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Old 03-20-2020, 7:46 AM
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Default Martin Luther on the Plague.

I thought this is fitting with current times.

Martin Luther, in the midst of the 1527 bubonic plague in Wittenberg had this to say:

"What else is the epidemic but a fire which instead of consuming wood and straw devours life and body? You ought to think this way: 'Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison and deadly offal. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely, as stated above.
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Old 03-20-2020, 7:55 AM
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Thanks for posting that, Cactus.
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Old 03-20-2020, 8:15 AM
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Oh yes, Yersinia Pestis. It sounds like no big deal.
Or Justinian’s plague.
Throughout history it sure was a way to control the population growth. Such a nasty way to go.
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Old 03-20-2020, 9:16 AM
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Great to remember men who had common sense And the knowledge of God in their time.

Psalm 1
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Old 03-20-2020, 1:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cactus View Post
I thought this is fitting with current times.

Martin Luther, in the midst of the 1527 bubonic plague in Wittenberg had this to say:

"What else is the epidemic but a fire which instead of consuming wood and straw devours life and body? You ought to think this way: 'Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison and deadly offal. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely, as stated above.
Look up Johann Gerhard & Paul Gerhardt - 3rd generation Lutheran Pastors during the black plague (1620's). They were doing a hundred funerals a DAY, at times...
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Old 03-20-2020, 1:39 PM
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Mother Teresa held many diseased people as they slipped into eternity. She remained immune to all their illnesses.
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Old 03-22-2020, 3:11 PM
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Sensible words.
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Old 03-22-2020, 3:27 PM
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Good quote!
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Old 03-27-2020, 1:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cactus View Post
I thought this is fitting with current times.

Martin Luther, in the midst of the 1527 bubonic plague in Wittenberg had this to say:

[...]
My annual Bible reading plan took me through Psalm 46 today, the passage which inspired Luther to write his most famous hymn.

I think this would be more meaningful to folk if they could better understand what Luther did, living out his faith.

You can read the whole translation of from Luther's open letter from which the quote was taken. There are various accounts of Luther's life at this time, but here are a couple, one from the notes attached to that translated open letter:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Luther, WHETHER ONE MAY FLEE FROM A DEADLY PLAGUE
On August 2, 1527, this dread plague struck Wittenberg. Fearing for the safety of Luther and the other professors at the university, Elector John, on August 10, ordered Luther to leave for Jena. Five days later the university moved to Jena, then to Schlieben near Wittenberg, where it remained until April of the following year. Unmoved by the elector’s letter or by the pleas of his friends, Luther, along with Bugenhagen, stayed to minister to the sick and frightened people. By August 19 there were eighteen deaths; the wife of the mayor, Tilo Dene, died almost in Luther’s arms; his own wife was pregnant and two women were sick in his own house; his little son Hans refused to eat for three days; chaplain George Rörer’s wife, also pregnant, took sick and lost both her baby and her life; Bugenhagen and his family then moved into Luther’s house for mutual encouragement. Writing to Amsdorf, Luther spoke about his Anfechtungen and about the hospital in his house, closing his letter by saying, “So there are battles without and terrors within, and really grim ones; Christ is punishing us. It is a comfort that we can confront Satan’s fury with the word of God, which we have and and which saves souls even if that one should devour our bodies. Commend us to the brethren and yourself to pray for us that we may endure bravely under the hand of the Lord and overcome the power and cunning of Satan, be it through dying or living. Amen. At Wittenberg on All Saints’ Day in the tenth year after the trampling down of the papal bull, in remembrance of which we, comforted in both respects, have drunk a toast.” By the end of November the plague had definitely receded and in December Luther’s wife was happily delivered of her child, Elizabeth.

The plague also appeared in Breslau in Silesia, on August 10, 1527, and continued until November 19 of that year. A question had been raised among the clergy of that city whether it was proper for a Christian to flee from such a deadly peril. Through Johann Hess, the recognized leader of the Reformation in Silesia, they wrote to Luther asking his advice, and when a first letter brought no answer, they wrote again. Luther was not inclined to answer immediately, in part because of illness and severe spells of depression which struck him July 6. Near the end of July he began an answer to be published in the form of an open letter. Changes in handwriting and the kind of paper used (the original printer’s manuscript has been preserved) indicate that the writing was interrupted twice. In the meantime the plague struck Wittenberg, and the people around Luther heard how a Dominican in Leipzig had, early in September, mocked the way the Wittenbergers had run away from the plague. These events stimulated Luther to finish the letter, which was completed not later than the first part of November.
Patheos article from 3/5/2020*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patheos, Martin Luther and His Incredible Response to the Black Plague
In August of 1527 the plague struck Wittenberg and numerous people fled in fear of their lives. Martin Luther and his wife Katharina, who was pregnant at the time, remained in their beloved city in order to treat the infected. Despite the calls for him to flee Wittenberg with his family, Luther’s mind was set on helping the infected. He inevitably came to the conclusion that it was not inherently wrong for one to so value their life that they did not remain, but only so long as the sick had someone of greater faith than they to care for them. He balanced this position with the conviction that this one of greater faith ought not condemn the one of weaker faith who fled.

