MARTIN LUTHER AND HIS OPPONENTS -
HOW HE DEALS WITH THEM #3
He's thinking of people like Swingly, also waking up in the middle of the night; imagine Swingly waking up in the middle of the night, with the text, "This is my body given for you" - Luther's favorite text in the sacramental controversy. Surely it must stick in Swingly's conscience like a splinter. Because if Luther was Swingly he's wake up with this text on his mind, and argue: "how can you interpret this text symbolically, it doesn't make sense".... tara tara tara tarar. The Devil would be going at you like that. "And Swingly nonetheless sticks at his own opinion, even though he's uncertain about it. And so again you have the uncertain conscience. Luther's target is the uncertain conscience. Swingly sure must be uncertain of the interpretation of this text, but he presents his own interpretation as if it's the foundation of Christaian faith, when he not certain of it, when he knows he's not certain of it; well then he's speaking for the Devil for one thing, and he's lying against his own conscience. He knows he's uncertain, he's dishonest."
The phrase that Luther uses over and over again "Lying against his own conscience" and a certain kind of dishonesty. You need to be certain about this, this faith, God's word. You should be certain what you believe in. This is Luther's attitude.
Another way of getting at this: If your generating these theological arguments, even though your uncertain, Luther thinks it's a kind of backtalk against God. Here's God's word saying "This is my body given for you." And you say, "Huuummm, I think God must mean this, because it doesn't make sense if it's Christ real body." Luther would say, "Your using your own judgment, own reasoning; God can't say that, that would be stupid. God's being stupid then, so I'd better correct Him. I'm so much cleverer than God; I'll fix God's word and make it right."
And this trust in reason and not faith, Luther has always been attacking. It's a kind of back-talk to him, "God what do you think your saying." Lord, it's enough to have sinned without trying to justify yourself afterwards. Swingly has the wrong view of the Lord's Supper. He cooks up some argument to justify himself. This is not tolerated in a household Luther says, the father of the house doesn't allow it.
It burns in the heart if you try to justify yourself. You know you are wrong. You try to defend yourself - this is just too much. So is Luther's attitude of mind towards Swingly and others.
You see the sense of anger in Luther: Where does this guy get off, cooking up these flimsy arguments. I could poke holes in these arguments so easy; flimsy - they must certainly seem flimsy to Swingly also. Where does he get off doing this?
At one point he compares to a shrew: a woman hen-pecking her husband - attacking. She knows she's wrong, she's just good at inventing up these arguments "she's lying against her conscience,"
That's what it is like with these opponents of Luther; you just get fed up with no creativity in arguments to justify themselves.
So that mean: that the aim of these attacks on Luther's opponents, is not to persuade them, he doesn't think you can persuade people like Swingly; they are more or less lost! Swingly doesn't have to just or modify his opinions, or learn a thing or two from Luther. Swingly needs to change sides. He needs to REPENT!
TO BE CONTINUED