Martin Luther on ‘Christians’ in Rebellion vs. the Government

Martin Luther on ‘Christians’ in Rebellion vs. the Government January 30, 2021




Having recently celebrated MLK Day, I was struck recently by some of the things the Chief Founder of the Protestant Reformation, and MLK’s name sake, Martin Luther had to say about Christians practicing sedition against a duly authorized government.  In 1522, Luther wrote a tract entitled ‘A Sincere Admonition by Martin Luther to All Christians to Guard Against Insurrection and Rebellion. Basically, Luther cites Romans 13.1-7, and says that God’s word through the Apostle to the Gentiles quite specifically condemns the kind of activity we saw on January 6th in Washington D.C.  And note that Luther says this at a time before there even was a democracy in Germany. If he existed today he would have shouted it from the Wittenberg pulpit that still stands where he used to preach.

As Paul says in Rom. 13, Christians are: 1) supposed to submit to the governing authorities, which in our case includes senators ; 2) Christians are never supposed to use violence to support so-called Christian causes. This is quite specifically ruled out by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. The fact that there were Jesus 2020 banners right there with Sic Semper Tyrannis  and Trump banners is a disaster and something Jesus himself would condemn. It involves a mixing of the Gospel with a false political philosophy that Christians should not be endorsing.  Jesus even told us to love our enemies, by which he did not mean chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence’ or killing them with guns,  or ‘let’s storm the capital and take captive various people we disagree with’.  3) No righteous activity, endorsed by God, is ever based on lies, lies about a rigged election, lies about rigged voting machines, lies about faithful vote counters both Republicans and Democrats in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona etc.  4) No righteous activity endorsed by God is ever based on false conspiracy theories, Q Anon nonsense, and atrocious interpretations of Biblical eschatology that no Biblical writer would recognize as valid.   While people may be entitled to their opinions, they are not entitled to their distorted interpretation of the facts.  Luther would have seen the actions of January 6 as straight up sedition which should be punished with the full weight of the law; 5) white nationalism and racial prejudice or even hatred has no basis at all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who by the way was definitely a Middle Eastern person, a Jew.  Sadly, Martin Luther was complicit in the anti-Semitism of his day and age, but we Christians today after six million Jews lost their lives in Nazi Germany should realize this is a profoundly sinful attitude towards God’s first chosen people.  6) Finally, Luther would not have put up with conservative Protestant leaders endorsing wicked politicians who stoke fear in the general populus and spread lies about all sorts of things.  Read some of the things Luther says about the religious leaders who endorsed corruption and wicked ways of governing and put him on trial.  Various Evangelical pastors and leaders have much to answer for before God in these matters.

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