Who was left behind?

I’m writing this on Saturday morning, but I’ve set it up so that the post appears on Monday.  So I MIGHT be raptured by the end of the day.  I don’t know yet.  Right now I’m either in Heaven or Texas.

So who is left?  We need to hear from you.  Are the Lutherans all gone?  Where are the Calvinists?  Did the Baptists get taken?  Are the non-denominational Christians gone, or did they need to belong to a denomination after all?

We need to hear from the individuals who are always getting in theological arguments so that we can see if you have been right or not.  Roll call:  Grace?  Porcell?  Todd?  DonS?

Does anyone know if Mr. Camping is still here?  If so, what is he saying?  Just because we might not have noticed large groups of people disappearing doesn’t mean the rapture didn’t happen.  Maybe the gate is so narrow that only a handful of true Christians exist.  Maybe some homeless people, some New Guinea tribesmen, and some persecuted Christian Arabs–individuals no one would notice–got raptured.

So now let’s get ready for the Tribulation!  And the End of the World on October 21!

What do we learn from all of this?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Michael Lynch

    According to Camping, if you didn’t believe in his May 21st prediction you probably weren’t one of God’s people and would not have been raptured anyway. How awesome would it be to hear that he returned to a Bible-believing church next Sunday?

  • Michael Lynch

    According to Camping, if you didn’t believe in his May 21st prediction you probably weren’t one of God’s people and would not have been raptured anyway. How awesome would it be to hear that he returned to a Bible-believing church next Sunday?

  • Pete

    My (reformed) wife and my (lutheran) self were at a wedding Saturday at 6 PM. The bride and groom were independent baptist and we were concerned that, as amillenialists, we’d be the only ones left in the church. Of course, were that the case, we’d have had the reception refreshments all to ourselves. But unless Jesus really did show up, there was no hope for any wine at this wedding. Came off without (actually with) a hitch, though.

  • Pete

    My (reformed) wife and my (lutheran) self were at a wedding Saturday at 6 PM. The bride and groom were independent baptist and we were concerned that, as amillenialists, we’d be the only ones left in the church. Of course, were that the case, we’d have had the reception refreshments all to ourselves. But unless Jesus really did show up, there was no hope for any wine at this wedding. Came off without (actually with) a hitch, though.

  • SKPeterson

    I think we learned that if you’re an obscure nutcase that identifies even loosely as “Christian” you’ll get scads of media attention that will make a mockery of Christians.

  • SKPeterson

    I think we learned that if you’re an obscure nutcase that identifies even loosely as “Christian” you’ll get scads of media attention that will make a mockery of Christians.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    ‘Nutcases for Christ’…I like it.

    Too bad they really aren’t for Christ as much as they are in it for themselves.

    You are spot on, S.K..

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    ‘Nutcases for Christ’…I like it.

    Too bad they really aren’t for Christ as much as they are in it for themselves.

    You are spot on, S.K..

  • Dennis Peskey

    Monday morning – 8:30am – still here. Of course, I am Lutheran and we’ve become accustomed to lagging behind other denominations (and non-denominational groupies) in changing our soteriology. Perhaps the Lutherans will have their very own rapture on October 31; this timeframe would be more acceptable to our palate.

    P.S. Interesting diachotomy between Heaven and Texas. I suspect this may not have been as subtle as first perceived.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Monday morning – 8:30am – still here. Of course, I am Lutheran and we’ve become accustomed to lagging behind other denominations (and non-denominational groupies) in changing our soteriology. Perhaps the Lutherans will have their very own rapture on October 31; this timeframe would be more acceptable to our palate.

    P.S. Interesting diachotomy between Heaven and Texas. I suspect this may not have been as subtle as first perceived.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    No shades of gray there…

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    No shades of gray there…

  • Louis

    Heh. I have just realised how funny this all is: We are having a long weekend here in Canada, and Victoria Day is normally planting day here in SK for all us vegetable growers. But Saturday morning I went out and … bought another apple tree. Now doesn’t that prove that I’m a good Lutheran? :) :)

  • Louis

    Heh. I have just realised how funny this all is: We are having a long weekend here in Canada, and Victoria Day is normally planting day here in SK for all us vegetable growers. But Saturday morning I went out and … bought another apple tree. Now doesn’t that prove that I’m a good Lutheran? :) :)

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I always thought heaven and Texas were synonymous.

