Liberty and the Two Classes of Men We Must Face

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Hence the Christian must take a middle course and face those two classes of men. He will meet first the unyielding, stubborn ceremonialists … There he must resist, do the very opposite, and offend them boldly lest by their impious views they drag many with them into error. In the presence of such men it is good to eat meat, break the fasts, and for the sake of the liberty of faith do other things which they regard as the greatest of sins. Of them we must say, “Let them alone; they are blind guides.” According to this principle Paul would not circumcise Titus when the Jews insisted that he should [Galatians 2:3] …

The other class of men whom a Christian will meet is simple-minded, ignorant men, weak in the faith … Since they do and think as they do, not because they are stubbornly wicked, but only because their faith is weak, the fasts and things which they consider necessary must be observed to avoid giving them offense. This is the command of love which would harm no one but would serve all men. It is not by their fault that they are weak, but by that of their pastors who have taken them captive with the snares of their traditions and have wickedly used these traditions as rods with which to beat them [II Corinthians 11:20]. They should have been delivered from these pastors by the teachings of faith and freedom.

Martin Luther (1483-1546)
The Babylonian Captivity of the Church
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One Comment on “Liberty and the Two Classes of Men We Must Face”

  1. […] Liberty and the Two Classes of Men We Must Face, by Martin Luther. […]


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