Lutheran - another Confederate Flag?

Homo homini lupus est for sure. Such will be fixed. That’s what transcendence is for. For broken creatures. To be fixed. They’ve all been saved after all, thanks to the faithfulness of Christ.

I only play with a full deck.

My dear Joshua. We are in the same gutter, looking up at the stars. Equals. And I must look up to you. Which you make easy. What happens to Sodom and Gomorrah? Or aren’t they bad enough?

It occurred to me that I should look into how Calvin dealt with the parts of the Bible about faith so I googled the topic “John Calvin on faith.” Apparently he defines “faith” very narrowly as “the firm and certain knowledge of God in Christ” (Wikipedia). This not only sounds like a Gnostic gospel of salvation by special knowledge, but salvation by self-brainwashing. This is because I consider certainty to be nothing but pure delusion – i.e. the only certainty comes from simply not allowing yourself to question something. Of course he sees faith as something given by God in order to remove the contradiction with salvation by grace. This is very much in the category of faith being some power to save yourself whether it is given by God or not. I can see how this works for Calvin to reconcile grace and faith, but I certainly do not agree with any of this.

The closest knowledge to certainty which I believe in is simply the choice to live your life that way. I do not call that certainty but faith. So I obviously define faith differently. Faith is a choice to accept something as true. This is a very wide definition of the word “faith,” with application to all of knowledge and reasoning, for every argument of logic must begin by choosing to accept the premises which your argument draws its conclusions from. To say that we are saved by faith simply means we choose to accept the gift, and thus this is equivalent to salvation by the grace of God. No I do not accept the repudiation of faith, choice, and gift by saying that God gives our faith, makes our choice, and forces this gift as an assault upon us. But I will acknowledge that because sin destroys free will, it is likely that God has to liberate our free will to some extent before we can even make such a choice – so it is not as if we can even do this much without God’s intervention.

In Nordic countries, separation from the catholic church was made by the decision of the king. Parishes of the catholic church became lutheran parishes by the decree of the king. Some catholics did not accept this and moved away but many priests and bishops continued their work. They had been nominated by the bishops of the catholic church and they continued to nominate new bishops and priests in their lutheran parishes. So, there was a continuous line of nominations by bishops through generations.

Lutheran churches do not usually lift up the concept of apostolic succession in everyday discussions. It is not considered as important matter as in the catholic church.

It’s a simple question that Protestants sometimes hate: Does the Church teach apostolic succession through the life and teachings of Christ: Yes or No?

I don’t understand what you mean by this question. I understand the concept ‘apostolic succession’ and the words ‘the life and teachings of Christ’. But I don’t understand what you mean by the word ‘through’. Could you clarify?

What contradiction?

That’s what Luther is saying and it is completely wrong and absurdly complex; nothing simple about it.

Again, the complexity of this is a Gordian knot that Christ’s faithfulness slices through. Faith is the gift of God in the faithfulness of His son by whom, in whom all are graciously saved: Pistis Christou. There is no expiry date on the gift.

The “apostolic succession” is a total fabrication of the RC church and the LDS church, and I give it no credence whatsoever in either case. Like I said above, I adhere to sola scripture according to which the Bible is the only authority for the Christian religion. I find the idea that God would put any authority in the hands of sinful human beings to be both ludicrous and offensive – an invention of those seeking to use religion as a tool of power. God does not need sinful human beings to speak for Him. It is only sinful human beings who lust for the power in the idea of speaking for God.

What’s that got to do with Pistis Christou?

Thanks for the info. My context is a country where the two main churches have been the lutheran (formerly catholic) church and the eastern orthodox church. Other denominations have been very small, including the Roman-catholic church.

I was raised within the lutheran church. When I became a believer, I started to study what the Bible and the earliest church were teaching about baptism. This changed my understanding about baptism and the church and I had to leave the lutheran church.

Nowadays I belong to a local congregation (part of the Evangelical free church of Finland; that has the reputation of being very cooperative towards the other churches - we are just a tiny part of the global church and respect the believers in the other churches. We have active cooperation with other churches, including the local lutheran church.

As you can guess from my background, I know a bit about the eastern orthodox church. I can easily understand why Orthodox Christians are not very interested about forums where mainly non-Orthodox Christians discuss about the interpretation of the Bible.


I am familiar with the assertion that Luther wrote some anti-Semitic things, but have also heard that the remarks are out of context in a larger document. Since I have not read the larger document, it is hard to know whether judging the whole by the part as fair or not.