    @5 Having Jesus show up for our Oktoberfest/Reformation picnic would be awesome. We could sit down over nice frosty brew and bratwurst and enjoy all things made anew.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I always thought heaven and Texas were synonymous.

    @5 Having Jesus show up for our Oktoberfest/Reformation picnic would be awesome. We could sit down over nice frosty brew and bratwurst and enjoy all things made anew.

  • Orianna Laun

    I’m still here. I can’t help but think with recent storms and volcanoes and all that God is up there reminding us that we have to tribulate before we can have rapture–that is, the blissful joy we will have in heaven.

  • Orianna Laun

    I’m still here. I can’t help but think with recent storms and volcanoes and all that God is up there reminding us that we have to tribulate before we can have rapture–that is, the blissful joy we will have in heaven.

  • SKPeterson

    “If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent Texas and live in Hell” (Philip Sheridan)

    “You may go to hell, and I’ll go to Tex!”(David Crockett)

    Take your pick.

  • SKPeterson

    “If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent Texas and live in Hell” (Philip Sheridan)

    “You may go to hell, and I’ll go to Tex!”(David Crockett)

    Take your pick.

  • MissionMobilizer

    I’m starting an informal status update series on my Facebook profile called “Why I am an Amillennialist”. You guys out there have any good links to podcasts or sources I could share with people? I’m also looking for the ridiculous (such as a post today from Fast Company on how to ‘monetize the rapture’) as reasons why I don’t believe in the dispensational perspective. I’m currently reading Riddlebarger’s book “The Case for Amillennialism”, but that isn’t quite as Facebook-post-friendly. :-) I would appreciate anything you guys can point me to. Thanks!

  • MissionMobilizer

    I’m starting an informal status update series on my Facebook profile called “Why I am an Amillennialist”. You guys out there have any good links to podcasts or sources I could share with people? I’m also looking for the ridiculous (such as a post today from Fast Company on how to ‘monetize the rapture’) as reasons why I don’t believe in the dispensational perspective. I’m currently reading Riddlebarger’s book “The Case for Amillennialism”, but that isn’t quite as Facebook-post-friendly. :-) I would appreciate anything you guys can point me to. Thanks!

  • Stephen

    I heard one helluva sermon in Texas yesterday on the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and strangely no mention of Harold Camping.

    Meanwhile, getting back down to earth, the one Christ was resurrected into and came to redeem rather than issue tickets out of, prayers are needed for the people of Joplin, MO. for hope and healing.

    Revelation 21:1 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.”

    That is fascinating to me. NEW heaven and NEW earth. Like bodies transfigured, with all the suffering and sin that clings to them in this life utterly dismissed. As Paul said, what counts is a new creation.

  • Stephen

    I heard one helluva sermon in Texas yesterday on the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and strangely no mention of Harold Camping.

    Meanwhile, getting back down to earth, the one Christ was resurrected into and came to redeem rather than issue tickets out of, prayers are needed for the people of Joplin, MO. for hope and healing.

    Revelation 21:1 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.”

    That is fascinating to me. NEW heaven and NEW earth. Like bodies transfigured, with all the suffering and sin that clings to them in this life utterly dismissed. As Paul said, what counts is a new creation.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Left behind, don’t worry I’ll catch up.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Left behind, don’t worry I’ll catch up.

  • helen

    Since I’m already in Texas, I suppose I didn’t have anywhere to go.
    …depending on the definition of Texas… :)

    [It could be heaven, if we were spared Rick Perry.]

  • helen

    Since I’m already in Texas, I suppose I didn’t have anywhere to go.
    …depending on the definition of Texas… :)

    [It could be heaven, if we were spared Rick Perry.]

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Could anybody point to me in Scripture where our salvation is based upon the prediction of Christ’s return?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Could anybody point to me in Scripture where our salvation is based upon the prediction of Christ’s return?

  • WebMonk

    I’m not sure if Camping is a Christian or not, though I would probably say “yes” if I were forced to put a $1000 on the bet.

    It was eight or nine years ago that I heard him quote Eph 2:8 and then followed up to describe what that “really” meant in a way that was essentially the opposite – a sort-of-kind-of determination based on if you had rejected the current ‘apostate’ churches.

    I’m not enough of an expert on him to know exactly what he believes, and so I can’t really say with any surety if I think he’s a horribly deluded Christian, or a nutcase who uses the Bible’s words to fabricate an entirely different religion.

