Reply To: Indulgences: Are they still around today?

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Once again, I have to disagree with your statement. One problem with the person of Luther us that he vacillated so much during his life. You can selectivly quote him at one point in his life, but a review of his entire (and quite large) body of work shows a devout, but very tormented man. A review of his position on the Jews shows just how different his position changed over his life.

[quote:1oywv19w]It wasn’t Hell but Purgatory that the people bought indulgences for.[/quote:1oywv19w]
The fact remains that the accusations that Protesants made included that people where buying there way out of Hell.

[quote:1oywv19w]This fallacy is something I neither like nor can tolerate. Luther disliked the idea of indulgence selling and this is the reason why he had posted the 95 Theses in the first place. To say that Luther claimed that one didn’t need to be sorry for one’s sins is erroneous in every way.[/quote:1oywv19w]
Please read the entire quote that you took offence to. It does not say that Luther ascribed to having no need to be sorry for your sins. But rather that Protestants following Martin Luther’s lead in his attacks on Indulgences, misrepresented Indulgences as meaning that Catholics did not need to be sorry for their sins. Luther indeed, as Catholics felt that you needed to be repentant. He differed over time as to how one obtained forgiveness for your sins, and eventually dropped the need for the confessional, or the minister’s authority to forgive sins in the name of and by the authority of Jesus, but rather to pronounce asssurance that God had forgiven the individual.

If nothing else, Luthers problem with scruples made him sorry for his sins to the point that while still a Catholic he had trouble believing that God had or could forgive him. This is the major influence that prompted him to develop his Sola Gratia Theology, and discard 1500 years of constant teaching of the Catholic Church. As Luther and his theology developed, and often times his theology when he first protested Indulgences changed over time, and often contradicted his previous statements, you really need to look at if he maintained the same theology about any given issue. At first he believed that everyone should interpret the Bible on his own, later he decided that his interpretation was correct and that other people where either too ignorant or unable to interpret the Scriptures for himself. Some Lutherans follow his writing and accept seven sacraments, others follow what he wrote at other periods of his life and accept two sacraments, and maintain some of all of the other five, but only as symbolic acts which do not effect the soul. So there really is not one Lutheran theology, but several depending on what portion of his writing you accept.

Many Lutherans who are involved in the Ecumincal Movement want to forget that Luther called the Popes Anti-Christ, and the Cardinals in the Curia devils, they also want to forget or ignore the fact that he thought Jews should be thrown out of their homes, and restricted from most professions when they did not convert to his theology. He may have been a sincere man, who really truly believed in what he was doing, however his created far more problems than solutions.