On Pride And Preachers...

I just came across this quote from Luther that I had saved several months ago.

Here's Martin Luther on pride and preachers...




"The Holy Scriptures require a humble reader who shows reverence and fear toward the Word of God and constantly says, 'Teach me, teach me, teach me!' The Spirit resists the proud. Though they study diligently and some preach Christ purely for a time, nevertheless God excludes them from the church if they're proud. Wherefore every proud person is a heretic, if not actually, then potentially. However, it's difficult for a man who has excellent gifts not to be arrogant. Those whom God adorns with great gifts he plunges into the most severe trials in order that they may learn that they're nothing. Paul got a thorn in the flesh to keep him from being haughty. And if Philip were not so afflicted he would have curious notions. When on the other hand Jacob and Agricola are haughty and despise their teachers and learning, I fear it may be done with them. I knew the spirit of Münzer, Zwingli, and Karlstadt. Pride drove the angel out of heaven and spoils many preachers. Accordingly it's humility that's needed in the study of sacred literature."

*- LW 54 Table Talk No. 5017


The statement "wherefore every proud person is a heretic, if not actually, then potentially" particularly resonated with me, especially when thinking about my life before becoming a Confessional Lutheran.

As previously mentioned, I had a very popular "End Times Prophecy" blog and podcast for several years when I was a Spiritual Island Unto Myself, and the constant adulation and emails from others around the country (sometimes from around the world) only fed my prideful proclivities.

Lord, thank you for humbling me significantly in the past year, and please help me to remain humble while preventing me from ever thinking that I "know it all" and have somehow arrived at some supreme level of understanding reserved only for the most devout, pious, "Super Christians."

In a Lutheran layman's terms, please continue to remind me of your servant's, the apostle Paul's, divinely inspired command that "fear" and "trembling" (Philippians 2:12) accompany the lives of believers to keep our rebellious, sinful human nature (Romans 5:6-10) subdued in the service of God and neighbor.

NOTE: As you know, I am a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is not consistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a "Book of Concord" containing our Confessions even existed. In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by common Evangelical concerns/criticisms that aren't that big a deal for us Lutherans. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Finally, please know that any time we engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible unless otherwise noted. Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with...Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all mature spiritually (myself included) then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!