    I do know that a lot of his followers are Christians who have been deceived. I feel sorry for what they are going through, and I pray that they will turn back to Christ.

  • WebMonk

    I’m not sure if Camping is a Christian or not, though I would probably say “yes” if I were forced to put a $1000 on the bet.

    It was eight or nine years ago that I heard him quote Eph 2:8 and then followed up to describe what that “really” meant in a way that was essentially the opposite – a sort-of-kind-of determination based on if you had rejected the current ‘apostate’ churches.

    I’m not enough of an expert on him to know exactly what he believes, and so I can’t really say with any surety if I think he’s a horribly deluded Christian, or a nutcase who uses the Bible’s words to fabricate an entirely different religion.

    I do know that a lot of his followers are Christians who have been deceived. I feel sorry for what they are going through, and I pray that they will turn back to Christ.

  • Pete

    MM@11

    Here’s some ridiculous (it’s an old one, so apologies if you’ve already heard it):

    I’m an advocate of Panmilleniallism – the belief that it’ll all pan out in the end.

  • Pete

    MM@11

    Here’s some ridiculous (it’s an old one, so apologies if you’ve already heard it):

    I’m an advocate of Panmilleniallism – the belief that it’ll all pan out in the end.

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  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    Since I was up on Saturday violently sick, I was wishing I was raptured. Alas I had to resort to my god-given immune system to save me.

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    Since I was up on Saturday violently sick, I was wishing I was raptured. Alas I had to resort to my god-given immune system to save me.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I haven’t seen any comments today from Grace, Porcell, or DonS. And, were it not for WebMonk’s comment here, I might think that only Lutherans were left behind on this blog.

    Of course, as the non-Lutherans take pains to remind us, that is likely due more to our Lutheran stridency in maintaining that we are correct — having driven away those who do not claim a corner on truth — than to any sort of foolish rapture nonsense (see? stridency!).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I haven’t seen any comments today from Grace, Porcell, or DonS. And, were it not for WebMonk’s comment here, I might think that only Lutherans were left behind on this blog.

    Of course, as the non-Lutherans take pains to remind us, that is likely due more to our Lutheran stridency in maintaining that we are correct — having driven away those who do not claim a corner on truth — than to any sort of foolish rapture nonsense (see? stridency!).

  • MissionMobilizer

    Ha. Yeah, I’ve used that one myself, Pete. :-)

  • MissionMobilizer

    Ha. Yeah, I’ve used that one myself, Pete. :-)

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith,

    “So who is left? We need to hear from you. Are the Lutherans all gone? Where are the Calvinists? Did the Baptists get taken? Are the non-denominational Christians gone, or did they need to belong to a denomination after all?

    We need to hear from the individuals who are always getting in theological arguments so that we can see if you have been right or not. Roll call: Grace? Porcell? Todd? DonS?

    “ROLL CALL” ?

    First of all, I’m disappointed, but not shocked that you would include Porcell, DonS and myself in such a trite, unbiblical exercise. You know very well that we do not support such date setting for the return of the LORD. Mocking us, as though we have been waiting for Camping’s date of May 21st.

    How could we be right about something we know is false,….. did you read one word that Porcell, DonS or myself wrote that would lead you to think we would be raptured on a given date? If this is, your excuse in humor, or satire, it’s insulting. Playing games with the Word of God, is nothing short of mocking God, and His children, which are the ones you mentioned in beginning statement.

    “What do we learn from all of this?”

    There are many Christians, we should be praying for,…… instead of making fun of them. What does it accomplish? it’s no different than the world making fun of God’s Word, His Son’s resurrection, the Cross, mocking serves no purpose, it only makes the mocker into a caricature of a so called Christian who hasn’t a drop of love for his brothers and sisters who have not studied the Word of God so that they would know the truth.

    Dr. Veith, what have you learned? Making DonS, Porcell and myself the butt of your joke!

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith,

    “So who is left? We need to hear from you. Are the Lutherans all gone? Where are the Calvinists? Did the Baptists get taken? Are the non-denominational Christians gone, or did they need to belong to a denomination after all?

    We need to hear from the individuals who are always getting in theological arguments so that we can see if you have been right or not. Roll call: Grace? Porcell? Todd? DonS?

    “ROLL CALL” ?

    First of all, I’m disappointed, but not shocked that you would include Porcell, DonS and myself in such a trite, unbiblical exercise. You know very well that we do not support such date setting for the return of the LORD. Mocking us, as though we have been waiting for Camping’s date of May 21st.

