for this slight rant.
I think that I have vaugely mentioned that I am writing a book before. It is called 95. It follows the format of Martin Luther's 95 Theses, drawing a direct paralel to the 95 things that he was calling the universal church out on in 1517 to the 95 things I believe that the modern church needs to be called out on (things that we are not doing bibically). I am dedicating a chapter to each subject, with a corelating bible verse to go along with it. I am 5 chapters in and hope to complete it by April.
Anywho, I was doing a little research on this great founder of our modern protestant fatih and began to look at a list of his works. The last book I saw was entitled The Jews and their Lies. The title caught me off guard, so I decided to look into it more.
This book was written 3 years before his death. In his previous years, Luther campaigned the need to bring the Jews to the saving grace of Christ. He acknowledged that they were God's chosen people and were just misguided. In this book, he switched from that mind frame to some extremely anti semetic undertones, that were later used as Nazi propaganda. In his book, Luther recommends that Jews be deprived of money, civil rights, religious teaching, and education, and that they be forced to labor on the land, or else be expelled from Germany and possibly killed. Here are a few excerpts:
"There is no other explanation for this than the one cited earlier from Moses — namely, that God has struck [the Jews] with 'madness and blindness and confusion of mind.' So we are even at fault in not avenging all this innocent blood of our Lord and of the Christians which they shed for three hundred years after the destruction of Jerusalem, and the blood of the children they have shed since then (which still shines forth from their eyes and their skin). We are at fault in not slaying them. Rather we allow them to live freely in our midst despite all their murdering, cursing, blaspheming, lying, and defaming; we protect and shield their synagogues, houses, life, and property. In this way we make them lazy and secure and encourage them to fleece us boldly of our money and goods, as well as to mock and deride us, with a view to finally overcoming us, killing us all for such a great sin, and robbing us of all our property (as they daily pray and hope). Now tell me whether they do not have every reason to be the enemies of us accursed Goyim to curse us and to strive for our final, complete, and eternal ruin!"
"First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. ...Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. ...Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. ...Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. ...Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. ...Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them. ... Such money should now be used in ... the following [way]... Whenever a Jew is sincerely converted, he should be handed [a certain amount]...Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow... For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants. If we wish to wash our hands of the Jews' blasphemy and not share in their guilt, we have to part company with them. They must be driven from our country and we must drive them out like mad dogs."
WHAT THE EFF?
This great leader of our faith went off the deep end with anti semetic works and I didn't know about it till the age of 22? I checked with Corri and Jerry (both went through Christian Heritage at Vanguard) and they were just as shocked as I was. Upon further research I found out the the Luthern denomination denounced these staements, but most Christians either do not know, or do not mention Luthers anti semetic work.
That said, I do not think by any means any of Luther's works are void. I believe God truly used him most of his life, but He went off the deep end in his latter years and the church needs to acknowledge this. No wonder so many believe Christians are anti semetic. If we aren't willing to acknowledge the truth of this and then say that Luther had it right in his early years, but not in last years....we cannot progress. It is vital to acknowledge this.
This also got me thinking about how people change when they get older in their faith...obviously not everyone, but some change drastically. I think of how that bible often highlights "the faith of our youth". The faith that is untainted and vibrant....wanting to know more of the Lord and wanting to bring EVERYONE to him. I do not want to be stuck in my ways when I am older....i want to have kind of untainted pure faith all of my days. Help me Lord, please grant me this.