In other words, Martin Luther maintained that there was an obligation to help those who contracted the plague, but so long as they were helped, it was a matter of conscience if one remained to aide in this great task. He argued that it would be better for hospitals with trained staff to care for the sick, wherein each Christian should offer generous contributions—yet if one were not to be found, “…we must give hospital care and be nurses for one another in any extremity or risk the loss of salvation and the grace of God. Thus it is written in God’s word and command, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ and in Matthew 7, ‘So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.’” So strong were his convictions on the matter that he said anyone who was overcome by horror and repugnance in the presence of the infected ought to recognize the intrinsic, spiritual warfare taking place—that Satan himself was filling their minds to drive them to anxiety, fear, and worst of all, “…to forget and lose Christ, our light and life…”

What is unique to Martin Luther is that all of these words were backed by his willingness to actually follow his own advice. Not only did he and Katharina open their own home as a ward to the infected, but he recognized the opportunity to preach Christ to those literally days away from death. His mindset was not that they wait until the last minute, where the delirious and barely cognizant individual desires to, “…stuff the sacrament down their throats as if into a bread bag,” simply because they were accustomed to the practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Rather, the administration of the Lord’s Supper was to be done for those in the faith and not just for those who ask for it, falsely believing it to be of atoning significance. In those final hours of life, those who could not or would not confess the faith would not be given the consolation of the sacraments. While one might think this cold of Martin Luther, it must be recognized of those who ministered in Wittenberg that they were, “…guiltless because we have not been slothful in preaching, teaching, exhortation, consolation, visitation, or in anything else that pertains to our ministry and office.”

Though the plague only lasted in Wittenberg until November of 1527, the events had a lasting impact upon his life. Death was not merely in the presence of Martin and Katharina, but an intimate acquaintance they knew all too well. They would treat the infected day in and day out, not knowing if they would also contract the plague and succumb to death. They witnessed friends, neighbors, and family members die of the plague. Each of them abided in faith to service of those who had nowhere else to turn—and yet for both Martin and Katie, their life was one that knew constant opposition and hardship. Less than five years prior to the plague breaking out in Wittenberg, Martin Luther had been officially excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church and still faced a barrage of attacks, including the constant threat of death.

In the same year the plague broke out, Rome was under the siege of the mutinous troops of Charles V, which held massive repercussions for Germans. Luther’s daughter Elisabeth, who just barely escaped the plague, was born in December of 1527, only to die eight months later. Christians holding to Lutheran doctrine were being summarily martyred or sent into exile with no provisions. They truly knew what it meant to not know if they would be alive when they woke, let alone make it through the evening as they slept. They certainly understood, with full force, what it meant to ask the Lord to give them their daily bread—and Luther, being the one whom they rallied behind, saw all of this unfold as a result of his teaching.

The constant companion of uncertainty, death, persecution, and pain multiplied the sorrows of German protestants, yet history records that it was sometime between the years of 1527-1529 that the reformer penned the great hymn, A Mighty Fortress is Our God.
Since the 500th anniversary of the nailing of the 95 Theses to the church door (start of the Reformation) was in 2017, a number of documentaries were released around that time. Two which I thought were pretty decent (available on Amazon Prime):

A Man Named Martin (Prime, not listed on IMDB)

Luther: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer (Prime, also listed on IMDB)

Luther was a great man of God, no question. John Piper wrote an interesting "more literal" translation of Luther's most famous hymn a few years ago. I thought it was thought-provoking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Piper, with Matthias Lohmann
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
A “Woodenly Literal” Translation
by John Piper, with Matthias Lohmann

A strong castle is our God,
A good defense and weapon.
He helps us become free from every misery
That has now affected us.
The old evil enemy
Is now in earnestness with his intents.
Great Power and much deception
Is his cruel armor.
On earth is not its likeness.

With our power nothing is accomplished.
We are very soon lost.
The right man fights for us
Whom God himself has chosen.
Do you ask who that is?
His name is Jesus Christ,
The Lord of hosts,
And there is no other God.
The battlefield he must hold.

Even if the world were full of Devils
And would want to swallow us up,
We would not thus fear so very much.
We will nevertheless succeed.
The prince of this world,
How bitterly he might pretend to be,
Nevertheless will not do anything to us
Because he is judged.
A little word can fell him.

That word they shall let stand
And will have no thanks for it.
He is with us according to plan
With his Spirit and gifts.
If they take the body,
Goods, honor, child, and wife,
Let them go away.
They will have no profit.
The kingdom must remain for us.
===========
*Patheos is a new-agey site, in my perspective. Not to be mentally lazy, but maybe take a little and leave a little.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:58 PM
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Thank you for sharing your study. Do you mind if I share it with our congregation? It is amazing the doctrine we witness with one another on a simple gun forum.
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Old 03-29-2020, 1:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cactus View Post
Thank you for sharing your study. Do you mind if I share it with our congregation? It is amazing the doctrine we witness with one another on a simple gun forum.
Feel free, maybe someone will be encouraged.
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