    How could we be right about something we know is false,….. did you read one word that Porcell, DonS or myself wrote that would lead you to think we would be raptured on a given date? If this is, your excuse in humor, or satire, it’s insulting. Playing games with the Word of God, is nothing short of mocking God, and His children, which are the ones you mentioned in beginning statement.

    “What do we learn from all of this?”

    There are many Christians, we should be praying for,…… instead of making fun of them. What does it accomplish? it’s no different than the world making fun of God’s Word, His Son’s resurrection, the Cross, mocking serves no purpose, it only makes the mocker into a caricature of a so called Christian who hasn’t a drop of love for his brothers and sisters who have not studied the Word of God so that they would know the truth.

    Dr. Veith, what have you learned? Making DonS, Porcell and myself the butt of your joke!

  • BW

    Grace,

    Dr. Veith isn’t saying you guys thought the rapture would be on May 21st, he just wanted to see if any of you were raptured with Camping…

  • BW

    Grace,

    Dr. Veith isn’t saying you guys thought the rapture would be on May 21st, he just wanted to see if any of you were raptured with Camping…

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Maybe Grace’s sense of humor was raptured?

    If so, I’d say May 21 was likely late by several months for a date for the rapture.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Maybe Grace’s sense of humor was raptured?

    If so, I’d say May 21 was likely late by several months for a date for the rapture.

  • SKPeterson

    Todd – you must be the token Lutheran in all debates theological. Or is Don also Lutheran? Can’t recall at the moment.

  • SKPeterson

    Todd – you must be the token Lutheran in all debates theological. Or is Don also Lutheran? Can’t recall at the moment.

  • trotk

    We Anglicans were taken. It is pretty nice here.

  • trotk

    We Anglicans were taken. It is pretty nice here.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    So.. They have Facebook where trotk went, eh?
    Hmmm…

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    So.. They have Facebook where trotk went, eh?
    Hmmm…

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SK (@24), huh? I don’t get it.

    And no, DonS is not Lutheran. He is a self-described as “baptistic in theology”, but attends Calvary Chapel.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SK (@24), huh? I don’t get it.

    And no, DonS is not Lutheran. He is a self-described as “baptistic in theology”, but attends Calvary Chapel.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Poor Trotk (@25)! He’s confused hanging out with Lutherans with being in Paradise.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Poor Trotk (@25)! He’s confused hanging out with Lutherans with being in Paradise.

  • Joe

    tODD – don’t feel bad for him; its good practice :)

  • Joe

    tODD – don’t feel bad for him; its good practice :)

  • steve

    Pete, #17, I have heard that one before and I didn’t think it was all that funny then. No offense, of course. I think it was the context that made it not so humorous. You see, I was attending a CRC church for the first time and, coming from a Baptist background, had some questions about Reformed eschatology. I asked the pastor of said church and that was the answer I was given.

  • steve

    Pete, #17, I have heard that one before and I didn’t think it was all that funny then. No offense, of course. I think it was the context that made it not so humorous. You see, I was attending a CRC church for the first time and, coming from a Baptist background, had some questions about Reformed eschatology. I asked the pastor of said church and that was the answer I was given.

  • Cincinnatus

    But isn’t Camping just the logical outcome of Protestant logic–the church of the single individual? Each a church, preacher, hermeneut unto himself?

  • Cincinnatus

    But isn’t Camping just the logical outcome of Protestant logic–the church of the single individual? Each a church, preacher, hermeneut unto himself?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@31), to which “Protestant logic” do you refer?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@31), to which “Protestant logic” do you refer?

  • steve

    I don’t see it as a logical outcome of Protestantism, per se, but possibly the logical outcome of a revivalistic frontier religion mentality that is fairly prevalent in American protestantism.

  • steve

    I don’t see it as a logical outcome of Protestantism, per se, but possibly the logical outcome of a revivalistic frontier religion mentality that is fairly prevalent in American protestantism.

  • Joe

    Stephen @ 12 “As Paul said, what counts is a new creation.”

    This is a theme I would like to see our Pastors address much much more. What is the end game – heaven or a new creation, how do they differ? This is an area that I think we need some teaching on. I read an article a few years ago (that I sense lost) that was dedicated to this question and an effort to refocus our thinking on a new creation and not on heaven. It was a great article – it even pointed out that in the process of translating some of the reformation hymns from German to English, new creation was changed to heaven.

