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The Antisemitism of Martin Luther August 24, 2009

Filed under: Church,Religion,Social Issues — lifewalkblog @ 1:21 am
Tags: , , ,

Wow.  Check out this example of one of our great Church fathers:
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“If I find a Jew to baptize, I shall lead him to the Elbe bridge, hang a stone around his neck, and push him into the water, baptizing him with the name of Abraham!.. I cannot convert the Jews. Our lord Christ did not succeed in doing so; but I can close their mouths so that there will be nothing for them to do but to lie upon the ground.” – Martin Luther

“What then shall we Christians do with this damned, rejected race of Jews?
First, their synagogues should be set on fire, and whatever does not burn up should be covered or spread over with dirt so that no one may ever be able to see a cinder or stone of it. And this ought to be done for the honour of God and of Christianity, in order that God may see that we are true Christians.
Secondly, their homes should be likewise broken down and destroyed.
Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayerbooks and talmuds in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught.
Fourthly, their rabbis must be forbidden under threats of death to teach anymore.” – Martin Luther

Jesus did not call them Abraham’s children, but a “brood of vipers” [Matt. 3:7]. Oh, that was too insulting for the noble blood and race of Israel, and they declared, “He has a demon’ [Matt 11:18]. Our Lord also calls them a “brood of vipers”; furthermore in John 8 [:39,44] he states: “If you were Abraham’s children ye would do what Abraham did…. You are of your father the devil. It was intolerable to them to hear that they were not Abraham’s but the devil’s children, nor can they bear to hear this today.——Martin Luther

They [rulers] must act like a good physician who, when gangrene has set in proceeds without mercy to cut, saw, and burn flesh, veins, bone, and marrow. Such a procedure must also be followed in this instance. Burn down their synagogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier, force them to work, and deal harshly with them, as Moses did…
If this does not help we must drive them out like mad dogs.—-Martin Luther

Martin Luther: [ in his last sermon, four days before he died, ] called for practical measures: burn their synagogues, confiscate all books in Hebrew, prohibit Jewish prayers, force them to do manual labour, and drive them out of Germany.

“I do insist on the certainty that sooner or later – once we hold power – Christianity will be overcome and the German Church established. Yes, the German church, without a Pope, and Luther, if he could be with us, would give us his blessing.” (Adolf Hitler, Hitler’s speeches, edited by Prof. N.H. Baynes [oxford, 1942], pg. 369.)

 

2 Responses to “The Antisemitism of Martin Luther”

  1. will Says:

    Well, I guess Luther was German….

  2. lifewalkblog Says:

    Here are some remarks I received from Greg Albrecht:
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    Hello David,
    I happen to have become aware of the quotes you provide only because I did some extensive research, some years ago, into the roots of anti-Semitism – in Germany in particular.
    In spite of these comments, Martin Luther remains one of my heroes. I see his comments here arising out of his desire to find a human source to blame for all the rules happy, tradition-laden religion he reacted against. This is not to excuse him, for his comments are deplorable. But I know, when one is rescued from abusive and controlling religion, one often wants to find a scapegoat — I did. It took God’s grace a while to “seep into” my inner being before I could let go of what had happend to me in my past. I still have my moments, to be honest. My humanity rises up and wants a witch-hunt — Jesus calms me by reminding me what he is all about!
    I see in Martin Luther a man who was a Catholic priest — a priest in one of only two Christian churches that existed at the time (Eastern Orthodox and the western Church of Rome being the two options for a Christian) who was given, by God, some startling insights. Luther stood his ground, by God’s grace, against the corruption and perversions of institutionalized religion. It had to be lonely — he had no human mentors. He was not a Lutheran (that came later of course) but a Catholic who was protesting against what he knew as the totality (apart from the eastern church) of organized religion. I see these comments against that backdrop. Wrong, deplorable, and hateful — but I see them within the culture and challenges that he faced.
    My two cents! Always good to talk with you — hope you are settled down in that new home by now!
    Greg


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