Protestant and other Christians

A friend named Philip wrote and asked me this question:
Christ is Risen. And we with him. I was talking to Evangelical friends who directed me to some historical websites about the Marburg meeting of the Protestant Reformers. You have just finished your Dr. Luther tour of Germany. It seems that the Protestants did agree on most issues, original sin, justification by faith, the sacraments. The only thing that Luther and Zwingli disagreed on was the Eucharist at the Marburg meeting 1529.
I responded:
Yes, they agreed on 15 out of 16, but on the 16th they could come to no agreement. Number 16 was a biggie, it was the Eucharist. After their disagreements and wrangling some of the Reformers left saying, “You are of a different spirit” and “You are no longer my brother!”
Marburg is an example of the chaos brought about by private interpretation of Scripture with no authority or Church to adjudicate and direct. Chaos, acrimony, schism and more schisms.
The Marburg participants had opinions about the Eucharist–everywhere from not quite Catholic to the bread and wine being completely symbolic. It demonstrated that the “Reformers” had no mechanism of authority or unity and that one issue spiraled into so many other differences and disagreements that it was not long that Luther was approving 100,000 peasants killed because they practiced his principle of “private interpretation” and disagreed with him. Calvin went off in his own direction and soon Reformed and Lutheran churches were competing. Calvin had Servetus burned at the stake in Geneva because he disagreed with him.
Marburg with the symbol of the disunity that would roar through the sects. Whereas the words, “This is My Body” had one meaning for 1500 years, shortly after the Marburg Colloquy there was a book published entitled, “Two Hundred Definitions of ‘This is My Body.’” Very soon Luther rejected 5 of the sacraments and gave the institution of marriage into the hands of the State thus taking it away from the authority of the Church. He rejected ordination, confession, marriage and last rites.
Protestants may try to put a happy face on it, but it was the first apple to fall from the tree and soon it was a rain of apples. Today’s 4,000+ sects, denominations, factions and cults show the disaster of the “Reformation” — which was really a deformation.
Here are a few quotes to confirm my points”
[N]ew sects always rise up against me, . . . we are attacked by so many sects which constantly disagree with one another – sometimes they even originate within our own ranks – . . . (Letters III, ed. and tr. Gottfried G. Krodel; to James Propst, 15 Sep. 1538; in LW, v. 50)
 Dave Armstrong, The Catholic Luther, n.d.
Luther wrote: [K]now that our friendly conference at Marburg is now at an end, and that we are in perfect union in all points except that our opponents insist that there is simply bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper, and that Christ is only in it in a spiritual sense. Today the landgrave did his best to make us united, hoping that even though we disagreed yet we should hold each other as brothers and members of Christ. He worked hard for it, but we would not call them brothers or members of Christ, although we wish them well and desire to remain at peace. (To Catharine Luther, 4 Oct. 1529; in LL2)
 Dave Armstrong, The Catholic Luther, n.d.
From the Protestant Magazine Christian History, So the German and Swiss reformations continued their separate ways. Luther asserted, “One side in this controversy belongs to the Devil and is God’s enemy”—and he did not mean his party. To Luther, his opponents, like Erasmus, allowed human reason to intrude on the plain words of Scripture. They required Christians to bring something of their own to salvation. Each brought to mind exactly the struggles he found in the monastery. Therefore, Luther could see no reason to be more charitable with “the false brethren” than he was with enemies from Rome.
Zwingli, in particular, resented Luther’s condescending tone. He felt the Wittenberg reformer had treated him “like an ass.” On the other side, thirteen years after Marburg, Luther was still complaining about Ulrich Zwingli’s “Swiss dialect” and his pompous insistence on speaking Greek at every opportunity. Luther declared, “I’ve bitten into many a nut, believing it to be good, only to find it wormy. Zwingli and Erasmus are nothing but wormy nuts that taste like crap in one’s mouth!”
The bad blood between the two reformers set a pattern for Protestant non-cooperation that has lasted to today.
 Robert D. Linder, “Allies or Enemies,” Christian History Magazine-Issue 39: Martin Luther: The Later Years (Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today, 1993).

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Steve at Wittenberg Door in Germany

Martin Luther and the Protestant “Reformation” – or rather, “the Deformation”  Just back from a trip to Martin Luther sites in Germany, Steve Ray discusses the man, his ideas, and his effect on the Church.

(PICTURE: Steve posting “500 Reasons to Be Catholic” on the Wittenberg Door in Wittenberg Germany. To watch the 2-minute video of the event, click here.