    Anyone have any good material on the subject?

  • Joe

    Stephen @ 12 “As Paul said, what counts is a new creation.”

    This is a theme I would like to see our Pastors address much much more. What is the end game – heaven or a new creation, how do they differ? This is an area that I think we need some teaching on. I read an article a few years ago (that I sense lost) that was dedicated to this question and an effort to refocus our thinking on a new creation and not on heaven. It was a great article – it even pointed out that in the process of translating some of the reformation hymns from German to English, new creation was changed to heaven.

    Anyone have any good material on the subject?

  • mark†

    Anyone have any good material on the subject?

    You might listen to the show from Issues 24 on Revelation:
    http://issuesetc.org/issues-etc-24-2011/

    Either of the commentaries by Dr. Louis Brighton on Revelation. In his commentaries he shows us the risen ascendant Christ.

  • mark†

    Anyone have any good material on the subject?

    You might listen to the show from Issues 24 on Revelation:
    http://issuesetc.org/issues-etc-24-2011/

    Either of the commentaries by Dr. Louis Brighton on Revelation. In his commentaries he shows us the risen ascendant Christ.

  • Porcell

    A few of we elect Calvinists have made it along with trotk; so far no sign of Lutherans; maybe next time, or possibly they’l be stuck for many more “end” times with the Romans in purgatory. I haven’t yet decided up here whether to forgive Veith for the “ideolog” bit.

  • Porcell

    A few of we elect Calvinists have made it along with trotk; so far no sign of Lutherans; maybe next time, or possibly they’l be stuck for many more “end” times with the Romans in purgatory. I haven’t yet decided up here whether to forgive Veith for the “ideolog” bit.

  • MissionMobilizer

    Thanks for the link, Mark. I had skipped that one on my playlist but I’ll put it back at the top now. Rev Fisk recently put out a video regarding this, but it didn’t go very deep into the eschatology of amillennialism. I’m hoping the Issues podcast will.

  • MissionMobilizer

    Thanks for the link, Mark. I had skipped that one on my playlist but I’ll put it back at the top now. Rev Fisk recently put out a video regarding this, but it didn’t go very deep into the eschatology of amillennialism. I’m hoping the Issues podcast will.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    MissionMobilizer, you may want to find a copy of the slim book The Dark Side of the Millennium by Arthur H. Lewis. This was a recommendation by Kim Riddlebarger. It asks very pointed questions about how evil will rise at the end of the Millennium that are hard to answer if you see this as a literal earthly fulfillment of the glorious kingdom passages of the Old Testament.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    MissionMobilizer, you may want to find a copy of the slim book The Dark Side of the Millennium by Arthur H. Lewis. This was a recommendation by Kim Riddlebarger. It asks very pointed questions about how evil will rise at the end of the Millennium that are hard to answer if you see this as a literal earthly fulfillment of the glorious kingdom passages of the Old Testament.

  • MissionMobilizer

    Awesome. Thanks, Rick, I’ll check that out. I finished listening to the two podcasts on Revelation from Issues. Very helpful stuff. It was kinda like a short overview of what I’m getting from Riddlebarger’s book.

  • MissionMobilizer

    Awesome. Thanks, Rick, I’ll check that out. I finished listening to the two podcasts on Revelation from Issues. Very helpful stuff. It was kinda like a short overview of what I’m getting from Riddlebarger’s book.

  • Larry

    Todd,

    From the collection “What Luther Says”.

    After MANY negatives concerning heresy:

    1962 The Indirect Benefits of Heresies, “Error and heresy must come into the world so that the elect may become approved and manifest. Their coming is in the best interests of Christians if they take the proper attitude toward it. St. Augustine, who certainly was sufficiently annoyed by wretched sectaries, says that when heresy and offense come, they produce much benefit in the Christendom; for they cause Christians industriously to read Holy Scripture and with diligence to pursue it and persevere in its study. Otherwise they might let it lie on the shelf, become very secure, and say: Why, God’s Word and the text of Scripture are current in our midst; it is not necessary for us to read Holy Scripture. But now we are made vigilant and watchful by the heretics and their offense, and because of the conflicts and controversies we understand God’s Word better than we did before.” (W 47, 264-E44, 54-SL 7, 897 ff)

