Saturday, December 19, 2009

Highlighting Hubmaier's 18 Dissertations


Eighteen Dissertations concerning the entire Christian life and of what it consists. Propositions upheld at Waldshut by Dr. Balthasar Friedberger*, and Others. (1524):

1. Faith alone makes us pious before God.

2. This belief is recognition of the mercy of God, since He hath redeemed us by the sacrifice of His only-begotten Son, and this excludes all nominal Christians who have only an historical belief in God.

3. Such a faith must not be idle, but must reach up toward God in thankfulness, and toward men in all good works of brotherly love. And all works of penance must be abandoned, such as the burning of candles, the use of palms and holy water.

4. All works are good which God has commanded us. And all acts which He has forbidden are evil. In this case belong such things as eating of fish on fast days, abstention from meat, the wearing of cowls.

5. The Mass is not a sacrifice but a memorial of the death of Christ. Therefore it may not be offered, either for the quick [or alive]or for the dead. Thus must perish the counsels of those souls that practice cunning and deceit.

6. As often as such a memorial is celebrated, shall the death of our Lord be preached, as each one of us finds in his heart and on his tongue. this excludes all silent Masses.

7. Images and pictures are of no value. Therefore you should trust no longer in wood and stone, but in the living and suffering God.

8. Since every Christian believes for himself and is baptized for himself, everyone must see and judge by the Scriptures whether he is being properly nourished by his pastor.

9. Since Christ alone has died for our sins and in His name we have all been baptized, therefore He must be for us the only intercessor and mediator. Here perish all pilgrimages.

10. It is far better to read one verse of a Psalm in the speech of one's own land, which can be understood, than to sing five entire songs in a forgeign tongue, which cannot be understood by the church. Here perish Matins, Prime, Tercets, Vespers, Complines, and Vigils.

11. All teachings that are not God are in vain and shall be rooted up. Here perish the disciples of Aristotle, as well as the Thomist, the Scotists, Bonaventure and Occam, and all teaching that does not proceed from God's Word.

12. The time will come - and now is- when no will be deemed a true priest save the man who preaches the Word of God. This disposes of Masses, votive offerings, reliquaries, and masses for others.

13. It is the duty of members of the church to support with suitable food and clothing, and to protect countries,pensions,religious corporations, absentee priests, deceivers, and the tellers of vain dreams.

14. Let him who dreads purgatory and him whose God is his belly seek the grave of Moses, which it will be long ere he finds.

15. That priests and others might hide the sins of their flesh was the reason why Barabas [sic] was set free and Christ was slain.

16. To command virtue in reliance upon human strength, is nothing else than to command one to fly without wings.

17. He who misrepresents the Word of God for temporal gain, or conceals it, sells the grace of God, like red Esau for a mess of pottage and Christ will deny him.

18. He who does not seek, in the sweat of his brow, to earn his bread, is accured, unworthy of the food that he eats. Here are cursed all idlers, be they who they may.


TRUTH IS IMMORTAL


*Balthasar Hubmaier - A.K.A. Friedberger, commemorating his native town of Friedberg.

(Taken from:"Baptist Confessions of Faith" by Wiliam L. Lumpkin, Valley Forge: Judson Press. Revised edition - 1969).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sinful anger (part 3)

Galatians 5:14-15: "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another."

A closer look:
"For all the law" - the entire or whole law, every aspect of it: ceremonial, civil, and moral.
"love" - This is what completes and complies with God's Law.
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" - fundamentally the second division of the 10 Commandments.
"bite and devour" - figuratively speaking of wild animals attacking each other.
"consumed one of another" - this is the end result of contention.

Sinful anger (whether it is explosive or internalized) is the opposite of Biblical love (which is sacrificial, gracious and unselfish). When people entertain contention, and it escalates, they act like wild animals - tearing each other up. They say words that are curt, rude, hurtful. They may even assault someone physically. The progression is "bite," then "devour," and then "consumed." When sinful anger is not dealt with, nobody wins, rather everyone involved is consumed. The offended is hurt, and the offender is hated. Brethren, we are not called to be "animalistic." We are called the sons of God, let us, with God's grace, live out what we truly are in the eyes of God.

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