"WHAT IS A LUTHERAN?"
Rev. G. Elson Ruff
Editor, United Lutheran Publication House
New York, N. Y.
Sir:---In evaluating the articles on religion that appeared in LOOK magazine, I found your What is a Lutheran? to be unique. This is due to your having more definitely proclaimed than did other writers, that your church, the mother church of Protestantism, is a man-made spiritual sect. You make plain the fact that the Lutheran church was set up as a "protest" against the Catholic Church, the one and the only Church that can rightly claim to have been Christ-instituted.
One need delve no further into your article than the first paragraph; to the answer to your query, How Did Lutheranism Originate? to substantiate the fact that your sect is man-made, hence anti-Christian in origin. Here is that paragraph:---"On October 31, 1517, there was only one Protestant---Martin Luther. A few years later there were millions. The violent explosion known as the Reformation split the Church of the sixteenth century into a number of segments, of which the Lutheran church is one."
A little more exactitude on your part would have prompted the declaration that Martin Luther, the originator of Protestantism, split the membership of "the sixteenth century Church" which was the Catholic Church ... That "sixteenth century Church" was one organizationally, doctrinally, worshipfully, and historically then, as it is today, it being as unbreakable, as is Christ, its Founder. Oneness is a primary characteristic of the Church our Lord established, His Mystical Body, which cannot be "split" into "segments," such as Martin Luther "split" the non-Catholic religious world. The splinter sects Luther started are one in one thing only, opposition to the one and the only Church in the world that has the credentials to prove as conclusively that she is of first century origin, as we citizens can prove that the U.S.A. is of 18th century origin.
Fortunately the members of Lutheran churches are morally of a higher Christian caliber than the religious traitor whose name their churches have adopted, and boastfully proclaim. A proper knowledge of his immoralities would, or at least should cause members of your church to be as ashamed to be called 'Lutherans' as Americans would be to be called Benedict Arnoldites. Of this you are somewhat conscious, my dear Sir, though you endeavor to dismiss it, by saying that "Luther had faults. He was of violent temperament and sometimes scolded his opponents with intemperate abuse. When driven into a corner, in the turbulent events of his career, he made several unfortunate compromises which nobody defends today."
Luther's "Table Talk" proves the founder of your church to have been the filthiest-mouthed, the filthiest talking man that ever claimed to speak in the name of Christ. Every reliable historian blames him for the Peasant's War, and the Thirty Years War. He turned upon the peasants with ruthless fury, calling upon the "nobles" to kill those "children of the devil"; to track them down like dogs, as the "nobles" did. A hundred thousand of them are said to have been killed in the revolt that Luther initiated, boasting that "I, Martin Luther, said they should be slain." He celebrated the funeral of the dead peasants by marrying a nun, saying "to make the mad and stupid peasants still more mad," married, blasphemously declaring that it was the result of an inspiration, "the Lord has suddenly thrown me into marriage with that nun, Catherine Bora."
Your Lutheran church would not have outlived the days of its founder, whom the Lutherans glamorized in the movies recently, were it not for the aid of the German princes, who shared in the spoils of the confiscated Catholic churches, monasteries, lands, etc. Luther rallied the people to their civic banners, declaring "Cujus Regio, Illius Religio," the religion of the people must be the religion of the rulers. It was this submission to those in civil authority, that is said to have prompted Luther to give Philip of Hesse, patron of the "Reformation," father of seven children, a dispensation to take unto himself a second wife, while living with his first wife.
Luther's action toward the Jews was as devilish as was his action toward the peasants. He recommended that their synagogues be burned; their homes destroyed; their gold and silver confiscated; and their rabbis forbidden to teach under penalty of death. Referring to this Luther viciousness, The Jewish Chronicle said a few weeks ago, "Once Luther was secure in power, his diatribes against the Jews became more and more frequent and vicious. The fiery persecution of 'heretics' and public oppression of conscience by Luther's henchmen were undreamed of in Roman Catholic Germany" (London, Eng., Oct. 14, 1955).
Luther is historically in the forefront of notorious excommunicated priests, who violated their priestly vows, made to Almighty God. This major offense, condemned in the Bible, which is supposed to be your one and only rule of faith (Num. 30:2-5; Eccles. 5:3-5), is always due to pride, intellectual conceit, lust, or a lunatic strain, all of them afflictions that the founder of your church suffered. Pray, tell me, how can Lutheran ministers consistently demand an irrevocable vow from Lutheran youth during confirmation; a solemn promise that they will never leave the Lutheran church, under threat that violation of the vow means loss of their soul's salvation; when their church owes its origin, and functions under the name of the foremost violator of solemn vows, made to Almighty God on bended knees, that the world has known?
If it were not for the length of this letter, I would add as much more evidence, and argument, than is herein recorded, to prove that not one of the dozen existing Lutheran churches has any legitimate right to function in the name of Christ Our Lord. That distinguished honor was bestowed by Christ Jesus upon the Church against which the gates of Hell, even in the person of Martin Luther or any other religious Benedict Arnold would ever prevail. That Church was under the Christ-delegated universal direction of Peter on the First Pentecost Day. It functions gloriously today, under the direction of Pope Pius XII, the 258th occupant of the Chair of Peter.
May your future understanding of "What Is A Lutheran?" be in accord with this analysis.