    Luther also speaks of what heresy is, primarily in Scripture and its not “direct opposition” but that which pretends and prances around as if Christian” (i.e. the sects):

    In Luther’s exposition of 2 Peter 2:1 (1523) Luther traces the sinuous and subtle method which the “white devil” uses when he introduces heresies – How Heresy Is Smuggled In, “He (Peter) calls them damnable sects, or estates and orders, because whoever becomes enmeshed in them is already lost. These (heresies) they will bring in on the sly, says he, and not by preaching that the Gospel and Holy Scripture are false; for that would be a flat contradiction. Rather they will keep these terms – God, Christ faith, church, Baptism, the Sacrament – and let them remain. But under the cover of these terms they will proceed to introduce something that differs from them in kind. There is consequently a great difference between my saying: This man preaches against this, and saying: This man preaches additional doctrines (predigt daneben her). When I preach: Christ is God’s Son and true man, and whoever believes in Him will be saved, this is proper preaching and the true Gospel. Now, if someone preaches: Christ is not God’s Son and not true man; and: Faith does not save, this is a flat contradiction. Of this St. Peter is not speaking (for our schools for higher learning, priests and monks, do not do this), but he is speaking of that additional doctrine (Nebenlehre) which they introduce alongside the true doctrine. This they do when, for instance, they speak like this: True it is that Christ is true God and man, who dies for our sins, and that no one who does not believe in Him can be saved. But this is for ordinary people. We intend to establish a more perfect way, the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, fasting so much, endowing so much, etc. Whoever does this will at once ascend to heaven. Now where people preach and hear it stated that there is nothing better and more blessed than virginity and obedience and that monks and priests are in a higher and more perfect estate than the ordinary man, nothing is said in flat contradiction of the pure Christian doctrine, nor are faith and Baptism denied, nor the fact that Christ is our Savior. Nevertheless, this doctrine is introduced alongside the other and leads people away from the right path. As a result, they build on their own life and works and hold no more of Christ than these words: We believe that Christ is god’s Son and a man, that He died and rose again, and that He saves the world – but they do not rely on Him at all. for if they did so, they would not cling to their way of life for an hour.” (W 14, 32 f-E 52, 237 f – SL 9, 1365 f).

    A great example of this was the development of the book of Concord Confessions. This was assembled due to the heresies of Rome on one side but precipitated mostly due to the Calvinist false teachings later on. Due to the heresies of Zwingli and Calvin on the Lord’s Supper and consequently denying the Gospel in reality, though they retain the words, gospel, grace alone, faith alone, spirit, etc…concord was forced to clarify then pen this down forever in the confessions. Even today nothing pushes the Lutheran confessions and church harder than these heresies intruding upon.

    In this same sense many of us coming from these heterodoxies experienced this first hand, the false teachings kept us examining the Scriptures concerning the sacraments and the Word.

    There’s a ton more in this section on heretics and heresies by Luther that’s a wealth of reading, but it will not make most comfortable because he does not sugar coat any of it.

    Larry

  • Larry

    Todd,

    From the collection “What Luther Says”.

    After MANY negatives concerning heresy:

    1962 The Indirect Benefits of Heresies, “Error and heresy must come into the world so that the elect may become approved and manifest. Their coming is in the best interests of Christians if they take the proper attitude toward it. St. Augustine, who certainly was sufficiently annoyed by wretched sectaries, says that when heresy and offense come, they produce much benefit in the Christendom; for they cause Christians industriously to read Holy Scripture and with diligence to pursue it and persevere in its study. Otherwise they might let it lie on the shelf, become very secure, and say: Why, God’s Word and the text of Scripture are current in our midst; it is not necessary for us to read Holy Scripture. But now we are made vigilant and watchful by the heretics and their offense, and because of the conflicts and controversies we understand God’s Word better than we did before.” (W 47, 264-E44, 54-SL 7, 897 ff)

    Luther also speaks of what heresy is, primarily in Scripture and its not “direct opposition” but that which pretends and prances around as if Christian” (i.e. the sects):

