Martin Luther and the Orthodox



[Too bad Luther never embraced Orthodox theology since he says the Orthodox are the most Christian people and best followers of the Gospel !!! I post this for its historical humor and irony, not to bash Roman Catholicism or validate anyone else – RAS]



“The Greeks [Orthodox] . . .  are not heretics or schismatics but the most Christian people and the best followers of the Gospel on earth.”

“Yet he [the Pope] lifts his shameless, blasphemous mouth to heaven and slanders the Greek [Orthodox] church, claiming that it is schismatic and apostate. It is he himself who is the chief cause and sole author of all schisms and divisions. This is plain as day and all historical records show it.”

Second, they revile, slander, and anathematize the Greeks [Orthodox], and all others who do not submit to the pope, as though these were not Christians.”

“Again, in this same passage, Christ speaks of this rock and of his church and says, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” [Matt. 16:18]. Here Christ says clearly that against his rock and building and church the very devils shall not prevail. If, then, the rock is papal power and the building represents submission to this authority, how does it happen that this building and authority have in fact collapsed and the gates of hell have prevailed against it? For all Christendom has fallen away from the pope; for example, the Greeks [Orthodox], the Bohemians, Africa, and the whole orient! Or to be more accurate, they never were built upon this rock. Now, if Christ, who cannot lie, promises that the gates of hell shall not prevail against his building, and no one can deny that the Orient has fallen away, it follows that Christ speaks the truth and the pope lies, and the building is not obedience to his power but something else, which the gates of hell have not been able to break down. And it cannot be said that these people are no longer Christians because they do not obey the pope and are not built on him, since the pope himself and all his followers wish to be considered Christians, though they do not obey God in a single letter, and live, for the most part, without faith. So far they have been successful with their lies in maintaining that those who do not agree with them on this point are heretics and they themselves good Christians, though they do not take their stand with God and Christ on any point. Thus they make monkeys and fools of all the world, and define the terms “Christian” and “heretic” to suit themselves.”

Martin Luther (Luther, Martin (1999). Vol. 32: Luther’s Works, vol. 32: Career of the Reformer II (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.) (59). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.)”

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