Click here to listen or download.

1.  Regarding the “reformers”, Romans 8 sounds like predestination so can Steve please give some clarification on that topic?

2.  In recent times the Pope and others honor Martin Luther? Is the Pope a heretic? How should we respond?

3.  What does it mean for the Church to be “apostolic”? How can I explain it to my Protestant friends who think they have it too?

4.  Why didn’t the Church stop Luther?

5.  The Church was corrupt at the time of the Reformation which is why Luther was able to do what he did, correct?

6.  What is the definition of a heretic? How are Protestants not heretics if they believe what Luther believed?

7.  Did the Catholic theologians of the time argue with Luther, especially defending Apostolic Succession in order to demonstrate that Luther was wrong?

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Germany Trip Summary, Comments, Farewells and Departure

by Steve Ray on September 15, 2017

After eight days of intense touring of Germany and following all the sites of Martin Luther and the “Protestant Devolution” we finally said our goodbyes, shared our comments about the trip and headed home. But the trip was not only about Martin Luther and the Protestant rebellion. We also explored and toured the life of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, understood World War II, the Nazi and Soviet Communist eras, the divided Berlin and the suffering of the people behind the Iron Curtain. The trip was also kind of like EWTN’s show The Journey Home with lots of conversion and vocation stories along the way including our local guide Klara who was an atheist in Czechoslovakia and has recently become a Catholic. But it was also a beautiful tour of Germany which is full of history, rustic castles, idyllic rivers and villages, old churches and excellent food and drink. We learned a lot and even though I knew much about Martin Luther and the whole Protestant situation I think I doubled my knowledge by visiting all the sites and sharing the information among the group and especially with Ken Hensley’s excellent teaching. For those who want to learn more about Martin Luther, John Calvin and the whole Protestant revolt visit www.kennethhensley.com. More than half of the people on this trip it traveled with us before and again we bonded into a very close group of friends. There was no wrangling or discontentment among the group at all. It was smooth and harmonious and full of personal and spiritual growth and development. Everyone’s faith was deepened in the conviction that the Catholic Church contains the fullness of the truth and is, in fact, the church that Jesus founded 2000 years ago and that Martin Luther introduced a great rupture into that unity which has brought chaos into the modern Western world. We especially enjoyed celebrating Mass with these holy priests in cities that have become radically Lutheran. We again proclaimed the truth of the Catholic faith in the cities that have been deprived in many ways through their protest and separation from the unity of the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic church. I think we were the only Catholic group to take a trip like this on the 500 anniversary of the “Protestant Reformation”. I’m certainly glad that we planned and executed this trip and it was a marvelous experience for all of us.  We expect to do this trip again in about five years.

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Luther Defies Rome, Splits the Church at ” Diet of Worms”. Germany Day 8

September 14, 2017

Today we visited the city of Worms Germany where Martin Luther was called before the “Diet” or Tribunal of the Holy Roman Empire at the “Diet of Worms” in 1521. I know that sounds funny and kind of disgusting but a “diet” was a tribunal and it was held in the city of Worms in […]

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Germany 7: Protestants Argue in Marburg Castle, a Birthday Party and more

September 13, 2017

Today we visited Marburg which is a quaint and historic town with the beautiful Bavarian looking houses and buildings. No one wanted to leave. Up on the mountain was the castle of Marburg where Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingli and a large group Protestants gathered to try and hammer out the “Protestant theology.” I explain more in […]

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Bach Concert, Luther House and Wartburg Castle

September 12, 2017

We started the day in Eisenach Germany with Mass at the Church of St. Elizabeth. She was an amazing woman well before the time of Luther who cared for the poor in an exceptional and miraculous way. You can hear the excellent homily here (Part 1 and Part 2). Today we branched out a bit […]

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He said, “You know you’re going to hell, right!”

September 11, 2017

As we entered the Luther Museum in Luther’s childhood hometown of Mansfeld a group of American Lutherans were leaving. They were all excited at first to meet Americans and asked where we were from. I said we were from all across the country. He then asked what Lutheran Synod we were from and I told […]

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Luther’s Young Years, Monastery and Birth & Death

September 11, 2017

Eisleben: birth and baptism of Luther. Also where he preach his last sermons and died. This was also the town of St. Gertrude the Great. We has Mass at St. Gertrude’s with another fantastic homily. Mansfeld: Luther’s childhood home and church where he sang in the choir and served as an altar boy. He was […]

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