    In Luther’s exposition of 2 Peter 2:1 (1523) Luther traces the sinuous and subtle method which the “white devil” uses when he introduces heresies – How Heresy Is Smuggled In, “He (Peter) calls them damnable sects, or estates and orders, because whoever becomes enmeshed in them is already lost. These (heresies) they will bring in on the sly, says he, and not by preaching that the Gospel and Holy Scripture are false; for that would be a flat contradiction. Rather they will keep these terms – God, Christ faith, church, Baptism, the Sacrament – and let them remain. But under the cover of these terms they will proceed to introduce something that differs from them in kind. There is consequently a great difference between my saying: This man preaches against this, and saying: This man preaches additional doctrines (predigt daneben her). When I preach: Christ is God’s Son and true man, and whoever believes in Him will be saved, this is proper preaching and the true Gospel. Now, if someone preaches: Christ is not God’s Son and not true man; and: Faith does not save, this is a flat contradiction. Of this St. Peter is not speaking (for our schools for higher learning, priests and monks, do not do this), but he is speaking of that additional doctrine (Nebenlehre) which they introduce alongside the true doctrine. This they do when, for instance, they speak like this: True it is that Christ is true God and man, who dies for our sins, and that no one who does not believe in Him can be saved. But this is for ordinary people. We intend to establish a more perfect way, the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, fasting so much, endowing so much, etc. Whoever does this will at once ascend to heaven. Now where people preach and hear it stated that there is nothing better and more blessed than virginity and obedience and that monks and priests are in a higher and more perfect estate than the ordinary man, nothing is said in flat contradiction of the pure Christian doctrine, nor are faith and Baptism denied, nor the fact that Christ is our Savior. Nevertheless, this doctrine is introduced alongside the other and leads people away from the right path. As a result, they build on their own life and works and hold no more of Christ than these words: We believe that Christ is god’s Son and a man, that He died and rose again, and that He saves the world – but they do not rely on Him at all. for if they did so, they would not cling to their way of life for an hour.” (W 14, 32 f-E 52, 237 f – SL 9, 1365 f).

    A great example of this was the development of the book of Concord Confessions. This was assembled due to the heresies of Rome on one side but precipitated mostly due to the Calvinist false teachings later on. Due to the heresies of Zwingli and Calvin on the Lord’s Supper and consequently denying the Gospel in reality, though they retain the words, gospel, grace alone, faith alone, spirit, etc…concord was forced to clarify then pen this down forever in the confessions. Even today nothing pushes the Lutheran confessions and church harder than these heresies intruding upon.

    In this same sense many of us coming from these heterodoxies experienced this first hand, the false teachings kept us examining the Scriptures concerning the sacraments and the Word.

    There’s a ton more in this section on heretics and heresies by Luther that’s a wealth of reading, but it will not make most comfortable because he does not sugar coat any of it.

    Larry

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Thanks, Larry (@40). Not sure why you posted your reply in this thread, but it’s interesting stuff.

    I have to admit, I’m fairly lackadaisical when it comes to reading my Bible of late. God have mercy. But the discussions on this blog (which almost always involve heresy on at least one side) nearly always send me back to Scripture to see if I know what I’m talking about.

    I also think Luther’s take on heresy is interesting. I’ve been catching a lot of flack from the non-Lutherans on this blog for labeling their “differences” as heresy. It’s become this taboo word in American Christian circles, such that it’s okay to say you differ or even disagree with someone, but you can’t call their doctrine “heresy”! Because, apparently, heresy is a word reserved only for the obvious Bad People.

    It all goes to the point that you like to make, about how, if they truly believed what they do, they’d have no problems calling the Book of Concord heresy, either, since they think it’s wrong.

    Ah, but how relativist liberalism has affected even the most staunchly “conservative” Baptist, non-denominational, or Calvinist!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Thanks, Larry (@40). Not sure why you posted your reply in this thread, but it’s interesting stuff.

    I have to admit, I’m fairly lackadaisical when it comes to reading my Bible of late. God have mercy. But the discussions on this blog (which almost always involve heresy on at least one side) nearly always send me back to Scripture to see if I know what I’m talking about.

    I also think Luther’s take on heresy is interesting. I’ve been catching a lot of flack from the non-Lutherans on this blog for labeling their “differences” as heresy. It’s become this taboo word in American Christian circles, such that it’s okay to say you differ or even disagree with someone, but you can’t call their doctrine “heresy”! Because, apparently, heresy is a word reserved only for the obvious Bad People.

    It all goes to the point that you like to make, about how, if they truly believed what they do, they’d have no problems calling the Book of Concord heresy, either, since they think it’s wrong.

    Ah, but how relativist liberalism has affected even the most staunchly “conservative” Baptist, non-denominational, or Calvinist!

  • Larry

    Hey Todd,

    I got confused on which post we were discussing this.

