LUTHER'S ATTACK ON THE JEWS continued
From the lectures by Professor Phillip Cary
Luther doesn't go so far as recommending burning Jews, but it is violent, it is very violet, so violent that it didn't take, fortunately. Very few Princes took Luther's advise or adopted his proposals; in Strasbourg for instance, the Jewish community petitioned the magistrates to suppress Luther's book, and they did. Hurray for censorship, every now and then, right? Because the Jewish community said, "Look, this is going to invoke riots against the Jews, and the Christian Prince has an obligation to suppress violence, tumult, and keep the peace; if Luther's books are going to cause riots, then you suppress Luther's books." Good thing too. Yes there are limits to freedom of speech; in-sighting a riot is not something that falls under freedom of speech.
Sooo.... it's a good thing that Luther's proposals were not taken up at the time. But as I've said, it does kinda put a virus in German culture that bears very bad fruit in the later. Luther is not innocent in what happened in German anti-semitism in later history.
So how do we diagnose this problem? What shall we make of the phenomenon of Luther in light of his attack on the Jews, for really I think this the worst thing in all of Luther's writing. What shall we say about it?
Let me go back to that need of "certainty" - that I think is the need that goes wrong with much of Luther's writing.
Luther is insisting not that the Gospel is true, or that God is certain to keep his promises, but Luther's Christian interpretation of the Scripture is certain! In fact the largest part of this treatise on the law, is taken up with just FOUR text of Scripture. Some are in the text 20 years before, where he argues: Look you can't just see, it's obvious, it's clear, it can't be doubted, it's certain, that these texts show that it's only possible of the Messianic promises of the Old Testament to be Jesus of Nazareth. These Jews, they know that, they can see from their own Bible, that only Jesus could possibly be their own Messiah. They are denying it against their own conscience, they know better. They can't possibly deny Jesus is the Messiah.
He's actually in the place where he uses this metaphor "It's like a shrew, a noisy nasty woman back-talking against her husband, even when she knows she's wrong."
Now here's something I want to mention that happens all the time in this treatise; Luther continually accuses the Jews of things that he himself is doing. We all know that this is like, right? Your in the middle of a fight, and someone accuses you of something, they're actually close to home, but you still argue back anyway. Because if your verbally talented, as Luther certainly was, you know how to produce an argument and keep on attacking; you forget about what true, you produce argument.
That's what Luther is doing throughout this treatise.
He's just inventing one slander after another; he's really creative at producing arguments against the Jews. He just makes them up as he goes along. Makes up one after another. And that's what he accuses the Jews of doing of course. They just make up arguments; they know they are clearly wrong about the Bible, they just sort of make up these lies. And Luther is all along making up lies against the Jews.
It's the classical case of the psychological case known as "Projection" - Luther takes his own hatred against the Jews and projects it on the Jews.
He'll say for instance that, the Jews have hate for Christians in their heart. Let me read this to you - but a little context; he's talking about these accusations against the Jews, and he knows perfectly well there is no good evidence in favor of these stories. When any of these cases are brought to trial, the Jews get exonerated, there's just no good evidence on the point. "Yet," Luther says, "I know their heart." He continues, "Indeed if the Jews had the power to do to us, what we're able to do to them, not one of us would live for an hour." A little later he says, "If I had power over the Jews, as our Princes and cities have, I would deal severely with their lying mouth."
He's saying: If the Jews had power to do what I can do to the Jews, look what they would do to me. I wish I had that power to do it to them.
What he says about the Jews can frequently be said about himself. And is far more true of Luther than the Jews.
"But since they lack the power to do this publically to us, they remain our daily blood-thirsty murderer foes, in their heart."
Who is a murderer and blood-thirsty foe in the heart - in this treatise? It's Martin Luther!
THIS IS FOUL, DISHONEST STUFF, AND THAT'S PRECISELY WHAT HE'S ACCUSING THE JEWS OF.
THE JEWS ARE NOT FOUL AND DISHONEST - MARTIN LUTHER IS!
"Therefore," he continues, "I firmly believe that they, the Jews, say and practice far worst things secretly than the history or records about them record."
So he's got all these stories about the Jews, that he knows there is no good evidence about them. He endorses them anyways, because that's what the Jews really want to do in their hearts.
I THINK THIS SAYS MORE ABOUT LUTHER'S HEART THAT THE HEART OF THE JEWS. HE IS LYING AGAINST HIS OWN CONSCIENCE, THAT'S HOW WE COULD DIAGNOSE IT.
He knows perfectly well, or he ought to know, he's making this stuff up. That he has no good evidence for it. That it's NOT certain, THIS STUFF HE SAYS ABOUT THE JEWS, FAR FROM CERTAIN!!
HE'S WRITING OUT OF ANGER! HE WRITING LIKE A SHREW, WHOSE VERBALLY TALENTED, YOU HUSBANDS, I DON'T CARE IF I ACTUALLY DID IT. YOU HUSBANDS IT'S YOUR FAULT, TRA...DAT...RA....AND SO ON.
HE'S TALKING BACK, INVENTING SLANDERS, RIGHT AND LEFT, WITH THIS VERBAL ALENT LUTHER HAS.
AND ALAS WRITING A BOOK THAT IS FAIRLY MEMORABLE.
THERE IS NOTHING GOOD TO BE SAID ABOUT LUTHER'S ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE JEWS!
THIS SECTION OF THE 24 LECTURES ON MARTIN LUTHER BY PROFESSOR PHILLIP CARY IS MIND-BLOWING; MARTIN LUTHER WAS FAR FROM BEING A TRUE SERVANT OF GOD. THE ETERNAL IN HEAVEN DID NOT CALL MARTIN LUTHER TO BE HIS SERVANT TO PROCLAIM THE WILL AND WAYS OF GOD, TO BRING TRUE LIGHT FROM THE SCRIPTURES AND GUIDE PEOPLE TO THAT TRUE LIGHT OF THE LORD'S WORD.
IT WAS MARTIN LUTHER WHO SAID ABOUT THE BOOK OF JAMES: "AN EPISTLE OF STRAW."
WHAT DID THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION BRING ABOUT? IT BROUGHT MANY DAUGHTERS OF THE MOTHER. ALL PROTESTANT DENOMINATION CONTAIN SOME OF THE MOTHER'S TEACHINGS AND PRACTICES; SOME MORE AND SOME LESS, BUT CERTAINLY SOME.
THE TRUE CHURCH OF GOD THAT JESUS FOUNDED WAS ALWAYS IN EXISTENCE; IT WAS THERE BEFORE THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION, IT WAS THERE DURING THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION, AND IT WAS THERE AND IS TODAY, AFTER THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION.
SOME TIMES THE TRUE CHURCH WAS HARDLY NOTICEABLE, SOMETIMES QUITE NOTICEABLE. LEADING UP TO THE VERY LAST YEARS OF THIS AGE, IT WILL BE QUITE NOTICEABLE, THROUGH THE INTERNET ESPECIALLY; PEOPLE WILL HAVE PRETTY WELL FREE ACCESSIBILITY TO WEBSITES LIKE THIS ONE, WHERE THE CLEAR TRUTHS OF GOD'S WORD ARE PROCLAIMED.