Thursday, August 27, 2015

Martin Luther on why opposition to the Gospel is good

For the more violently the world rages against the Gospel, the better the position of the Gospel is.

This should be a very pleasant comfort for us.  For it is sure that the world hates and persecutes us for no other reason than that we present the truth of the Gospel.  It does not accuse us of being thieves, adulterers, murderers, etc.; but what it despises in us is solely this, that we teach Christ faithfully and purely, and that we do not forsake the heritage of the truth.

Therefore we should know for certain that our doctrine is holy and divine, because the world hates it so bitterly.  Otherwise there is no doctrine too wicked, stupid, ridiculous or dangerous for the world to accept it, embrace  and defend it gladly, in fact, to treat it reverently, support it, fawn upon it, and convert everyone to it.

The teaching of godliness, life and salvation, together with its ministers, is the only one that it despises and treats in an utterly shameful way.  This is evident proof that the world is angry with us only because of its hatred of the Word.  Therefore when our opponents raise the objection against us that our doctrine produces nothing but war, sedition, stumbling blocks, sects, and endless other evil, let us reply: "Blessed be the day when it becomes possible to see all this! But the whole world is in an uproar.  All right.  If it were not in an uproar, and if the devil were not in such a rage and we not creating such havoc everywhere, we would not have the pure doctrine which such tumults and havoc inevitably follow.  Therefore what you see as evil we regard as the highest good."

From Luther's Words, notes on Galatians, page 47.

Interestingly, Luther wrote this in 1535.  Yet, his words describe almost perfectly the condition of our world today.  Opposition to the Gospel never changes.  It seems that Luther would say, "Good! Get the Gospel out to the world now!"