As for Hitler using Luther’s words — maybe so. But Hitler wanted people saying prayers to him (that is, to Hitler) and was generally anti-religion, also hated Slavs and clerical workers etc…In short, he is hardly proof of anything except human nature run amuk.

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Didn’t you read the OP?

Not sure what meant by OP

OP = the original post, ie, the first post in this thread.

Most of the denomination names are or were originally adjectives in some form or another. Lutheran is a good example. Most of us would get tired of saying Lutheran Christian or Calvinist Christian so we drop what is most obvious. This is language habit more than a doctrinal issue.

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I agree. I guess many of those names are given by outsiders, not by the groups themselves. If I have understood right, even the name Christian was also a mock name given by outsiders, of those following the Way.

We try to get order in the diversity around us by classification. Giving names to groups that share something in common may sometimes be helpful. Yet, it’s not an optimal situation that groups are named as followers of an influential person. Even this thread shows that; the question whether Lutheran is a defence of anti-Judaism starts from associating so called Lutherans with the opinions of Luther.
Such classification becomes easily a cause of division among Christians. Not ok.

" The name Lutheran originated as a derogatory term used against Luther by German Scholastic theologian Dr. Johann Maier von Eck during the Leipzig Debate in July 1519.[5] Eck and other Roman Catholics followed the traditional practice of naming a heresy after its leader, thus labeling all who identified with the theology of Martin Luther as Lutherans.[3]

Martin Luther always disliked the term Lutheran , preferring the term Evangelical , which was derived from εὐαγγέλιον euangelion , a Greek word meaning “good news”, i.e. “Gospel”.[5] The followers of John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, and other theologians linked to the Reformed tradition also used that term. To distinguish the two evangelical groups, others began to refer to the two groups as Evangelical Lutheran and Evangelical Reformed . As time passed by, the word Evangelical was dropped. Lutherans themselves began to use the term Lutheran in the middle of the 16th century, in order to distinguish themselves from other groups such as the Anabaptists and Calvinists.

In 1597, theologians in Wittenberg defined the title Lutheran as referring to the true church." wiki

In this instance the RCC was right; Lutheranism is a heresy, fitting poorly to the teachings of Paul, Pistis Christou, indeed, and creating the oxymoron Evangelicalism.

Very true, my friend.

You mean their destruction in the Old Testament?

Don’t misunderstand, of course, when I say “the worst of the worst”. I know the Scriptures equalize people in terms of sin. For all have fallen short of the glory of God. But there are those who are repentant, and those who, in committing to the cause of suffering in others, have no repentance, and no desire for it, either.

Surely justice should come to these people? Has it already, in Jesus?

Sorry for the lateness of my reply, friend. Newborn + toddler + working from home = what’s a hobby?
Looking forward to hearing from you. :slight_smile:

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My dear most gracious Joshua.

Don’t you dare apologize for having a life!

I mean their salvation in the New. Where justice - equality of outcome - comes to them and the poor they oppressed. As it will for us. And the poor we oppress. Promised twice by Jesus. Jesus didn’t forgive His repentant enemies. He forgave them as they tortured and murdered Him. Their repentance, their desire for it, will inevitably follow in the transcendent. That’s why it’s paradise.


Well, for my part, I do try to bring more love than suffering into this world…


That’s something for me to think about.

Thank you for this exchange. You’ve given me something to reconsider, and something to reflect upon further.

I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. Whether you’re in the United States or not. :slight_smile:
-Joshua W.

Thanks for sharing, Kai. When you first wrote it, I was guessing which country, until you helpfully added it in the 3rd paragraph. As it turns out, I’ve been in quite a few Finnish churches, in multiple cities, having spent some months there teaching and at a couple of conferences, while living in St. Petersburg. Have visited the Helsinki Cathedral (evangelical) on the hill at the top of the stairs and also the Uspensky Cathedral (Eastern Orthodox) nearer the harbour.

Just wanted to add that I much appreciated your final sentence:

I can easily understand why Orthodox Christians are not very interested about forums where mainly non-Orthodox Christians discuss about the interpretation of the Bible.

Yes, the “sola scriptura” approach to Christianity sadly often just turns into never-ending individualist interpretation of “He said, She said” in my experience. The difficulty with that is every Protestant becomes their own favorite and best interpreter, a very heavy and risky responsibility for both the highly educated and the barely literate! Novelty exegesis in such cases then almost becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, while all unity gets sacrificed for “autonomy” and “independence”.

Glad to hear your congregation cooperates with others. When I was in SPb, the Porvoo Communion provided a healthy and active example of this. Greetings in Finland from Canada!

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I’m touched. Thank you very much Joshua. And to you and yours.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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