trump spoke plainly.
Indulgences and the arrogance of the church moved Luther.
The arrogance of the establishment and their ignoring deep-seeded problems in America’s families moved Trump.
The author of the op-ed, a Roman Catholic priest from Hoboken, should leave the politics and Luther to others.