    I hear you 110%. If many would say, “You Lutheran’s are heretics”, it wouldn’t offend and we could at least say, “At LAST progress!”

    In fact it was on this point above all that Luther refused Zwingli the right hand of fellowship, that Zwingli could say per his conscience, “I believe this is what the sacraments and Word mean (memorial), then be willing to compromise with Luther and the Lutherans by saying basically, “we can agree with the words as long as you can hold to yours and me mine”. When THAT happened Luther point blank said, “we are of a different spirit.”

    Which really puts Calvin in a WORSE light than even Zwingli. His content of the his doctrine the LS was one thing, but he basically sought (as Calvinist to this day contend) to find a mediating way between Luther and Zwingli. Again, this would be WORSE for Luther than simply honest opposition and conviction of the conscience as to “this is what the Word of God says”.

    Ultimately it is THIS spirit among the Reformed and Baptist of our day that allow them to even commune among each other and even share pulpits and their confessions of faith are quite malleable. Don’t take my word for it, just visit their churches.

    There was a hot debate a few years back, I was still Reformed Baptist, at John Piper’s church on the sacraments. He simply could not bring himself to understand how on the one hand his “theological heros”, where Luther, Calvin and Augstine and on the other hand he could say as a Baptist they were not baptized and could not commune with them at Piper’s church (the modern descendants like RC Sproul, et. ali.). His elders actually held the ground on not letting them open their communion doors and not relenting on credo baptism.

    His elders were at least in principle right.

    Luther considered this heresy, “let’s all get along for a common enemy”, worse and subtle heresy that sneaks in (as the cryptocalvinist issue nearly did), makes God’s Word at length wholly unreliable, and the greatest trial and temptation a theologian, pastor or laymen ever faces. Because who doesn’t want to “get along”?

    You made great point about liberal theology infecting far more than just the obvious “liberal theological mainline churches” we tend to think of (e.g. PCUSA, ELCA, et. ali.). But that it’s principle of compromising doctrine and not calling a heresy a heresy has even infected those whom otherwise are considered theological conservatives.

    And if you dare call a heresy a heresy, yep, you better be ready for the label. I hear you!

  • Larry

    Hey Todd,

    I got confused on which post we were discussing this.

    I hear you 110%. If many would say, “You Lutheran’s are heretics”, it wouldn’t offend and we could at least say, “At LAST progress!”

    In fact it was on this point above all that Luther refused Zwingli the right hand of fellowship, that Zwingli could say per his conscience, “I believe this is what the sacraments and Word mean (memorial), then be willing to compromise with Luther and the Lutherans by saying basically, “we can agree with the words as long as you can hold to yours and me mine”. When THAT happened Luther point blank said, “we are of a different spirit.”

    Which really puts Calvin in a WORSE light than even Zwingli. His content of the his doctrine the LS was one thing, but he basically sought (as Calvinist to this day contend) to find a mediating way between Luther and Zwingli. Again, this would be WORSE for Luther than simply honest opposition and conviction of the conscience as to “this is what the Word of God says”.

    Ultimately it is THIS spirit among the Reformed and Baptist of our day that allow them to even commune among each other and even share pulpits and their confessions of faith are quite malleable. Don’t take my word for it, just visit their churches.

    There was a hot debate a few years back, I was still Reformed Baptist, at John Piper’s church on the sacraments. He simply could not bring himself to understand how on the one hand his “theological heros”, where Luther, Calvin and Augstine and on the other hand he could say as a Baptist they were not baptized and could not commune with them at Piper’s church (the modern descendants like RC Sproul, et. ali.). His elders actually held the ground on not letting them open their communion doors and not relenting on credo baptism.

    His elders were at least in principle right.

    Luther considered this heresy, “let’s all get along for a common enemy”, worse and subtle heresy that sneaks in (as the cryptocalvinist issue nearly did), makes God’s Word at length wholly unreliable, and the greatest trial and temptation a theologian, pastor or laymen ever faces. Because who doesn’t want to “get along”?

    You made great point about liberal theology infecting far more than just the obvious “liberal theological mainline churches” we tend to think of (e.g. PCUSA, ELCA, et. ali.). But that it’s principle of compromising doctrine and not calling a heresy a heresy has even infected those whom otherwise are considered theological conservatives.

    And if you dare call a heresy a heresy, yep, you better be ready for the label. I hear you!


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